Re: If Muslims are blocked by the U.S., should the IETF respond?

Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com> Mon, 30 January 2017 22:05 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2017 17:04:59 -0500
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Subject: Re: If Muslims are blocked by the U.S., should the IETF respond?
To: Emily Shepherd <emily@emilyshepherd.me>
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On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 3:39 PM, Emily Shepherd <emily@emilyshepherd.me>
wrote:

>
> I understand that many people are upset about what seems like an extreme
> stance but foreign policy is a complex subject, one that deserves more than
> just blanket statements from unrelated organisations. If any of us truly
> care about this issue why not take it to a forum that can actually do some
> good?


​Because when I am talking to people in those forums, what they ask me is
how policy X is affecting the ​'multi-stakeholder standards organizations'
that we have been trying to promote as the model for Internet governance.
Relaying Jari's personal opinion isn't much help because the ARPA era
constitution is expressly designed to stop the officers of the IETF having
authority to speak for the IETF as a whole.

​What I tell people is that the opinion of the IETF as an institution isn't
very relevant as the IETF does not actually have any formal powers or means
of enforcing them.​ If control over the IETF was to pass to a cabal led by
the SCO countries who decided to put backdoors into all the crypto
protocols, then development of Internet standards would simply shift
elsewhere.

​It doesn't take 50 still less, a hundred engineers to design a protocol.
In fact I have yet to see how having so many cooks helps if your only
criteria is the quality of the outcome. The reason for having so many
people involved is that it takes a very large number of stakeholders to
move an infrastructure as complex as the Internet.​