Re: Last Call: Modern Global Standards Paradigm

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Fri, 10 August 2012 16:49 UTC

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Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 12:49:17 -0400
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Subject: Re: Last Call: Modern Global Standards Paradigm
From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
To: IETF <>, IAB <>
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I think the point needs to be made that standards organizations can
only advise and not dictate.

There is really no risk that ITU-T is going to end up in control of
the technical standards that are implemented by the likes of
Microsoft, Cisco or Google, let alone Apache, Mozilla and the folk on
SourceForge and Github.

The key defect in the ITU-T view of the world is that it is populated
by people who think that they are making decisions that matter. In
practice deciding telephone system standards right now is about as
important as the next revision of the FORTRAN standard, it is not
completely irrelevant but matters a lot more to the people in the
meetings than anyone else.

The strength of the IETF negotiating position comes from the fact that
we cannot dictate terms to anyone. The consensus that matters is not
just consensus among the people developing the specification document
but consensus among the people who are expected to act on it.

ITU-T can certainly set themselves up a Friendship Games if they like
[1]. But they can't force people to show up, let alone implement their

>From a censorship busting point of view, the best thing that can
happen for us is for the states attempting to gain control of the net
in their country to attempt to standardize their approach. Much easier
to circumvent fixed blocks than the current moving target.


On Fri, Aug 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM, IETF Chair <> wrote:
> The IETF Chair and the IAB Chair intend to sign the Affirmation
> of the Modern Global Standards Paradigm, which can be found
> here:
> An earlier version was discussed in plenary, and the IAB Chair called
> for comments on the IETF mail list.  This version includes changes
> that address those comments.
> Th IETF 84 Administrative plenary minutes have been posted, so that
> discussion can be reviewed if desired.  The minutes are here:
> On 8 August 2012, the IEEE Standards Association Board of Governors
> approved this version of the document.  The approval process is
> underway at the W3C as well.
> The IETF Chair and the IAB Chair intend to sign the Affirmation in the
> next few weeks. Please send strong objections to the
> and the mailing lists by 2012-08-24.
> Thank you,
>   Russ Housley
>   IETF Chair