Re: The IETF environment

Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net> Mon, 28 April 2014 15:28 UTC

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Date: Mon, 28 Apr 2014 11:27:52 -0400
From: Miles Fidelman <mfidelman@meetinghouse.net>
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Subject: Re: The IETF environment
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S Moonesamy wrote:
> Hi Phillip,
> At 10:28 26-04-2014, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
>> There is really no precedent for discovering that a rogue agency was
>> conspiring to sabotage efforts to provide Internet security.
>
> The IETF have been considering security in its protocols for the last 
> 11 years.  It has also been considering cryptography for use on the 
> Internet.  About a year ago it was found that all does not provide the 
> security one would expect.  There hasn't been such a precedent.  
> Perpass is an unusual occurrence.
>
> The comments on the thread describe the IETF environment as "people 
> coming together
> to work on stuff" whereas people from the outside consider the IETF as 
> more than that.  The question which has not been discussed is whether 
> the IETF accepts the responsibility for all aspects of its protocols.  
> If the answer to that question is "yes" it would be up to the IESG to 
> figure out how to solve the problem(s) in a timely manner.

I think it's more accurate to say that the IETF has an "official role" 
as the standards body for Internet protocols - and there may be a 
mismatch between:

- how that role is "officially defined" (such that it is)

- what responsibilities go with such a role (based on expectations and 
experience with analogous environments and standards bodies that have a 
longer history - such as IEEE, ANSI, ISO, ITU, ...)

- how IETF understands and executes its role (and given the somewhat 
bottom-up, ad hoc nature of IETF - how it's organization, policies, and 
operating procedures map onto exercising "official" roles and 
responsibilities"

- what holes there are that might need to be plugged, and how they might 
be plugged

Miles Fidelman


-- 
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is.   .... Yogi Berra