Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Sat, 21 May 2016 20:13 UTC

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Date: Sat, 21 May 2016 16:13:36 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: jordi.palet@consulintel.es, ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
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Jordi,

I am almost completely in agreement with Ted's comment and
summary which are, I think, exceptionally reasonable and
well-balanced.

I want to address one issue...

--On Saturday, May 21, 2016 21:12 +0200 JORDI PALET MARTINEZ
<jordi.palet@consulintel.es> wrote:

>...
> I will agree that if being married with a same sex person
> don't allow you to go into a specific country, then the
> country should be banned, but if is a matter of traveling or
> not with that family, then we shouldn't take that into
> consideration for cancelling that venue, because you have the
> choice to not travel with the family.

Let me turn that around, in part because you included "people
who want to bring their families" on your list of priorities.
>From my perspective, it is important to consider, not only
"fully respecting" individual situations, but to set the
priorities in meeting site selection carefully, make sure those
priorities have community consent (rather than being decided on
privately by the IAD, IAOC, or Meetings Committee), and then
follow them and their implications.

In particular, "nice place to bring family or companion(s)" is
either a selection criterion or it isn't.  I'm not talking about
where it is in the list of priorities and tradeoffs; I'm talking
about whether or not it is on the list.  If it is on the list,
then I think there is an absolute responsibility on the Meetings
Committee and IAOC to select only those locations where everyone
in the community who is inclined to bring non-participants along
can do so.   No one gets to say (I don't think you have, but a
few others have come close) "It is ok if your particular family
doesn't feel comfortable coming because our main priority is
getting work done".  Either "nice for companions" is a criterion
or it isn't and, if it is, then it needs to apply to _all_
plausible companions.

As to Singapore, if the conclusion is that we should hold IETF
100 there (or that we can't plausibly extricate ourselves), I'm
strongly drawn to the suggestion I think I heard Ted make at the
plenary, that, out of respect for his situation and that of
others, _no one_ should bring a family or other companions to
Singapore.  Not only is that a way to show support, but the
economic impact, even if not huge, is one of the few ways that
an unambiguous "you need to reconsider the acceptability of your
laws if you want to continue to be an international go-to site"
message can be sent even if the meeting is not cancelled.  In
particular, I believe that the community should send a strong
message to members of the IAOC, IESG, IAB, Meetings Committee,
Nomcom, and ISOC and Secretariat staffs that they are not
allowed to bring _their_ families or companions to a meeting in
Singapore.  In addition to the sign of respect, that seems to me
one way to create some institutional memory on this subject --
it should not have been treated as a new issue when Singapore
was being selected, but "we" seem to forget these things until
there are loud complaints, apologize and try to make
adjustments, and then forget them again.

best, 
   john

Disclaimer: I realized in checking Nomcom eligibility
requirements that I haven't been f2f to any of the last five
IETF meetings.  More important to this particular issue, the
people I might be inclined to bring along discovered that the
schedule and pace I keep up during IETF makes me no fun to be
around at all, so the closest they get anymore involves showing
up after the meeting ends or leaving before it starts (and we
haven't done that in years).    So I am not significantly
affected personally by any of this, but that does not prevent me
from feeling quite strongly that the IETF needs to have its
criteria straight and to evaluate sites against those criteria
in ways that are equally fair to all participants.  We need to
do that not only as a matter of equity and respect because doing
otherwise does affect the quality and credibility of our work.