Re: [IAB] IAB statement on the NETmundial Initiative

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Mon, 22 December 2014 16:33 UTC

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Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:33:50 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Jari Arkko <jari.arkko@piuha.net>
Subject: Re: [IAB] IAB statement on the NETmundial Initiative
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--On Monday, December 22, 2014 17:20 +0200 Jari Arkko
<jari.arkko@piuha.net> wrote:

> John, 
> 
> What you said is very similar to the input we've been
> hearing from both the IESG and IAB. And even Russ and I
> understand the difficulties :-) regardless of how well we
> managed to succeed in this case.
> 
> For what it is worth, our general policy is based on
> establishing IAB or IETF wide formal opinions on topics and
> then talking about those, and other kinds of statements should
> be rare. For a written version of our policy, se
> http://trac.tools.ietf.org/group/iesg/trac/wiki/SpeakingForIet
> f - feedback appreciated as always.

Jari,

As I tried to say, I don't know that this example is a huge deal
because the statement is mostly innocuous.  I gather that was
partially due to your efforts and Russ's, for which the
community should thank you.  It is the principle that concerns
me.

Where the policy you cite seems to be weak is "what happens when
the IETF/IAB people follow the rules but attend a meeting in
good faith in which others are not willing to honor those
rules".  Establishing general for first instances of such cases
is probably impossible.  I fear that any attempt to do so would
hamper us and the exercise of reasonable discretion far more
than they would help.  I believe you are doing quite well in the
exercise of discretion even though "leadership" seems to
occasionally get confused with presidential or imperial
authority (I think we all learned from Montevideo).  If members
of the community disagree with that, it is perhaps not too late
to tell the Nomcom.

However, an old saying in the US may apply to this situation.
It goes something like "fool me once, shame on you; fool me
twice, shame on me".  If, despite your (and Russ's) best
efforts, these I* (or other leadership coordination) meetings
are going to produce statements that can reasonably be construed
as inconsistent with IETF norms, then, whatever the value of
such meetings might be, it is time to stop attending --and
adding IETF/IAB credibility by your presence-- unless you can
get firm guarantees, in advance, about whether statements will
be issued and, if they will be, how they are approved.

best regards and best holiday wishes,
   john