Re: Concerns about Singapore

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Mon, 11 April 2016 13:53 UTC

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Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2016 09:53:13 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
Subject: Re: Concerns about Singapore
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--On Monday, April 11, 2016 11:23 +0100 Stephen Farrell
<stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie> wrote:

>...
> I think the lesson the IAOC ought learn here is to switch to a
> default-open mode of operation where only those things that
> really need to be kept confidential are kept confidential.
> (Note that I don't only mean for f2f meeting arrangements but
> for all of what the IAOC do.) That will require them (or
> someone) to go figure out (with the community) which kinds of
> things really do need to be kept confidential, and which can
> be done openly, in the normal IETF way.

I agree that the above is key.  Particular meeting choices,
registration decisions, etc., aside, I see the real problem as
that the IAOC has, perhaps by accident, gotten into habits
equivalent to working in secret and then catching the community
-- including members of the community who could have pointed out
additional issues to be considered -- by surprise with "this is
done and it is too late to undo it" announcements.   Moving to
"by default open" and "need to get explicit community buy-in for
categories of things that are treated as confidential" would, I
think, make a world of difference... especially if those
categories were made as narrow as possible.

IMO, much of the hostility the IAOC periodically encounters
(including my suggestion a few weeks ago that the "surprise!
remote participants now need to register" announcement should
cause some people to consider resigning) is directly connected
to the surprise announcements with no transparency about the
decision process, much less an opportunity for community review.
Fewer surprises about possibly-problematic actions, less
hostility.

That does nothing about the sense that some requirements are
absolute (e.g., "no-go for meetings and no associated discussion
about 'balance'"), but we ought to be able to have an open
discussion about what falls into that category (and keep it as
narrow as possible), not a situation in which the IAOC or its
committees say things equivalent to "there are a lot of factors,
we can't make everyone happy, and therefore we get to decide, in
secret, how to balance things and make announcements only after
contracts (or other irreversible actions are in place".

    john