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

Ted Hardie <> Sat, 21 May 2016 16:32 UTC

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From: Ted Hardie <>
Date: Sat, 21 May 2016 12:32:15 -0400
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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
To: Adam Roach <>
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    After a discussion with Jari and Alissa about the upcoming meeting in
Singapore, I realized that something Adam said actually suggests that we
need to recast this discussion.  In his message, Adam said:

        It is very difficult to interpret the effect of potentially
> oppressive environments on the potentially oppressed if you are not a
> member of that group.

    It's not only hard for those who are not in the affected class, it's
difficult for any member of that class to speak for anyone else.  That
suggests that trying to have this discussion based on the expressions of
individuals of their own comfort is the wrong way to have it.  There are,
after all, too many cases in which it is not easy for the most affected to
make their concerns known.

    I think the other possible (and better) way to have that discussion is
to start from a set of community agreed principles, and then to ask whether
a particular venue meets those principles or not. The full community
discussion of that has not yet occurred, but in the spirit of "the Internet
runs on Internet-drafts", I'm starting from the current working text.

    Fred's document articulates the principle this way:

>           We would like to facilitate the onsite or remote participation of
>           anyone who wants to be involved.  Every country has limits on who
>           it will permit within its borders.  This principle of
>           inclusiveness militates against the selection of venues within
>           countries that impose visa regulations and/or laws that
>           effectively exclude people on the basis of race, religion,
> gender,
>           sexual orientation, or national origin, and to a lesser extent,
>           reduces the likelihood of selecting countries that use such
>           attributes to make entry difficult.

    This is cast in terms of entry and exclusion, but it is actually about
participation.  If a country's rules prevent participation by a class of
people, that country would be "militated against", in the words of the

   In Singapore, there are classes of people who are effectively excluded
(e.g. any same sex couple whose child is of age to need both parents
present).   Whether any member of that class speaks up at the moment is not
the issue, if we believe a family member of that class should be able to

   On that basis, I believe the IAOC should not keep Singapore in the set
for future meetings; whether it can effectively shift this meeting or not,
I leave for a discussion of the practicality of a change.



On Tue, May 17, 2016 at 3:19 PM, Adam Roach <> wrote:

> On 5/17/16 13:14, IAOC Chair wrote:
>> The IAOC meetings committee reviewed the options for IETF 100, including
>> investigating costs and possibilities of moving the meeting to a different
>> location.  In keeping with the updated process outlined below, they checked
>> with official advisory sources and consulted with specialty travel
>> services, frequent travelers, and local representatives about the concerns
>> that have been raised.  The input received from those sources is consistent
>> with the text on [1].
>>  From that research, at a strictly practical level, the IAOC believes
>> that it is possible to have a successful meeting in Singapore.  The IAOC
>> proposes that holding the meeting in Singapore is the best option for IETF
>> 100 at this time.
>> Next Step:
>> The IAOC would like to hear from the community by June 1st, 2016 on
>> barriers to holding a successful meeting in Singapore. Responses should be
>> directed to
> I have a hard time making a valid evaluation of this topic. I suspect many
> people who will weigh in over the next few weeks are in a similar
> situation, even if they don't realize it. I include the IAOC in this
> characterization.
> It is very difficult to interpret the effect of potentially oppressive
> environments on the potentially oppressed if you are not a member of that
> group. It would be presumptuous for a majority straight population to make
> this decision on behalf of those people actually impacted.
> So I'm going to withhold expressing support for or opposition to the
> proposed course of action until we hear from GLBTQ IETFers in light of the
> information the IAOC is offering as rationale for continuing to pursue
> Singapore as a venue.
> But to be clear: I will almost certainly forgo attending a meeting at
> which any of my GLBTQ colleagues felt unwelcome. I would actively encourage
> others to adopt the same stance. Whether this forms a barrier to a
> successful meeting is up for debate; however, It would almost certainly be
> a setback for the working groups I chair.
> /a