Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108

Andrew Sullivan <> Mon, 08 June 2020 13:54 UTC

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Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2020 09:54:15 -0400
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From: Andrew Sullivan <>
Subject: Re: Specific Questions about Registration details for IETF 108
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[ObDisclaimer: still employed by ISOC, still just my opinion]

On Sat, Jun 06, 2020 at 09:54:13PM -0400, John C Klensin wrote:

>And we don't require anyone, even lawyers planning to draw up
>into litigation, journalists with a record of hostility toward
>the IETF, curious bosses trying to check up on what they are
>spending resources when they allow employees to participate in
>the IETF, or people who want to observe meetings for a while to
>see if they want to participate or advise others to do so, to
>identify themselves and/or pay a fee to observe meetings in real
>Now that seems to me like a principle

I guess what I'm wondering about is the extent to which "in real time" is important there.  Why does it matter whether it happens synchronously or after the video &c is posted, given the differential costs to the IETF in managing an "observers only" stream?  The incremental cost to the IETF of letting anyone at all look at the stream on YouTube or anywhere else is 0, but there are costs involved in creating a second stream just for observers.  "Observe in real time" seems like it might be quite important when people are all in one place and could be having chats on the sidelines (so the "observer" status might be important in that case).  Not so in a virtual context: you can't tell when people are having such side chats, even though they might be, by observing them in real time.

>are a non-trivial number of IETF participants who have been
>participating remotely for multiple years and who have built
>personal (or corporate) budgets and plans around zero-fee remote

Yes, I think that is probably true.  It strikes me that many people's expectations have been thrown out by the COVID-19 situation, and this seems to me like another one: it is possible that, if the IETF decided _more generally_ on a model where charging for remote participation would happen, it ought to be rolled out gradually or at least with warning so that people can adjust budgets appropriately.  But alas, the virus waits for no budget season, so here we are.  

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan