Re: IAOC requesting input on (potential) meeting cities

Eliot Lear <> Wed, 05 April 2017 04:39 UTC

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Subject: Re: IAOC requesting input on (potential) meeting cities
To: Nico Williams <>, Yoav Nir <>
References: <> <> <> <> <20170404181505.GA4004@localhost> <> <20170404202446.GB4004@localhost> <> <> <> <20170404221042.GC4004@localhost>
Cc: IETF <>, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <>, Jared Mauch <>
From: Eliot Lear <>
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Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2017 06:39:24 +0200
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On 4/5/17 12:10 AM, Nico Williams wrote:
> I do suspect that the U.S. will be a more difficult location for more
> attendees than other locations.  Certainly the news we all see is not
> encouraging as to hosting IETF meetings in the U.S.  This I don't deny.
> Though it's also possible that this is becoming a self-reinforcing meme
> and that we're just not seeing incidents in other countries in the news.
> In any case, the U.S. certainly does not have a monopoly on the border
> harasment business.

Certainly people have had trouble getting into other countries, most
notably Canada where an IAB member was refused entry.  But this isn't
just news.  It is a series of declarations by the U.S. government of
their intentions, and the IAOC has to plan ahead.  That's why Jared's
request for data is simply not tenable *at this stage*.  If it turns out
that things aren't so bad, the IAOC can react accordingly.  However, as
I wrote in my original email, there is now good reason to believe that
things will get worse, due to the European Parliament’s decision to
require visas from U.S. citizens.

> Some people may wish to boycott the U.S. by refusing to host events
> there.  There is some precedent for such a boycott.  For example, some
> time back an obscure agency of the Texas state government decided to
> guard its surplus budget by policing public drunkenness at hotel bars,
> which led to a number of conferences pulling out of Texas, and the
> ensuing bad PR led the legislature to rein in said agency.
> However, at the scale of a state/province the politics of boycotts is
> generally not partisan, but at a national/global scale it tends to be
> rankly partisan, and boycotts may not be productive and may be divisive,
> and should be approached with care.  Here "care" means: get some
> evidence of negative impact on participation.  

We ALREADY have evidence, as some people couldn't make Chicago, and said
so on this very list (and, by the way, were shamefully attacked and
dismissed (no, it certainly wasn't you)).  What we don't have is an
understanding of the order of magnitude of the impact, and that is going
to be very hard to gather in so  fluid a situation with so long a
lookahead.  The point, by the way, as I see it, is not to punish the
U.S. but to hold a successful meeting (that is what the mtgvenue draft
states as well).

> Reducing frequency of
> U.S. meetings is not a boycott, and is something the IETF has been doing
> for a long time anyways.  Further reducing that frequency in the short
> term would be perfectly fine, though it would also reduce opportunities
> for gather the stats we really need to make a sound, non-partisan
> decision to boycott if the stats warrant it.

Turn this around: suppose we do keep the meeting in San Francisco, for
instance, and some number of people cannot get there for whatever
reason, or cannot otherwise function on an equal footing.  Would the
IAOC then be attacked for having ignored the vast number of warnings
that have been signaled?