Re: location, location Rebooked venues

Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com> Wed, 03 June 2020 06:07 UTC

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From: Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com>
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Subject: Re: location, location Rebooked venues
Date: Wed, 3 Jun 2020 08:07:29 +0200
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Cc: The IETF List <ietf@ietf.org>
To: John Levine <johnl@taugh.com>, George Michaelson <ggm@algebras.org>
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Hi John

> On 3 Jun 2020, at 03:45, John Levine <johnl@taugh.com> wrote:
> 
> In article <CAKr6gn1Mu3xTEAnp0tGLRc=Kw+s0gOao4SbP3Hn5KzEM7w__PQ@mail.gmail.com> you write:
>> My only concern is that the ESTA/CBP barriers to entry for IETF
>> participants who have travel issues to the USA remain. We are in
>> effect normalising US foreign policy discrimination against IETF
>> participation F2F
> 
> No matter where we meet, people will have trouble getting there. When
> we met in Montreal, some people had problems getting visas. Canada now
> requires an online document called an eTA which is not accidentally
> similar to the ESTA in the US.
> 
> Hypothetically we might try to meet in Mexico (ICANN has met in
> Cancun) but the international connections to Mexico are much sparser
> than to the US or Canada, and if people have to transit the US to get
> there, now they have two visa problems instead of one.
> 
> Finally, we have no idea what the political climate will be like in
> the US in 2023. Depending on the results of the 2020 and 2022
> elections, getting visas might be more difficult or less difficult
> than it is now and I would not want to hazard a guess which.


Here is what we as a community said about this topic in RFC 8718:

      Every country has limits on who it will permit within its borders.
      However, the IETF seeks to:

      1.  Minimize situations in which onerous entry regulations
          inhibit, discourage, or prevent participants from attending
          meetings; failing that, meeting locations are to be
          distributed such that onerous entry regulations are not always
          experienced by the same attendees;
[…]

And 

   IETF meeting Venues are not selected or declined with the explicit
   purposes of:

   Politics:
      Endorsing or condemning particular countries, political paradigms,
      laws, regulations, or policies.

And under important, but not mandatory criteria:

   *  Travel barriers to entry, including visa requirements, are likely
      to be such that an overwhelming majority of participants who wish
      to do so can attend.  The term "travel barriers" is to be read
      broadly by the IASA in the context of whether a successful meeting
      can be had.


I have no doubt that the secretariat has considered all of the mandatory and important criteria, and this one in particular. There was a lot of uncertainty and chaos at the time that the San Francisco meeting was slated to meet, precisely because of new restrictions added.  While we cannot foresee what additional restrictions would be in place in 2021, the secretariat is able to  gather information on how the current restrictions are impacting other organizations.

Eliot