Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Lorenzo Colitti <lorenzo@google.com> Fri, 27 May 2016 16:24 UTC

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From: Lorenzo Colitti <lorenzo@google.com>
Date: Sat, 28 May 2016 01:14:55 +0900
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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
To: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
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On Sat, May 28, 2016 at 12:34 AM, John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> wrote:

> if we start to make
> decisions about what it is appropriate or not for us to do based
> on what some group of critics might find useful, that is the
> most purely political decision-making of all.
>

I think it's not so much a question of making decisions based on which
group of critics might say what. It's which decisions and statements we
make.

The IETF is a technical organization, and debating technical issues is
within its charter and its expertise. If the IETF makes statements in other
areas, then it will be making statements that are outside its charter and
area of expertise. Due to lack of expertise, those statements are likely to
be less effective than those of other organizations that *are* in their
area of expertise, and if we are unlucky, they could turn out to be poorly
worded or backfire.

But there's another problem, too: because the IETF is a technical
organization that publishes documents, everyone who participates in the
IETF by definition finds it acceptable to make technical statements,
otherwise they wouldn't be IETF participants. That's what they signed up
for. They might not be willing to make statements in other fields, because
that's not what they signed up for. We don't know until we ask them. We
might want to do that before making non-technical statements in the name of
the organization.

Again, this is separate from debates on our internal codes of conduct.
Those are discussions that participants have to have or at least be
affected by, because the organization cannot operate without codes of
conduct.