Re: IAOC requesting input on (potential) meeting cities

Nico Williams <> Tue, 04 April 2017 22:15 UTC

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Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2017 17:10:42 -0500
From: Nico Williams <>
To: Yoav Nir <>
Cc: Jared Mauch <>, IETF <>, JORDI PALET MARTINEZ <>
Subject: Re: IAOC requesting input on (potential) meeting cities
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On Wed, Apr 05, 2017 at 12:11:49AM +0300, Yoav Nir wrote:
> There is not going to be data. There are going to be the results of a
> web questionnaire filled out by a self-selected sample.

When an IETF participant is turned away at some border, or has their
devices inspected, or is presented with demands for their passwords,
they should inform the IETF so that the IETF can count such incidents.

I suppose a participant could be told not to tell, but it's very
difficult to ignore absence.  At the very least it should be possible to
count entry denial events.

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.

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.  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.