Re: [Internetgovtech] Cross community

John Curran <> Thu, 24 July 2014 14:16 UTC

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Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:16:17 -0400
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To: S Moonesamy <>
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Subject: Re: [Internetgovtech] Cross community
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On Jul 24, 2014, at 6:31 AM, S Moonesamy <> wrote:

> Hi Avri,
> At 14:46 23-07-2014, Avri Doria wrote:
>> RFC 6761 Special Use Domain Names
>> Allows for protocol that meet certain conditions to reserve TLDs.
> In my opinion there was, at most, rough consensus on that document.  I did not like what the document was proposing as it could be argued in future that it was intruding into the policy side.

You seem to believe that the IETF does not make "policy" for identifiers, 
but in fact, IANA registries are specifically required to have policies 
(see RFC 5226, "Guidelines for Writing an IANA Considerations Section in
RFCs") so that the IANA knows what exactly to do in administration.

Now it is true that these policies are generally technical in nature and 
tend to avoid "public policy" positions, but that is not a hard requirement 
for either IETF protocols or the associated registries.  For example, it 
is possible for the IETF to define a protocol (e.g. an enhancement to DNS) 
whereby the protocol itself has some embedded rules for certain identifiers 
(e.g. the string "curran" shall always return empty set on any query...)  

Thankfully, the IETF doesn't generally engage in such things, and instead 
usually constrains itself to technical constraints on the protocols and 
associated registries; thus the keeping the IETF protocols very popular 
and enabling the success of the Internet that we've all come to enjoy.

It's worth encouraging the IETF to work on predominantly technical issues,
and to delegate the public policy issues that come with general purpose
registries to bodies which are supported by the affected community, but 
at the end of the day, that is nothing more than a polite suggestion to the
IETF, and may or may not be followed.  If the IETF were to make a serious
misstep, then it runs the risk of parties going elsewhere to work on their
protocol standard needs, and that's likely a reasonable deterrent with a 
natural counterbalance.


Disclaimer: my views alone.