Re: [Internetgovtech] Cross community

S Moonesamy <> Thu, 24 July 2014 18:17 UTC

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Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:08:33 -0700
To: John Curran <>
From: S Moonesamy <>
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Cc:, Avri Doria <>
Subject: Re: [Internetgovtech] Cross community
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Hi John,
At 07:16 24-07-2014, John Curran wrote:
>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.

My choice of words was incorrect.  You explained it better in the 
paragraph quoted below.

>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.


The problem is that it is not always clear at the time the decision 
was taken whether the misstep is serious.  In addition, there are a 
handful of people who would bother to raise any objection if 
something is considered as a misstep as:

   (a) The person is not making or losing money because of the decision; or

   (b) The person will be labelled as querulous.

   (c) It is bad for the person's career.

S. Moonesamy