[discuss] Why oversight? (was Re: Opportunity for input on the development process forIANAoversight transition plan)

Stephen Farrell stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie
Wed Apr 2 11:54:09 UTC 2014

There's a lot in parminder's mail that's outside my area
of expertise and with which I might or might not (dis)agree,
but just one comment on one word...

On 04/02/2014 11:58 AM, parminder wrote:
> I read mails here, for instance one from Stephan Farell, on 31st March,
> that IETF is *not* meant to take into account public policy concerns in
> any systematic way. IETF and other such technical processes are not
> developed to understand political equality, representation, democratic
> legitimacy, and such things. They are based on very different kinds of
> principles which may well be best for their delegated technical functions.

"Delegated" isn't right there IMO. AFAIK people participate in the
IETF because they and (for most) their current sponsors want that
to happen. And the IETF is relevant because it does a good job so
many many more people than actively participate choose to use its

That's maybe just nit-picking on a single word that wasn't meant in
that way, (I'm not sure) but I don't know of any entity that tells
the IETF that we are now allowed to e.g. address routing protocol
security and I don't think there ought be any such entity.

It would be a bit weird if the IETF decide to write RFCs about
fish farming and I don't lose sleep worrying that that'll happen
but if a bunch of fish farmers turned up on a mailing list then
they'd be listened to at least to the point where the IETF
determined if there's some work relevant to the IETF with a
reasonable probability of success and that some other body
isn't a better place for such work to happen. (And I know folks
who have worked on how to layer IP and RFC5050 on top of
underwater acoustic modem based networks so something along
those lines could happen:-)


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