[discuss] - questions of consent and influence

manning bill bmanning at isi.edu
Fri Feb 21 08:12:01 UTC 2014

Reviewing the history of the gravitas that settled on Jon Postel in his role as IANA, a few things emerged:

1- For nearly two decades, there was tacit agreement by the developer and user community that Jon would act as an ombudsman, in Vint Cerfs words,  “Our Boswell”
To save time, the reference is to James Boswell, 9th Laird of Auchinleck (29 October 1740 – 19 May 1795) was a lawyer, diarist, and author born in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Boswell's surname has passed into the English language as a term (Boswell, Boswellian, Boswellism) for a constant companion and observer, especially one who records those observations in print.  (wikipedia)

In 1987, there was the Lake Arrowhead meeting, <ADVANCED COMPUTER COMMUNICATION WORKSHOP> with the following participants from academia, business, and government:

    Tony Acampora                   AT&T-BTL
    Gordon Bell                     National Science Foundation
    Craig Bender                    O'Dowd Research
    Ken Biba                        Biba Associates
    Dick Binder                     M/A-COM
    Dave Blauvelt                   ITT
    Len Bosack                      cisco
    Hans-Werner Braun               University of Michigan
    Ross W. Callon                  Bolt Beranek and Newman
    Vinton G. Cerf                  NRI
    Greg Chesson                    SGI
    David Cheriton                  Stanford
    Wesley Clark                    CRA
    Danny Cohen                     USC-ISI
    Chase J. Cotton                 Bellcore
    Gary Delp                       University of Delaware
    Deborah Estrin                  USC
    David J. Farber                 University of Delaware
    John G. Fletcher                LLNL
    A.G. (Sandy) Fraser             AT&T-BTL
    Steven N. Goldstein             NASA-HQ/MITRE
    Ken Ingram                      AT&T-BTL
    Richard Johnsson                DEC-SRC
    Robert E. Kahn                  NRI
    Steve J. Lukasik                Northrop
    Jim Mathis                      SRI International
    Dave Mills                      University of Delaware
    Jeffrey C. Mogul                DEC-WRL
    Joel Morrow                     NYNEX
    Brendon O'Dowd                  O'Dowd Research
    Eli Pasternak                   Telestream
    Jon Postel                      USC-ISI
    Larry G. Roberts                Net-Express
    Daniel Sheinbein                AT&T-BTL
    W. D. Sincoskie                 Bellcore
    Dan Swinehart                   Xerox-PARC
    Jonathan Turner                 Washington University
    Dono Van Mierop                 Fibronics

Some of these names/organizations may be familiar, some not so much.  In the Postel archives, there is a document, signed by each of these people, representing their organizations, that they would
respect and abide by the naming and numbering choices arbitrated by Jon.  As far as I can tell, this is the first written agreement of the consent of the governed to abide by the choices made by Jon.
This “tasking” was folded into the Tera Node Technology award from DARPA and then migrated via NSF to oversight by NTIA.

So for me,  two key elements of effective IG must include:

- an ombudsman/boswellian role as documenting the authoritative state of affairs
- consent of the governed.

Its hard to see both of these attributes in the proposals tabled to date.

Neca eos omnes.  Deus suos agnoscet.

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