[discuss] Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Mar 23 01:23:07 UTC 2014

David, Stephen, Lee,

You are all looking on these as internal geek processes, which as I said, no
one could/should care much about and good luck with the chocolate chips...

But  what is being promoted is that these are/are meant to become highly
significant public policy processes and there, (presumably) rather different
standards (are meant to) prevail.  

Not sure what the situation is in the US but in Canada now, buying a public
official lunch is a questionable activity--sponsoring a tranche of lunches
as part of a significant public policy process without providing the
applicable back-up paperwork etc.etc. presumably is a major (and
indictable?) no no...

I personally have no idea whether what you folks and your compadres do/come
up with is as pure as todays snowfall up on Grouse Mountain--or not. But the
absence of a recognition of what is expected of you in terms of (at least
formal) accountability and transparency and what those expectations imply
is, as I said to John, I think a rather significant problem.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Farrell [mailto:stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie] 
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014 5:57 PM
To: David Conrad; michael gurstein
Cc: 1Net List
Subject: Re: [discuss] Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

Hash: SHA1

One clarification...

On 03/23/2014 12:22 AM, David Conrad wrote:
> The question of whether or not members of "the Board" can influence 
> those standards is slightly different. Again, over-simplifying a lot, 
> IETF standards must be approved by the IESG which is made up of the 
> Area Directors. For sake of argument, one could posit a scenario where 
> an evil company could capture some or all of the IESG (challenging as 
> it would require compromising the Nomcom process or buying off AD 
> members).

Buying off would be required, since for the IESG, nomcom generally limit one
organisation to 2 ADs. There are exceptions when there are 3 IESG members
from the same orgnaisation. There are 15 area directors who currently make
up the IESG.

For Michael's benefit: all the nomcom details can be found, as usual, in
RFCs, with some surrounding text at [1]. Not enthralling reading to be sure,
but if you do read those RFCs you'll get a good feel for that part of the
IETF. And recall that all those RFCs have been through the usual IETF
consensus process.

> However the only impact this would have in standards setting would be 
> to delay/block the publication of a document as an RFC. In most cases, 
> this would be unlikely to impact the setting of standards since folks 
> interested in the standard would probably just go an implement the 
> Internet Draft (the pre-RFC document) produced by the working group. 
> The blockage would also be public and obvious. It is also unrelated to 
> sponsorship.

Well, an AD can also propose a new WG on a topic but needs to get the rest
of the IESG to agree. There are bits and pieces of AD influence that are not
solely related to delaying stuff.
But the steering part of being an AD requires people who want to be steered,
an AD can't really push against the tide.

> As Stephen said, "you're barking up the wrong tree."

Very much so.


[]1 https://www.ietf.org/nomcom/
Version: GnuPG v1.4.14 (GNU/Linux)


More information about the discuss mailing list