[discuss] [governance] RE: FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Mar 23 08:39:11 UTC 2014

On Sunday 23 March 2014 12:22 PM, John Curran wrote:
> On Mar 23, 2014, at 1:47 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net 
> <mailto:parminder at itforchange.net>> wrote:
>> No, not normal. especially if a particular standards body (1) makes 
>> decisions that are very crucial to public interest, and (2) have no 
>> 'public' oversight mechanism which itself could be ensured to be 
>> fully independent of private funding..... And IETF qualifies by both 
>> criteria.
> Parminder -
>    Could you elaborate on the first point?  I'm at a loss how the IETF 
> makes
>    public policy decisions,

I said IETF makes decisions that are very crucial to public interest.  
Are you denying this fact. (I never said it made public policy decisions).

> except in the rare cases where there is a protocol
>    tradeoff which effectively embeds a particular public policy norm 
> into its
>    operation (and these are quite rare)

The opposite is true. It is a relatively rare technical decision that 
does not incorporate a public policy norm.
>    For example, the IETF folks (collectively) recognize that there is 
> a norm
>    with regards to personally identifiable information being used in 
> protocols,
>    and hence makes efforts to include an encryption option for those who
>    desire.
>    Given that the IETF protocols are voluntarily used, could explain how
>    "crucial to public interest" decisions happen?

I dont see how they are *not* crucial to public interest - and what has 
the somewhat fictional volutariness of IETF protocols to do with this fact.

>   Aren't governments
>    supposed to engage in laws/rulemaking when there are issues that
>    are crucial to public interest?

Yes, they are. Although many issues of crucial public interest but of 
relatively technical or managerial nature can get delegated, but with 
effective political oversight.

> Thanks!
> /John
> Disclaimer: My views alone.

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