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

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Tue Mar 25 17:22:52 UTC 2014

(cc:s trimmed extensively)

On Tue, Mar 25, 2014 at 06:03:52PM +0100, Jefsey wrote:

> read carefully the first part of RFC 3869 and ask yourself why IAB
> took the time to write it. There are several ways to tamper with
> standards. In research and in details, i.e. in financing
> architectonics and in implementation aspects. This means in fooling
> the IAB before the charter, and in the labs of those who introduce
> RFCs. 

Just to go back to how this thread got kicked off, however, the
original point appeared to be an implication that Comcast's
sponsorship of the IETF meetings was somehow malevolent or otherwise
dodgy.  But nobody has yet posted any evidence, or even as far as I
can see an argument, that sponsoring a meeting has any effect on the
standards and specifications the IETF produces.  Nobody has yet posted
any evidence, or even as far as I can see an argument, that the IETF
standards process is not open the way Stephen and others have been
pointing out.  Finally, and with respect to RFC 3869, there appears to
be a conflation (I can't tell whether it's willful) of "Internet
research" and "Internet standards-making".  The latter may be a result
of the former, but certainly the motivations, goals, and interests in
these two activities differ some.  In this thread, also, several times
people have conflated both of those with Internet governance
structures more generally.

None of that conflation is helpful if our goal is better understanding
or useful future structures.  If people wish to make a general point
about the way standards-making is funded for the Internet, then they
should make that argument quite apart from the discussion of funding
of IETF meetings.  And if someone wants to assert that the way IETF
activities are paid for subverts those standards, I think he or she
needs a better argument than vague hints about evil corporations
paying for everything.  There are certainly advantages and
disadvantages to the IETF approach to all of this, and there's no
doubt that corporations attempt to influence the outcome of various
IETF standards efforts in line with corporate interests.  I think,
however, that several of the disadvantages are carefully offset within
the IETF, both culturally and procedurally, and if someone thinks
otherwise I think the burden of proof is on that individual to present
the evidence.  Waving around RFC 3869 is not such evidence.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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