[rfc-i] REOC membership

Dave CROCKER dhc at dcrocker.net
Sat Jan 22 11:47:47 PST 2011


On 1/21/2011 12:52 PM, Russ Housley wrote:
>>>> - The IAB should avoid appointing: - current stream approver committee
>>>> members, to allow focus and sufficient time to satisfy the requirements
>>>> of REOC membership, and
>>> I don't see the need for this rule.
> Since the IAB is the appeal body for REOC decisions, there is already a
> built-in way to resolve severe conflict.  Therefore, I do not think we should
> go out of our way to exclude anyone.  We have already had a situation where
> IAOC members have held other I* seats.  No conflict surfaced.  Had there been
> an appeal of anIAOC decision to the other body, that dual-hatted person would
> have to recuse.  Not a big deal.

It's ok to have elected official get money from, and give away influence to, 
special interests, because we have the courts to reverse them and the public can 
vote them out of office.

This, I believe, is a parallel application of your logic.  Really.

By the way, similar logic says that because TCP has checksum and retransmit, we 
never need any link-level reliability mechanisms.

The core flaw here is about efficiency and even competence of the process, where 
enough in-efficiency actually produces unworkable results.

And note that we do not allow an AD to provide oversight for a working group in 
which they are active.

The premise of an appeal chain is that it is exercised rarely.  The effort an 
frankly emotion that are expended for an appeal are substantial.  Also, the 
folks being appealed to have other duties and generally little focus on the 
topic at hand.

In the case of the IAB, we have a sustained demonstration of minimal interest in 
the RFC Editor function.  (That's not sour grapes from me; I am far from the 
only person to make this observation; others include sitting IAB members...)

More generally, it's a poor design that builds in significant flaws.  (duh.)

There are times when "conflict of interest" is a silly rule to apply and in fact 
one should guard against it by welcoming lots of it.  That produces competing 
interests and if they can agree, everything is fine.

This however is a very bad idea for a tight, small oversight group that is 
expected to have intimate involvement in strategic work.

A group like that needs to be reasonably detached from immediate special 
interests.  Each member needs to be able to give fair weight across a topic, 
rather than being so enmeshed in one perspective they can't get broad 
perspective.  So, a group like the REOC needs members who are not actively 
involved in other parts of the RFC Editor management structure.


ps. As for the fact that we already have some "cross-pollination" in existing 
management groups, I'll suggest that rather than treat that as precedent we 
should treat it as poor design.  (And please, folks, do remember that none of 
this is personal; everyone involved is well-intentioned, expert, etc., etc.) 
And by the way, it also makes some of these positions difficult to fill, because 
they consume so much time..

   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking

More information about the rfc-interest mailing list