[rfc-i] draft-iab-rfc-editor-model-v2-02 - policy authority

Olaf Kolkman olaf at NLnetLabs.nl
Thu Jul 7 05:24:49 PDT 2011

Responding to Dave CROCKER, more for context than to engage in debate.

> On 7/1/2011 7:33 AM, RJ Atkinson wrote:
>> With regard to Dave Crocker's note on terminology, I strongly prefer
>> using "Internet community" over "IETF community" (as Olaf's words
>> above already do), because any plain-language reading of the phrase
>> "IETF community" has a meaning that is far too narrow.  The RFC series
>> serves not only the IETF/IESG, and separately also the IRTF/IRSG/IAB,
>> but also the broader Internet research, development, operations,
>> and user communities.  We want to use and retain clear language that
>> keeps the RFC series scope obviously broad.
> This is an important conceptual distinction about the scope of the RFC Series. I think it's definitely justified, in terms of who is being served.
> However as soon as the scope is expanded to be that wide, I don't see a practical way to count that almost-infinite group to have "control" over RFC Series policy decision-making.  By contrast, we have an approximation we use for assessing rough consensus within the IRTF/IETF/IAB community.
> A way to put the choice here:
>   1.  For matters of policy, is the final assessment done by the IAB?  If not, then who?  By final, I mean top of the appeals chain, if there is one.(*)
>   2.  Whoever does that final assessment, is the decision make based on their own preferences or based on their sense of community rough consensus, for some definition of community?
>   3. If they do it on their own, why is community rough consensus not used?

I've been pondering about this a bit.

As for 1, final assessment, that is the IAB.
As for 2, decision based on their own preference or community rough consensus: I'd say it is the IAB that takes responsibility for the final decision (so the decision is _theirs_). However that decision is rooted in the sense of community rough consensus.
Which answers 3.

Anyhow, more to the point. In trying to come up with a more stricter definition of "Internet Community" I came up with the text below. This puts the burden on the RSE to seek input in places where she thinks that is relevant an provide an explanation why those places are selected and other places are not actively reached out to. This is, as part of the recommendation, part of the final decision.

Does that work?


Policy Authority

All decisions are to be made in the overall interest of the Internet community.  The RSE is responsible to identify materially concerned interest groups within the Internet community and reach out to them. Those interest groups naturally include the IETF community, but may also, for example, include the Network research and network operations communities.

The RSE must consult with the community on policy issues.  The RSE works with the community to achieve policy that meets the overall quality, continuity, and evolution goals the RSE is charged with meeting.  As described below in Section 3.1 the RSE reports the results of such interactions, to the RSOC, including a description of the outreach efforts and the specific recommendations on policy.  This enables the RSOC to provide the oversight the IAB is required to apply, as well as to confirm that the Internet community has been properly consulted and considered in making policy.




Olaf M. Kolkman                        NLnet Labs


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