At 11:23 AM 9/19/2009, Ole Jacobsen wrote:
On Sat, 19 Sep 2009, Yaron Sheffer wrote:
> Hi Ole,
> The IETF is highly ideological. Probably more so than most other SDOs.
> We care deeply about the end to end principle, about net neutrality,
> and (at least in the community I'm a member of) about security. Many
> of our members care a lot about IPR and its effect on open source.
> So why when it comes to free speech, which is clearly related to our
> open way of making standards, we suddenly shy away from taking a
> moral stance and instead resort to budgetary calculations?
> And regarding the survey: most people, myself included, would bend a
> principle or two to go somewhere as interesting and exciting as
> China. But you would get a radically different answer if you asked:
> should the IETF hold a meeting in a country that mandates a non-free
> speech commitment, or should we prefer an alternative where no such
> commitments are required.
You might get a different answer, but it's ultimately up to the
individuals who answer the survey. How would you expect our large and
growing contingent from China to answer that question? Should we ask
about the policies of the United States, France or Germany on a long
range of topics (visa, wars, death penalty...)? Where do we draw the
Actually -- the US is being openly questioned every time a meeting is
held here due to Visa issues. At the plenaries - there are robust,
heated and sometimes emotional debates about this. Could this same
level of debate be had about free speech *during* the China IETF?
If not, then I have a problem with what you're offering as an explanation.
Also, from a free speech country looking out, the topic of free
speech isn't political to most here. From a non-free speech country
looking, I gotta believe it is a political topic. So all of this is
from a certain perspective.
One thing we know we are in the IETF is full of speech, so it would
be taking something away from what we already enjoy (some to the
point of not really wanting to control what we say "because we're at
the IETF where it has always been safe to talk like this"). The idea
that a meeting could get shut down, or a person could go to jail for
doing what we have done for the previous 78 meetings in a row seems
like a stretch to handwave away.
Don't get me wrong, I have every respect for anyone who wants to avoid
going to China for political/moral reasons, and if that collection of
people is large enough to seriously impact our ability to run a
successful meeting then I agree that another location would be better.
[Insert philosophical comment about where most of our electronic
products are produced these days, and maybe a shopping boycott would
be in order too?].
I continue to believe, from personal experience, that we would have a
great meeting and that none of the draconian stipulations in the
contract would even come close to affecting us, but that doesn't
matter if only a handful of people show up! The survey will tell us
something about that, provided we get enough responses.
Ietf mailing list
Ietf mailing list