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Re: I-D ACTION:draft-palet-ietf-meeting-venue-selection-criteria-04.txt

2006-01-22 14:07:45
Hi Barry,

Thanks a lot for your inputs.

I think this point is extremely important and we really need a clear
multi-national position on that, not just from a lot of participants of a
few countries, unless we want to restrict the participation of only
nationals from those countries.

See my reply, below-in line.


De: Barry Leiba <leiba(_at_)watson(_dot_)ibm(_dot_)com>
Responder a: "ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org" <ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org>
Fecha: Fri, 20 Jan 2006 11:30:34 -0500
Para: "ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org" <ietf(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org>
CC: <jordi(_dot_)palet(_at_)consulintel(_dot_)es>
Asunto: Re: I-D 

So, could people please review it for errors and omissions?

My biggest concern is in sections "2.3.  Freedom of Participation"
and "2.5.  Attendance Limitation and Visas", in that I'm not sure
how realistic they are.  Without getting overly into politics (let's
please not), I think they reflect a somewhat naïve view of some of
the political realities.  Specifically...

    Meetings should not be held in countries where some attendees could
    be disallowed entry or where freedom of speech is not guaranteed for
    all participants.

The United States certainly cannot be assumed to allow ALL attendees
entry.  It's well known that we have lists of people we won't allow
in, and lest we think that's limited to the sort of nasty folk who
wouldn't be attending the IETF anyway, I'll point out that a plane
carrying Yusuf Islam -- the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens --
was landed in Maine so that the singer could be removed and sent home
before the plane continued to New York.  Individuals do get on these
lists unreasonably, or by mistake.

It think is fine, of course, don't having as mandatory for a country to
allow to come for an IETF meeting somebody that did something which is
against the law (being a criminal, terrorist or whatever), but not just
because he/she has this or that way of thinking or is national for this or
that country (not to name political, religious, sexual or any kind

IETF is an open institution, which don't care about good or bad political
decisions of countries or institutions; we just care about the way we want
the world to do technology to be interoperable for all.

Consequently, if a country don't allow some of us, some contributors or
people willing to contribute, to attend our meetings, that country is
against our goals, and is not good for IETF and is then not good for hosting
an IETF meeting.

I also understand, and that's the complete feeling behind the document, that
we may have no other alternative that hosting the meeting in such country,
but that may be the consequence of not having a better venue, or having
venues which are even more restrictive for a bigger group of contributors or
possible contributors.

The consequence for the IAD from the reading of this document in this
regards, should be like making sure that if better opportunities are
available, are actually used. If the result is that less meetings are being
hosted in certain countries, that's perfectly fair, because the overall
participation will be wider.

If some contributors don't wish to go to other countries, that's a personal
decision and could show a political view from their side, instead of a real
non-political interest in contributing to the work. And as such that is
against IETF goals of a wider participation; such type of "pressure" for the
IAD to move back to certain countries must never be accepted.

Ignoring the issue of individuals, whole groups may have difficulty.
The US has a list of "restricted countries", which includes Iran and
North Korea, and a longer list of countries to which exports of software
or technology are controlled (this list includes Russia and China,
for example).  There's certainly no guarantee at any time that attendees
from these countries won't have a difficult time getting visas, or might
not be able to get them at all.

I'm not saying either that the meetings should be held on those countries
either, if they don't respect in a reciprocal way, that anyone can attend
the meeting.

There are lot's of other options, and if that means including a dozen of
countries in the world, even if they are big countries, what is the problem

As said, anyway, this is only in case we have no other better choices.

I think the difference is that I'm not saying "MUST not be held". I'm using
a should.

As to freedom of speech:  We could argue about the reality of that
for a while, but even apart from that, our government has made it
clear that it considers those constitutional rights to apply to US
citizens only, and not to foreign nationals who may be visiting.

Well, I didn't knew that, and I'm very sorry and sad to heard it, clearly is
a terrible statement coming for a government, and that's very negative, in
my *very personal* opinion, for the government and the citizens that accept
that, and becomes then evident for me that this country is not a good one
for IETF. May be this is something also happening in my own country and I
didn't knew it, but if that's the case (I doubt it), I don't care and I will
also have the same opinion from my *own* country, is not good and is

If it was my personal decision, I will even make MUST for that specific
case, such as "Meetings MUST NOT be held in countries which don't respect
the freedom of speech for foreigners". :-(

OK, all that said, I don't think the US is a bad country in which to
have IETF meetings.  Which is, really, my point: I think the text
needs to be changed to better express the intent, which is that we
want to avoid countries that are unduly restrictive, without trying
to limit things to utopian -- and non-existent -- lands of complete

As said, I'm not using a MUST, but a SHOULD.

As a consequence if there is a better choice for our meetings, we should opt
for that one. If it means having less meetings in certain countries, that's
perfectly fine and must be that way.

Barry Leiba  (leiba(_at_)watson(_dot_)ibm(_dot_)com)

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