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The Relationship between the IETF and its Trust
draft-eggert-ietf-and-trust-00

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Authors Lars Eggert , Russ Housley
Last updated 2022-10-19
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draft-eggert-ietf-and-trust-00
IETF                                                           L. Eggert
Internet-Draft                                                    NetApp
Intended status: Best Current Practice                        R. Housley
Expires: 22 April 2023                                    Vigil Security
                                                         19 October 2022

            The Relationship between the IETF and its Trust
                     draft-eggert-ietf-and-trust-00

Abstract

   This document describes the expectations the IETF community has on
   the structure and operation of the IETF Trust.

About This Document

   This note is to be removed before publishing as an RFC.

   The latest revision of this draft can be found at
   https://larseggert.github.io/ietf-and-trust/#go.draft-eggert-ietf-
   and-trust.html.  Status information for this document may be found at
   https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-eggert-ietf-and-trust/.

   Discussion of this document takes place on the GENDISPATCH Working
   Group mailing list (mailto:gendispatch@ietf.org), which is archived
   at https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/gendispatch/.  Subscribe
   at https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/gendispatch/.

   Source for this draft and an issue tracker can be found at
   https://github.com/larseggert/ietf-and-trust.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at https://datatracker.ietf.org/drafts/current/.

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 22 April 2023.

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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2022 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (https://trustee.ietf.org/
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Revised BSD License text as
   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Community Expectations about the IETF Trust . . . . . . . . .   3
     2.1.  Relationship of the IETF Trust to the IETF  . . . . . . .   3
     2.2.  Compliance with Foundational Documents  . . . . . . . . .   4
     2.3.  Asset Licensing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     2.4.  Transparency of Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
       2.4.1.  Assets  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
       2.4.2.  Reporting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
       2.4.3.  Community Interactions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.5.  Funding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     2.6.  Accountability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   3.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   5.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Appendix A.  RFCs about the IETF Trust  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Appendix B.  Changelog  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
     B.1.  draft-eggert-ietf-and-trust-00  . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13

1.  Introduction

   The IETF Trust [TRUST] was created on December 15, 2005.  The
   purposes of the Trust is to acquire, hold, maintain and license
   existing and future intellectual property (IPR) and other property
   used in connection with the Internet standards process and the IETF.
   The Second Amended and Restated Trust Agreement [TAV2] is the
   revision of the original founding document currently in effect.

   Various RFCs, summarized in Appendix A, discuss the relationship of
   the Trust to different aspects of the IETF standards process.  This
   document intends to complement these existing documents, capturing

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   the expectations the IETF community has about the structure and
   operation of the Trust.  In addition, this document clarifies the
   relationship between the Trust and the IETF and the applicability of
   BCPs that cover the IETF as a whole, without specific mention of the
   Trust.

      |  The content of this document is written as if the IETF
      |  community had already established consensus on its expectations
      |  for the Trust.  That consensus will obviously still need to be
      |  be estanblished through community discussion and IETF Last
      |  Call.

2.  Community Expectations about the IETF Trust

   The Trust Agreement [TAV2] is the foundational document of the IETF
   Trust, and defines the purpose of the Trust as

      (...) the advancement of education and public interest by
      acquiring, holding, maintaining and licensing certain existing and
      future intellectual property and other property used in connection
      with the Internet standards process and its administration, for
      the advancement of the science and technology associated with the
      Internet and related technology.

   It also defines the powers, rights and obligations of the Trustees
   and the Trust.

   At a minimum, the IETF community expects the Trust to comply with the
   requirements placed upon it by its foundational document [TAV2].

   In addition, the IETF community expects the Trust to operate
   transparently whenever possible, similar to how the IETF itself
   operates.  It is also in the interest of the IETF and the Trust is a
   diverse set of IETF participants is able to volunteer to serve as
   Trustees.  Transparency helps understand IETF participants the Trust,
   and allows them to decide whether they can volunteer.

2.1.  Relationship of the IETF Trust to the IETF

   The IETF community considers the Trust to be a core part of the IETF
   that is critical to the ongoing function of the IETF.

   Consequently, the IETF community expects all RFCs that apply to the
   IETF to apply to the Trust, even if the Trust is not specifically
   referenced.

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   The Trust's administrative procedures [APIT] under point 9 indicate
   that the Trust partly agrees with this community expectation, when it
   comes to licensing:

      The Trust shall be guided by IETF process documents, decisions of
      the IETF leadership, IETF consensus, and any legally binding
      agreements when licensing use of its intellectual property in
      accordance with the Trust Agreement.

   The IETF community, however, expects the Trust to more broadly follow
   IETF consensus and leadership decisions, unless they would conflict
   with the Trust's purpose [TAV2].

2.2.  Compliance with Foundational Documents

   [TAV2] requires the Trust to publish a number of procedures,
   including:

   1.  Procedures for administration of the Trust

       These have been published [APIT] and revised, with some - but not
       all - prior revisions available [OPPD].

   2.  Procedures for reimbursement by Trustees of their fees and
       expenses from the Trust

       [APIT] contains a statement about reimbursements (under point 8),
       but does not describe a procedure.

   3.  Procedures for management of the Trust assets

       No such procedures seem to be published at the time of writing.

   4.  Procedures for conflicts of interest

       These have been published [COIP].

   5.  Standards of conduct

       No such standards of conduct seem to be published at the time of
       writing.

   The IETF community expects the Trust to comply with its founding
   document, and hence expects it to publish the missing procedures.

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   This is especially true for procedures for management of the Trust
   assets, which is the Trust's main responsibility.  (The Trust does
   maintain a lengthy FAQ [FAQ], but that does not take the place of a
   procedural document on management of the Trust assets.)

2.3.  Asset Licensing

   Assets held by the Trust are critically important to the operation of
   the IETF and the broader Internet industry.  The IETF community hence
   expects the Trust to license those assets freely, in a manner that
   preserves its the core rights the assets.

   The Trust Legal Provisions [TLP] have been fulfilling this
   expectation, allowing broad use of the Trust assets both within and
   and outside the IETF standards process.  Code components and other
   materials are available under the Revised BSD License [BSD3CLAUSE] or
   a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license [CCBY40], respectively.

2.4.  Transparency of Operation

   The IETF community expects the Trust to operate transparently
   whenever possible, matching the level of transparency demonstrated by
   other parts of the IETF.

2.4.1.  Assets

   The purpose of the Trust is [TAV2]

      (...) maintaining and licensing certain existing and future
      intellectual property and other property used in connection with
      the Internet standards process (...)

   An up-to-date detailed public asset register is a key requirement to
   fulfill this purpose.  While the Trust website contains an asset
   register [AREG], the information presented there is not detailed and
   likely out-of-date.

   At the time of writing, for example, "IETF contributions" is one type
   of asset mentioned without further detail such as whether a copyright
   was granted for contributions predating [RFC5378].  Another example
   is that no "licenses to others" are being shown after 2015.  A third
   is that the IRTF logo is missing from [TAL], for which the Trust was
   given the copyright in 2012.

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   In order to fulfill its purpose, the IETF community expects the Trust
   to maintain an up-to-date detailed public record on the assets it
   manages, the licenses under which different asset types may be
   licensable, and the license requests it receives and grants.  This
   should as a minimum include:

   *  The current known licensing position of every RFC.

   *  A list of every logo, badge or other graphical asset for which the
      Trust holds the copyright.

   *  A list of every website for which the Trust holds the copyright.

   *  A list of every domain name registered to the Trust.

   *  All other assets that are maintained by the Trust, such as the
      hardware security module holding the keys used to provide IETF
      Secretariat signatures for Internet-Drafts [RFC5485].

   The IPR associated with IANA, which was transferred from ICANN to the
   IETF Trust [IICA], should be included in the detailed record of
   assets above.

2.4.2.  Reporting

   [TAV2] requires

      The Trustees shall report annually to the IETF community
      concerning the activities of the Trust, including grants or
      licenses given by the Trust (...)

   The Trust presents at the IETF plenary to report to the IETF
   community, and its presentations are available as part of the IETF
   proceedings [PM].

   The Trust presents roughly once a year, which while strictly
   conforming to [TAV2] is notably less frequent than the other parts of
   the IETF that report at every plenary.  The Trust should match the
   level of reporting of the other parts of the IETF and present at
   every plenary.

   The Trust also makes information available on its website [TRUST],
   and sends occasional announcements to the IETF community by email
   [ANN].

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   However, its presentations and announcements to the community do not
   include information on grants or licenses given by the Trust, and the
   asset register on its website [AREG] is not suitable, as described in
   Section 2.4.1.

   The Trust publishes financial information [FIN], including annual
   budgets and monthly statements, fulfilling the IETF community
   expectations on financial transparency.

2.4.3.  Community Interactions

   The IETF community expects to be able to have public discussions with
   the Trust and the Trustees.  Many IETF bodies maintain public
   discussion email lists for this purpose, hold "office hour" sessions
   during IETF meetings, or allow questions during their working
   meetings.  The Trust should explore these options to strengthen
   interactions with the community.

   The Trust operates the "tlp-interest" mailing list [TLPINT], which
   was originally created for questions related to the Trust Legal
   Provisions [TLP].  The Trust has since informally indicated that this
   list should be seen as their general public discussion list.
   However, the list is not described or advertised as such on the Trust
   website.

   The Trust holds regular meetings and publishes their minutes [MIN].
   In order to further increase transparency and improve community
   interactions, the Trust should consider announcing the meetings to
   the public, and let observers join and ask questions.

2.5.  Funding

   [TAV2] charges the Trust to

      (...) use reasonable efforts to secure contributions or
      commitments from third parties to contribute or make available
      sufficient funds to or on behalf of the Trust to administer the
      Trust and to maintain the Trust Assets (...)

   Under [RFC8711], the IETF LLC is responsible for raising money on
   behalf of the IETF, specifically to avoid confusion about who is
   responsible for representing the IETF to sponsors.

   The IETF community therefore expects the Trust to direct its
   fundraising solely at the IETF LLC, and conversely expects the IETF
   LLC to fund the operations of the Trust.  Should the IETF Trust need
   to demonstrate a diversity of funding, the IETF LLC is expected to
   manage that.

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2.6.  Accountability

   The Trust consists of five Trustees.  Three are appointed by the IETF
   NomCom, one by the IESG, and one by the Internet Society (ISOC) Board
   of Trustees [RFC8714].  Trustees appointed by the NomCom may be
   recalled per [RFC8713].  Trustees appointed by the IESG or by the
   ISOC Board of Trustees may be recalled by the appointing body.

   Individual decisions or actions by the Trust may also be appealed by
   community members [APP] following the process in [RFC2026], with the
   IAB and the ISOC Board of Trustees as the appeal chain.  The Trust
   documents appeals and responses [APP].

   Additionally, the IETF community as beneficiaries of the Trust, has
   legal standing to take action against the Trust if they believe it is
   not acting in their best interests.

   Together, these mechanisms provide sufficient community
   accountability.

   In the event of the Trust changing its legal structure then these
   three layers of accountability must be maintained.

3.  Security Considerations

   The usual security considerations [RFC3552] do not apply to this
   document.

4.  IANA Considerations

   This document does not request any IANA actions.

5.  Informative References

   [ANN]      "Announcements",
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/about/announcements/>.

   [APIT]     "Administrative Procedures of the IETF Trust", 26 May
              2020, <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/policies-and-
              procedures/administrative-procedures/>.

   [APP]      "Appeals", <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/appeals/>.

   [AREG]     "Asset Register",
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/assets/asset-register/>.

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   [BSD3CLAUSE]
              "The 3-Clause BSD License",
              <https://opensource.org/licenses/BSD-3-Clause>.

   [CCBY40]   Creative Commons, "Attribution 4.0 International — CC BY
              4.0", <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/>.

   [COIP]     "Conflict of Interest Policy", 21 April 2016,
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/policies-and-
              procedures/conflict-of-interest-policy/>.

   [FAQ]      "Frequently Asked Questions",
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/about/faq/>.

   [FIN]      "Financials",
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/about/financials/>.

   [IICA]     "IANA IPR Community Agreement", 30 September 2016,
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/wp-content/uploads/Community-
              Agreement-2016-09-30-Executed.pdf>.

   [MIN]      "Minutes", <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/minutes/>.

   [OPPD]     "Obsolete Policies, Procedures & Drafts",
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/policies-and-
              procedures/obsolete-policies-procedures/>.

   [PM]       "IETF - Past Meetings",
              <https://www.ietf.org/how/meetings/past/>.

   [RFC2026]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, DOI 10.17487/RFC2026, October 1996,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc2026>.

   [RFC3552]  Rescorla, E. and B. Korver, "Guidelines for Writing RFC
              Text on Security Considerations", BCP 72, RFC 3552,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC3552, July 2003,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc3552>.

   [RFC4846]  Klensin, J., Ed. and D. Thaler, Ed., "Independent
              Submissions to the RFC Editor", RFC 4846,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4846, July 2007,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc4846>.

   [RFC5378]  Bradner, S., Ed. and J. Contreras, Ed., "Rights
              Contributors Provide to the IETF Trust", BCP 78, RFC 5378,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5378, November 2008,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5378>.

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   [RFC5485]  Housley, R., "Digital Signatures on Internet-Draft
              Documents", RFC 5485, DOI 10.17487/RFC5485, March 2009,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5485>.

   [RFC5743]  Falk, A., "Definition of an Internet Research Task Force
              (IRTF) Document Stream", RFC 5743, DOI 10.17487/RFC5743,
              December 2009, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5743>.

   [RFC5744]  Braden, R. and J. Halpern, "Procedures for Rights Handling
              in the RFC Independent Submission Stream", RFC 5744,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC5744, December 2009,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5744>.

   [RFC5745]  Malis, A., Ed. and IAB, "Procedures for Rights Handling in
              the RFC IAB Stream", RFC 5745, DOI 10.17487/RFC5745,
              December 2009, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5745>.

   [RFC8090]  Housley, R., "Appointment Procedures for the IETF
              Representatives to the Community Coordination Group
              (CCG)", RFC 8090, DOI 10.17487/RFC8090, February 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8090>.

   [RFC8179]  Bradner, S. and J. Contreras, "Intellectual Property
              Rights in IETF Technology", BCP 79, RFC 8179,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8179, May 2017,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8179>.

   [RFC8711]  Haberman, B., Hall, J., and J. Livingood, "Structure of
              the IETF Administrative Support Activity, Version 2.0",
              BCP 101, RFC 8711, DOI 10.17487/RFC8711, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8711>.

   [RFC8712]  Camarillo, G. and J. Livingood, "The IETF-ISOC
              Relationship", RFC 8712, DOI 10.17487/RFC8712, February
              2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8712>.

   [RFC8713]  Kucherawy, M., Ed., Hinden, R., Ed., and J. Livingood,
              Ed., "IAB, IESG, IETF Trust, and IETF LLC Selection,
              Confirmation, and Recall Process: Operation of the IETF
              Nominating and Recall Committees", BCP 10, RFC 8713,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8713, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8713>.

   [RFC8714]  Arkko, J. and T. Hardie, "Update to the Process for
              Selection of Trustees for the IETF Trust", BCP 101,
              RFC 8714, DOI 10.17487/RFC8714, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8714>.

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   [RFC8715]  Arkko, J., "IETF Administrative Support Activity 2.0:
              Update to the Process for Selection of Trustees for the
              IETF Trust", RFC 8715, DOI 10.17487/RFC8715, February
              2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8715>.

   [RFC8717]  Klensin, J., Ed., "IETF Administrative Support Activity
              2.0: Consolidated Updates to IETF Administrative
              Terminology", BCP 101, RFC 8717, DOI 10.17487/RFC8717,
              February 2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8717>.

   [RFC8721]  Halpern, J., Ed., "Advice to the Trustees of the IETF
              Trust on Rights to Be Granted in IETF Documents",
              RFC 8721, DOI 10.17487/RFC8721, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8721>.

   [RFC8722]  McPherson, D., Ed., Kolkman, O., Ed., Klensin, J., Ed.,
              and G. Huston, Ed., "Defining the Role and Function of
              IETF Protocol Parameter Registry Operators", RFC 8722,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC8722, February 2020,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc8722>.

   [RFC9280]  Saint-Andre, P., Ed., "RFC Editor Model (Version 3)",
              RFC 9280, DOI 10.17487/RFC9280, June 2022,
              <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9280>.

   [RFC9281]  Salz, R., "Entities Involved in the IETF Standards
              Process", BCP 11, RFC 9281, DOI 10.17487/RFC9281, June
              2022, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc9281>.

   [TAL]      "Trademarks and Logos",
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/assets/trademarks-and-logos/>.

   [TAV2]     "Second Amended and Restated Trust Agreement", 6 November
              2018, <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/founding-
              documents/second-amended-trust-agreement-2018/>.

   [TLP]      "Trust Legal Provisions (TLP)", n.d.,
              <https://trustee.ietf.org/documents/trust-legal-
              provisions/>.

   [TLPINT]   "tlp-interest - Discussion of proposed revisions to the
              Trust Legal Provisions", n.d.,
              <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/tlp-interest>.

   [TRUST]    "IETF Trust", <https://trustee.ietf.org/>.

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Appendix A.  RFCs about the IETF Trust

   This section gives a brief overview of the various current RFCs that
   make statements about the Trust.

   *  [RFC9281], aka BCP11, describes the role of the Trust in the
      context of other entities involved in the IETF standards process.

   *  [RFC9280] defines the role of the Trust in Version 3 of the RFC
      Editor Model.

   *  [RFC8722] defines that the Trust holds - on behalf of the IETF -
      any intellectual property rights of IETF protocol parameter
      assignment information, including the registry and its contents,
      and all registry publications.

   *  [RFC8721] describes the desires of the IETF regarding outbound
      rights to be granted in IETF Contributions.

   *  [RFC8714] updates the process for selection of Trustees for the
      IETF Trust under Version 2 of the IETF Administrative Support
      Activity (IASA) [RFC8711]; [RFC8717] updates the related IETF
      terminology.  Together, these three RFCs form BCP101.  [RFC8715]
      captures the rationale for the changes introduced in [RFC8714].

   *  [RFC8713], a part of BCP10, defines the selection, confirmation,
      and recall process of IETF nominating and recall committees,
      including for Trustees.

   *  [RFC8712] describes the IETF-ISOC relationship and reiterates that
      ISOC selects one of the Trustees.

   *  [RFC8179], aka BCP79, sets out the IETF policies concerning IPR
      related to technology worked on within the IETF.

   *  [RFC8090] outlines the procedures by which the IETF makes
      appointments to the Community Coordination Group (CCG), which
      provides advice and guidance to the IETF Trust in matters related
      to the IANA trademarks and the IANA domain names.

   *  [RFC5745], [RFC5744][RFC4846] and [RFC5743] clarify that the Trust
      also manages the copyrights associated with RFCs published on the
      IAB, Independent and IRTF RFC streams.

   *  [RFC5485] that the Trust logically owns the hardware security
      module holding the keys used to provide IETF Secretariat
      signatures for Internet-Drafts.

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   *  [RFC5378], aka BCP78, is the key document that details which
      rights IETF contributors provide to the Trust.

   There are numerous other RFCs that mention the Trust in passing,
   reiterating various aspects of its purpose, process or operation.
   Yet others are older RFCs that have been obsoleted by the ones
   mentioned above.

Appendix B.  Changelog

      |  RFC Editor, please remove this appendix before publication.

B.1.  draft-eggert-ietf-and-trust-00

   Initial submission.

Acknowledgments

   These individuals suggested improvements to this document:

   *  Jay Daley
   *  Glenn Deen

Authors' Addresses

   Lars Eggert
   NetApp
   Stenbergintie 12 B
   FI-02700 Kauniainen
   Finland
   Email: lars@eggert.org
   URI:   https://eggert.org/

   Russ Housley
   Vigil Security, LLC
   516 Dranesville Road
   Herndon, VA,  20170
   United States of America
   Email: housley@vigilsec.com

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