Notes on networking standards and politics
draft-irtf-hrpc-political-07

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Last updated 2019-09-28
Replaces draft-tenoever-hrpc-political
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Human Rights Protocol Considerations Research Group         N. ten Oever
Internet-Draft                                   University of Amsterdam
Intended status: Informational                        September 28, 2019
Expires: March 31, 2020

               Notes on networking standards and politics
                      draft-irtf-hrpc-political-07

Abstract

   The IETF cannot ordain what standards or protocols are to be used on
   networks, but the standards development process in the IETF does have
   an impact on society through its normative standards setting process.
   This document aims to bring about a better understanding on the
   political nature of standards and protocols.  Among other things, the
   IETF's work affects what is perceived as technologically possible and
   useful where networking technologies are being deployed, and its
   standards reflect what is considered by the technical community to be
   feasible and good practice.  Whereas there might not be agreement
   among the Internet protocol community on the specific political
   nature of the technological development process and its outputs, it
   is generally agreed that standards and protocols are both products of
   a political process, and they can also be used for political means.

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 March 31, 2020.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2019 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

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   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 Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Vocabulary Used . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Research Question . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Technology and Politics: a review of literature and community
       positions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     4.1.  Technology is value neutral . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     4.2.  Some protocols are political sometimes  . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.3.  All protocols are political sometimes . . . . . . . . . .   6
     4.4.  The network of networks has its own logic and values  . .   6
     4.5.  Protocols are inherently political  . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   5.  Discussion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   6.  Conclusion  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   9
   7.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   8.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   9.  Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   10. Research Group Information  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   11. References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     11.1.  Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
     11.2.  URIs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14

1.  Introduction

   "Standards are recipes for reality."

                                  - Lawrence Busch

   "As standards emerge from contested contexts, that
      immediately function as a means of control within the
           political and economic order."

                                  - Andrew L. Russell

   "The Internet isn't value-neutral, and neither is the IETF."

                                  -{{RFC3935}}

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   Recently there has been increased discussion in the IRTF and IETF on
   the relation between Internet protocols and human rights [RFC8280],
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