Considering the Users of Internet Standards
draft-nottingham-for-the-users-00

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Network Working Group                                      M. Nottingham
Internet-Draft
Intended status: Best Current Practice                    August 7, 2015
Expires: February 8, 2016

              Considering the Users of Internet Standards
                   draft-nottingham-for-the-users-00

Abstract

   Internet standards serve and are used by a variety of constituencies.
   This document contains guidelines for explicitly identifying those
   constituencies, serving them, and determining how to resolve
   conflicts between their interests, when necessary.

   It also mandates end users as the highest priority constituency for
   Internet standards.

Note to Readers

   The issues list for this draft can be found at
   https://github.com/mnot/I-D/labels/for-the-users .

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 http://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 February 8, 2016.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2015 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

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   (http://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
     1.1.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   2.  The Internet is for End Users . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   3.  Identifying the Constituents of Internet Standards  . . . . .   4
     3.1.  Handling Change in Constituencies . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
     3.2.  Avoiding Unnecessary Constituents . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   6.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     6.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     6.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Appendix A.  Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8

1.  Introduction

   As the Internet has become prevalent in many societies, it has also
   unavoidably become a profoundly political thing; it has helped
   overthrow governments, revolutionize social orders, control
   populations and reveal people's secrets.  It has created wealth for
   some individuals and companies, while destroying others'.

   The IETF is most comfortable making purely technical decisions; our
   process is defined to favor technical merit, and our known bias
   towards "rough consensus and running code" is well suited to this
   area of work.

   Nevertheless, the running code that results from our process (when
   things work well) inevitably has an impact beyond technical
   considerations, because the underlying decisions afford some uses,
   while discouraging others.  Or, in the words of Lawrence Lessig
   [CODELAW]:

      Ours is the age of cyberspace.  It, too, has a regulator... This
      regulator is code -- the software and hardware that make
      cyberspace as it is.  This code, or architecture, sets the terms
      on which life in cyberspace is experienced.  It determines how
      easy it is to protect privacy, or how easy it is to censor speech.

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      It determines whether access to information is general or whether
      information is zoned.  It affects who sees what, or what is
      monitored.  In a host of ways that one cannot begin to see unless
      one begins to understand the nature of this code, the code of
      cyberspace regulates.

   All of this begs the question: Who do we go through the pain of rough
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