Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts
RFC 4041

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Network Working Group                                          A. Farrel
Request for Comments: 4041                            Old Dog Consulting
Category: Informational                                     1 April 2005

       Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).


   It has often been the case that morality has not been given proper
   consideration in the design and specification of protocols produced
   within the Routing Area.  This has led to a decline in the moral
   values within the Internet and attempts to retrofit a suitable moral
   code to implemented and deployed protocols has been shown to be

   This document specifies a requirement for all new Routing Area
   Internet-Drafts to include a "Morality Considerations" section, and
   gives guidance on what that section should contain.

1.  Introduction

   It is well accepted by popular opinion and other reliable metrics
   that moral values are declining and that degeneracy is increasing.
   Young people are particularly at risk from the rising depravity in
   society and much of the blame can be squarely placed at the door of
   the Internet.  If you do not feel safe on the streets at night, what
   do you think it is like on the Information Superhighway?

   When new protocols or protocol extensions are developed within the
   Routing Area, it is often the case that not enough consideration is
   given to the impact of the protocol on the moral fiber of the
   Internet.  The result is that moral consequences are only understood
   once the protocols have been implemented, and sometimes not until
   after they have been deployed.

Farrel                       Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 4041         Routing Morality Section Requirements      1 April 2005

   The resultant attempts to restore appropriate behavior and purge the
   community of improper activities are not always easy or
   architecturally pleasant.  Further, it is possible that certain
   protocol designs make morality particularly hard to achieve.

   Recognising that moral issues are fundamental to the utility and
   success of protocols designed within the IETF, and that simply making
   a wishy-washy liberal-minded statement does not necessarily provide
   adequate guarantees of a correct and proper outcome for society, this
   document defines requirements for the inclusion of Morality
   Considerations sections in all Internet-Drafts produced within the
   Routing Area.  Meeting these requirements will ensure that proper
   consideration is given to moral issues at all stages of the protocol
   development process, from Requirements and Architecture, through
   Specification and Applicability.

   The remainder of this document describes the necessary subsections of
   the Morality Considerations sections, and gives guidance about what
   information should be contained in those subsections.

1.1.  Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

   The key words "SHALT", "SHALT NOT", "SMITE", and "PILLAR OF SALT" in
   this document are to be interpreted as expected.

2.  Presence and Placement of Morality Considerations Sections

2.1.  Null Morality Considerations Sections

   It may be the case that the authors of Internet-Drafts have no or few
   morals.  This does not relieve them of their duty to understand the
   consequences of their actions.

   The more likely an author is to say that a null Morality
   Considerations section is acceptable, the more pressure must be
   exerted on him by the Area and the appropriate Working Group to
   ensure that he gives full consideration to his actions, and reflects
   long and hard on the consequences of his writing and the value of his

   On the other hand, some authors are well known to have the highest
   moral pedigree: a fact that is plainly obvious from the company they
   keep, the Working Groups they attend, and their eligibility for
   NomCom.  It is clearly unnecessary for such esteemed persons to waste

Farrel                       Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 4041         Routing Morality Section Requirements      1 April 2005
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