Experiment in Long-Term Suspensions From Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Mailing Lists
RFC 4633

Document Type RFC - Experimental (August 2006; No errata)
Was draft-hartman-mailinglist-experiment (individual in gen area)
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream IETF
Formats plain text pdf html
Stream WG state (None)
Consensus Unknown
Document shepherd No shepherd assigned
IESG IESG state RFC 4633 (Experimental)
Telechat date
Responsible AD Brian Carpenter
Send notices to hartmans-ietf@mit.edu
Network Working Group                                         S. Hartman
Request for Comments: 4633                                           MIT
Category: Experimental                                       August 2006

               Experiment in Long-Term Suspensions From
          Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Mailing Lists

Status of This Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
   Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).

Abstract

   Discussion in the community has begun to question whether RFC 3683
   and RFC 3934 provide the appropriate flexibility for managing
   Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) mailing lists.  This document
   is an RFC 3933 experiment designed to allow the community to
   experiment with a broader set of tools for mailing list management
   while trying to determine what the long-term guidelines should be.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................1
   2. Requirements notation ...........................................3
   3. Definition of IETF Mailing List .................................3
   4. The Experiment ..................................................4
   5. How the Experiment May Be Used (Informative) ....................4
   6. Security Considerations .........................................5
   7. Acknowledgements ................................................5
   8. References ......................................................5
      8.1. Normative References .......................................5
      8.2. Informative References .....................................5

1.  Introduction

   As discussed in RFC 3683, the IETF needs to have rules of conduct to
   limit disruptive or abusive behavior while permitting a fair and open
   forum for the discussion of Internet standardization.  The IETF has a
   long and complicated history of rules for managing conduct on its
   mailing lists.

Hartman                       Experimental                      [Page 1]
RFC 4633           Experimental Mailing List Control         August 2006

   RFC 2418 [RFC2418] permitted individuals to be blocked from posting
   to a mailing list: "As a last resort and after explicit warnings, the
   Area Director, with the approval of the IESG, may request that the
   mailing list maintainer block the ability of the offending individual
   to post to the mailing list."  RFC 2418 also allowed other forms of
   mailing list control to be applied with the approval of the area
   director and Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  However,
   RFC 2418 applied only to working group mailing lists.

   The IETF discussion list charter [RFC3005] provides guidelines for
   ietf@ietf.org.  These guidelines provide more flexibility than RFC
   2418.  "The IETF Chair, the IETF Executive Director, or a sergeant-
   at-arms appointed by the Chair is empowered to restrict posting by a
   person, or of a thread, when the content is inappropriate and
   represents a pattern of abuse.  They are encouraged to take into
   account the overall nature of the postings by an individual and
   whether particular postings are an aberration or typical.  Complaints
   regarding their decisions should be referred to the IAB."  In
   particular it appears that these decisions do not follow the normal
   appeals path outlined in RFC 2026 [RFC2026].

   RFC 3683 [RFC3683] provides a procedure for banning named individuals
   from posting to an IETF mailing list for at least one year.  However
   once such a ban is put in place for one mailing list, the individuals
   responsible for other IETF mailing lists can unilaterally remove the
   posting rights of that individual.

   RFC 3934 [RFC3934] amends RFC 2418 and grants the working group chair
   the ability to suspend a member's posting rights for 30 days.
   However, it appears to remove the ability of the AD and IESG to
   approve longer suspensions or alternative procedures: "Other methods
   of mailing list control, including longer suspensions, must be
   carried out in accordance with other IETF-approved procedures."  An
   argument could be made that the amendment was not intended to remove
   the already-approved procedures in RFC 2418, although a perhaps
   stronger argument can be made that the actual textual changes have
   the effect of removing these procedures.

   The IESG has issued a statement on mailing list management [IESGLIST]
   that allows working group mailing lists to be moderated.  Under this
   procedure, specific off-topic postings could be discarded.  However,
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