GENDISPATCH Virtual Meeting @IETF-112

Monday 8 November 2021 16:00-18:00 UTC


Status and Agenda Bash - Chairs (10 min)

RFC Series Responsibility Change (15 min)

Presenter: Eliot Lear
(Eliot presenting for Brian Rosen)
WGLC for an IAB program to look at RFC Series Updates. Forming a new group called the RSWG, with an appeals chain - the RSWG will make policy proposals and the RSAB will approve the proposals. The responsibility shifts from the IAB to this new organisation (that’s what is proposed). RFC2026 therefore needs an update to reflect this change.

Suggestion is to dispatch this to AD sponsored (perhaps Lars) and link to model document for approval.

Several +1 supports in the jabber chat, but otherwise indifference. Lars willing to take it on.

RFC2028-bis (Entities Involved in the IETF Standards Process) (25 min)

Presenter: Rich Salz

Proposed updates to 2028 - Added typical workflow individuals, LLC and IETF Trust, and some other wordsmithing. Already gotten some feedback. Still need to add acks, changes section, updates for RFC Editor Futures.

Several in favor of AD sponsored. Lars willing to do so. Outcome is AD-sponsored by Lars.

Term Limits (Gap Year) for IETF Leadership Positions & NomCom Discussion (25 min)

Presenter: Rich Salz

(Barry Leiba presenting)
Eliot Lear: I’m asking about unintended consequences of these limits. We don’t have an abundance of good candidates, except for the IAB. I don’t want this to adversely impact who we have applying. It takes a special kind of person to be a Sec AD and they are rare, so let’s be careful about tweaking the rules. Eliot suggests a BoF for dispatch.
Barry: My proposal doesn’t specify hard limits, but the NomCom needs to do what it needs to do - but should explain to the confirming body and community why they have taken an alternative route.
Eliot: I’m OK with that direction, but the language has to be couched gently.
Cullen: Let’s focus on IESG, that’s where the hard problem is. A BoF is a reasonable suggestion, to resolve the problem rather than to form a WG. People saying “NomCom doesn’t have enough choices” is because we aren’t growing new talent enough. We should try a two-term limit - very reasonable for IESG, should improve choices.
Robert Sparks: this is not a set of guidance for NomCom, it’s discussion of the mechanics for change. The thing to do is to change what isn’t working. Each NomCom can see how much the community cares about the repeat assignments to these positions. I can’t see any other outcome than a BoF.
Andrew Alston (Jabber): supports a BoF.
Lucy Lynch: we need to reopen the NomCom document. Since Suresh, there have been a long set of changes that need to happen just for race conditions, like IAB to IESG transfers, what happened when people were made chairs and need addressing anyway. I might suggest a WG to reopen this document would incorporate some of this discussion. Pete clarifies: A BoF for a NomCom WG with this as one item? Lucy: Yes, it’s overdue.
John Klensin: I think we should be changing things because the current situation isn’t good. We have limited options for choosing people.
Samuel Weiler: NomCom shouldn’t have to explain anything to the community. I agree elsewhere that this should be a BoF, or perhaps two to manage pipeline and wider NomCom issues.
Don Eastlake: Opposed to hard term limits.
Andrew Campling: Term limits is addressing a symptom, not the cause. Some chat on Jabber about sucking bad people into the vacuum this term limits stuff will create, which doesn’t fix the problem unless we have better pipeline development down the line.
Andrew Alston: Giving guidance to the nomcom means they have something to work with, rather than hard rules.
Resnick - I’m hearing that no one is objecting to things that need to be done - addressing broken process points. Perhaps the BoF can say they’ll focus on it. Pipeline is a bigger bof topic.
Mirja Kuhlewind and Colin Perkins in Jabber say the problem isn’t clear, i.e. “+1 is the problem term limits or encouraging new talent?”
Barry: Have a BoF for a WG on talent pipeline management, and have term limits as part of that.
(Jabber, Lucy Lynch): The new talent problem is coupled with the employer support problem which is tied to our value proposition
Toerless - I like to see how well people are doing reviews. It’s a big part of the job. Hard to see how people are doing reviews - better tooling needed.
Lars: options range from BoF to WG, as the AD for the area I’d like to know the problem.
Resnick - I’m hearing that there are two things here: Get the “no-brainers list” drawn up to try chartering a WG on term limits, and separately have a BoF on the term-limit / pipeline talent management issue.

Antitrust Guidelines for IETF Participants (25 min)

Presenter: Joel Halpern
Guidelines (not rules) that get merged into the Note Well, therefore suggested a BCP. The goal is to protect participants, others in the room, and the IETF from anti-trust issues. Question on whether we need this at all: Joel believes there is, because people’s affiliations matter, the “individual participation” notwithstanding. Goals: Reference by Note Well, agree to discuss this document (name venue), and then dispatch it.
John: Agree that this needs to be dealt with. This “individual participation” idea might not be reality.
Joel reviewed changes that got us to the current draft. Notes parts of section 5 that need additional work.
It is important for this to be a community decision. Suggest that this needs community discussion and therefore AD-sponsored is not a good idea. A WG is a reasonable (though odd for such a single topic), but we need some sort of venue.

Eliot: My legal people reviewed it and said it was “motherhood and apple pie”. I expect that we can come to something in a discussion venue and then any lawyers can come help with specific language. Setting this up as a mini-working group (as we have done in ART) with mostly (or only) remote work would be a good plan.

Mark Nottingham: When SDOs publish anti-trust documents, it’s to protect the SDO. Couching this advice to the participants - we don’t have the expertise and then there are the various jurisdictions. This sounds somewhat US-jurisdiction specific, but is largely currently very “motherhood and apple pie” (as Eliot said), and getting more specific by opening it up to a WG will not be useful. Needs to be AD sponsored. Joel responded by saying we were attempting to only include broad principles.

Phil Hallam-Baker: Prefer AD-sponsored. Employees of companies are getting (or will get) anti-trust training. A reminder to follow these is a good thing.

Andrew Alston: Needs more community input than just AD-sponsored. Should have a very wide forum, and have people bring in lawyers to help. We need the document to have wide input. Focused WG please.

Brad Biddle: As counsel to IETF, comfortable with a simple policy that says “We abide by anti-trust law”, but understands that people want more guidance. A policy is only a piece of what the US DOJ wants; they want a compliance program. It should be easy to find something that works across jurisdictions.

Toerless: It’s unclear whether we can get away with one document. We need guidelines for participants, but we may also want info on what protects the IETF. We may need wider discussion from lawyers as part of the quorum.

Pete Resnick (from the floor): we discussed this in a bof about 10 years ago. We are not making policies, or are we? It’s an inappropriate for BCP if it’s not producing policies. I ask: is a policy required? And if so, will it be for participants or protecting the organisation?
Brad responds: I think about it a lot through the DoJ document filter. This is about investigating a company being investigated on anti-trust grounds and they need to point to that policy.
Pete: “MUST comply” vs “is expected to comply”. Is it sufficient to protect the org to say “is expected to”?
Brad - nuanced question, “are expected to” is sufficient.
Jay Daley (jabber): Protecting the org and protecting the participants cannot be neatly separated as some seem to believe. This version has no MUSTs in it.

Resnick - people are talking about bringing their own lawyers. But this sounds like a bad idea. We as the IETF want to cover our liability.

Brad - we have fiduciary duty the LLC and bodies under it, but I’m not as troubled by having other lawyers participate as you are. They can provide input, but … we can manage that risk.

Resnick - continue with a Bof, straight to WG is a mistake, whether its guidelines or policy. People are waffling on it.

Alissa: Agree with Toerless that separating out the “protect the IETF” (if such a thing is needed) and the “guidance to partipants”. In any event, people need to talk to their own lawyers if they need legal advice. The IETF can’t give that advice. At the last bof, people thought there needed to be more training. Brad could put together some slides, explaining the landscape. Education campaign is more appropriate.

Colin: Need to think about interactions with other parts of the organization that are not standards-creating (e.g., IRTF). The current draft may be too narrow.

Wendy: Feel free to borrow from the W3C Antitrust policy: The W3C doesn’t have consensus to say more than what we have. The SDO counsel is not your counsel.

Richard Barnes: As Alissa said, set this up the same way LLC policies are developed. Definitely should communicate with other lawyers, so disagree with Pete. There is no RFC to create here: Just an LLC policy and a possibly an education program.

Kirsty in Jabber: I’m hearing support for clarifying the problem and splitting it into two: 1) a shorter, simpler, W3C-like effort to protect the IETF (taken on by IETF LLC and AD sponsored, and put out for comment) and 2) a larger effort, education piece for participants, that might need more community discussion/engagement.

Joel: We definitely want guidelines, not policy or rules. As for IRTF, we don’t want the IETF to define the rules there. Also, the idea of an LLC policy that would constrain IETF participants would be a charter violation for the LLC.

Jay Daley: Splitting “protecting the org” and “protecting participants” isn’t really possible. And the LLC making the policy is not really possible given that it will .

Lars - do something minimal here to protect the organization. I’m nervous about starting a WG, it could get out of hand. gendispatch can be the venue.

AOB/Flextime (10 min)

Conclusion/Summary – chairs (10 min)

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