The IESG, IAB and IAOC note the recent US executive order concerning entry into the United States and the ongoing discussion of it amongst the IETF community. While nations determine who may cross their borders, we are very concerned that the resulting uncertainty has damaged our ability to host appropriately inclusive meetings and workshops, and may result in increased travel restrictions in other locations going forward. The present uncertainty affects participants traveling to a meeting in the US, or US-based participants returning from a meeting held outside the US. We are also concerned that such actions may unreasonably limit the ability of engineers the world over to take a full part in IETF activities that involve face-to-face meetings.
Our primary means of communication (email) does not suffer from such restrictions, and we have worked to continually improve remote participation for face-to-face meetings. But those who cannot attend face-to-face meetings are at a disadvantage compared to those who can, and the meetings overall are less effective opportunities for high-bandwidth collaboration, cross-pollination of ideas, and focusing on running code. We expect the results to be detrimental to our goal of making the Internet work better.
The IESG, IAB and IAOC are committed to planning our future meetings in locations that do not present an undue risk to our participants and our efforts. Our next meeting in Chicago is going ahead as planned, but we are working now to investigate any ways in which we can mitigate possible disruptions in the near term. Future meetings in the US are being reviewed, as we would normally do when we learn of significant access issues in any of our planned meeting locations.
We encourage the IETF community to raise awareness of travel restrictions that make it difficult to attend our meetings in person. The venue-selection mailing list <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/venue-selection> is available to provide direct input to the IAOC, and the IETF Discussion list is available for other awareness-raising. We also urge IETF participants to contribute to the MTGVENUE working group <https://datatracker.ietf.org/wg/mtgvenue/charter/> that is developing criteria and processes for IETF meeting venue selection.