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IAB Minutes 2017-11-12

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Minutes of the 2017-11-12 IAB Business Meeting, Singapore


  • Jari Arkko
  • Alissa Cooper
  • Mat Ford (ISOC Liaison)
  • Ted Hardie (IAB Chair)
  • Joe Hildebrand
  • Lee Howard
  • Allison Mankin (IRTF Chair)
  • Gabriel Montenegro
  • Kathleen Moriarty (IESG Liaison)
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Administrative Manager)
  • Erik Nordmark
  • Mark Nottingham
  • Jeff Tantsura
  • Brian Trammell
  • Martin Thomson
  • Suzanne Woolf


  • Robert Sparks


  • Olaf Kolkman
  • Konstantinos Komaitis

1. Global Internet Report for 2017

Konstantinos Komaitis gave an overview of the Internet Society’s 2017 Global Internet Report <>. The report was intended to answer the question, “How do we ensure the continued development of an Internet at the service of all people?”

The report identified six drivers of change, the key forces that will have a profound impact on the future of the Internet in the years to come:

  1. The Role of Government
    • The role of governments in the Internet will grow
    • Policies and structures will be ill-equipped to keep pace
    • Roles and responsibilities will continue to blur
  2. Networks, Standards, and Interoperability
    • The Internet of Things will create challenges for the general purpose Internet
    • Open standards development will need to evolve
    • The nature of transit will change
  3. The Internet and the Physical World
    • Convergence will fundamentally change what it means to be online
    • Security of connected devices must be addressed
    • IoT could undermine privacy and deepen surveillance
  4. The Internet Economy
    • We are on the verge of a technological paradigm shift
    • Successful anticipation of this paradigm shift will drive innovation and entrepreneurship
    • Governments will be ill-equipped to respond
  5. Cyber Threats
    • Risk that online freedoms and global connectivity will take a back seat to national security
    • Need for new accountability, incentive and liability models
    • The Internet of Things will create new security challenges
  6. Artificial Intelligence
    • Significant impact on the convergence between the digital and the physical world
    • Ethical considerations must be prioritized
    • There is a high risk that the benefits will be unevenly distributed

The report also identified three areas of impact, the critical features related to the future Internet, upon which the Drivers will have a decisive impact:

  1. Digital Divides
    • A new security divide will materialize
    • Many nations may be left behind in the evolution of AI an IOT
    • Consolidation of networks and platforms will limit new opportunities
  2. Person Freedoms and Rights
    • AI and IoT will increase the potential for a “surveillance society”
    • Government measures may increasingly undermine personal rights and freedoms
    • Users will lose trust in the Internet due to cyber threats
  3. Media and Society
    • Automation-driven changes will cause considerable anxiety about the future of work
    • Rising concerns about fake news and disinformation
    • Roles and responsibilities will continue to blur

The report made ten recommendations for the future of the Internet:

  1. Human values must drive technical development and use
  2. Apply human rights online as well as offline
  3. Put users’ interests first with respect to their own data
  4. Act now to close digital divides
  5. Make the internet economy work for everyone
  6. Take a collaborative approach to security
  7. Increase accountability for data handlers
  8. Build strong, secure, and resilient networks
  9. Address the need for online social norms
  10. Empower people to share their own future.

Konstantinos Komaitis asked what the role of the Internet Society and the IAB should be in the future of the Internet. The IAB agreed to discuss this further offline and come up with a response.

2. Future Technical Plenaries

The IAB discussed potential future plenary topics. The Plenary Planning Program is working to put together a plenary on “Access for All” at IETF 101. The IAB also discussed several potential plenaries around privacy issues.

3. Human Rights Considerations

The IAB discussed human rights considerations in IETF protocols. Mark Nottingham noted that there are several IETF working groups that are now having to make decisions about the priorities and rights of users versus network operators. Currently, these issues are taken on a case-by-case basis. Mark proposed some straw man goals:

  • Acknowledge where our actions have human rights impact; assure that input to them is appropriately considered.
  • Avoid expanding our (attempted) influence beyond our area of competence — Internet engineering.
  • Guide decisions by WGs, Chairs, ADs.
  • Create clear expectations about the IETF’s role.

Alissa Cooper observed that this topic relates to the tensions between the network and the end point. Martin Thomson replied that in some of the discussions, using the end point is a dangerous obfuscation.

Mark Nottingham outlined several possible next steps:

  1. Do Nothing
    • Continue to handle on a case-by-case basis; rely on the culture/participants to Do The Right Thing
    • Upside: No effort
    • Downsides: Confusion about IETF’s stance/role; puts burden on
      decision makers; inefficient
  2. Make a High-Level Statement
    • How we make decisions when human rights concerns come up; priority/scope of what we consider
    • Upsides: establishes and signals intent; can be used to guide contentious decisions; clarifies IETF decision-making criteria
    • Downsides: doesn’t help in details of application; may not be terribly effective in specific situations; may be misinterpreted or over-applied
  3. Provide Detailed Guidance
    • RFCs describing technical principles that also happen to meet some human rights goals
    • Upsides: more likely to be specifically applicable; bigger impact if we get it right
    • Downsides: high effort; requires deep insights about both human rights and protocol design; many human rights are difficult to relate to the Internet
  4. Provide Support Functions
    • E.g., Human Rights Review Directorate
    • Upsides: Gives human rights-focused people a destination in the IETF; gives them a visible way to justify their work; assures more consistent review/input
    • Downsides: Non-WG participants may have trouble giving meaningful feedback; creates moral hazard where human rights considerations are brought to us more, not less

Ted Hardie noted that one of the IAB’s chartered work items is to review BOF proposals, and suggested that human rights impacts could be considered when reviewing the proposals. The Human Rights Protocol Considerations Research Group could take their current list of considerations for documents and refactor that for potential charters.

Mark Nottingham noted that some of these ideas are alluded to in draft-nottingham-for-the-users, and that he would like some direction from the IAB on that document.

4. RSE report

The IAB agreed to accept the RSE’s report to the IETF community for IETF 100 in lieu of the RSE report for November.