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IAB Minutes 2018-03-19

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Minutes of the 2018-03-19 IAB Business Meeting, London


  • Jari Arkko
  • Deborah Brungard (IESG Liaison)
  • Alissa Cooper
  • Heather Flanagan (RSE)
  • Ted Hardie (IAB Chair)
  • Joe Hildebrand
  • Lee Howard
  • Christian Huitema
  • Olaf Kolkman (Internet Society)
  • Allison Mankin (IRTF Chair)
  • Gabriel Montenegro
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Administrative Manager)
  • Erik Nordmark
  • Mark Nottingham
  • Karen O’Donoghue (ISOC Liaison)
  • Melinda Shore
  • Jeff Tantsura
  • Martin Thomson
  • Brian Trammell
  • Suzanne Woolf


  • Robert Sparks


  • Joe Hall

1. “The shine has come off the Internet”

Alissa Cooper observed that there are a number of evils being carried out on the Internet, which makes the Internet an easy target to blame. Lee Howard added that one problem is that louder voices get heard by more people. Martin Thomson noted that people can filter what they choose to hear, and so the Internet ends up with silos where people only hear things that reinforce the opinions they already have. Erik Nordmark added that such silos also make it difficult for original voices to be heard.

Olaf Kolkman noted that the Internet Society is trying to help solve some of these issues by bringing multiple stakeholders together. He asked, what can Internet technologists do to protect the fundamental value of the Internet?

Brian Trammell stated that another problem is that there is no system for low justice on the Internet; if a person is scammed by someone in a different country, the cost of resolving small disputes is not worth it.

Ted Hardie said that one of the things that made the Internet powerful was the way it captured network effects; the value of the whole kept going up. When there are very large platforms, the network effect goes up in the large platforms but not in the whole. There is an accretion of attention instead of an accretion of opportunity.

Joe Hall observed that the recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal is a good example of civil society being caught off guard. There was not a technical data breach, but data was being retained that was supposedly not to be kept.

Alissa Cooper stated that decomposing the overall problem is potentially useful. On the attention aspect, one approach could be to say that it is completely separate from the architecture. The situation was created by certain economic conditions, and the way to solve that is not by the technical design of the network but by changing the business models of the companies that work on the attention economy.

Joe Hall replied that he does not think the technical community will be let off the hook so easily; in the United States there are a number of bills in process that will make it almost mandatory to actively monitor content, which has not been done previously because it was too difficult to scale. There are automated moderation tools, but they lead to a lot of false positives, which is a problem.

Christian Huitema and Brian Trammell agreed to draft a description for a Program to explore this problem further.

2. Independent Submissions Stream

The IAB discussed the future of the Independent Submissions Stream. Martin Thomson noted that the stream does not produce many RFCs; those that are published include vendor-specific protocol specifications, protocols that the IETF has abandoned, and a small number of April 1st RFCs.

Martin Thomson asked the IAB to think about what the Independent stream contributes to the RFC Series as a whole and to consider what the best way to provide that would be.

The IAB will continue to discuss this over email and at the upcoming IAB retreat.