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IAB Minutes 2018-09-26

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Minutes of the 2018-09-26 IAB Teleconference (Tech Chat & Business Meeting)

1. Administrivia

1.1. Attendance

  • Deborah Brungard (IESG Liaison)
  • Alissa Cooper (IETF Chair)
  • Ted Hardie (IAB Chair)
  • Christian Huitema
  • Allison Mankin (IRTF Chair)
  • Gabriel Montenegro
  • Cindy Morgan (IAB Executive Administrative Manager)
  • Erik Nordmark
  • Mark Nottingham
  • Melinda Shore
  • Robert Sparks
  • Jeff Tantsura
  • Brian Trammell
  • Amy Vezza (Secretariat)
  • Jari Arkko
  • Karen O’Donoghue (ISOC Liaison)
  • Martin Thomson
  • Suzanne Woolf
  • Alastair Berg

1.2. Agenda bash

Ted Hardie added an item on IDNA Tables and Unicode 11 to the agenda.

2. Tech Chat: Identity as input to exchange

Alastair Berg, a researcher in the Blockchain Innovation Hub at RMIT University, joined the IAB to talk about identity as input to exchange.

Alastair Berg said that identity is involved in even the most simple transactions; there are questions of who one is transacting with, and how to verify that someone is who they say they are. Any kind of promise requires some level of assurance to the counter-party. Entities like banks need to verify the identities of customers with whom they have existing relationships, while governments need to identify citizens for things like voting and taxation. Identity facilitates exchange in both the economic and political realms.

There is a tension between an individual’s desire to maintain multiple identities to use in different contexts and a government’s desire that a person have only one stable identity. Brian Trammell observed that there are non-government entities that are incentivized to act like states in that way, and cited Facebook as an example. Alastair Berg agreed; a user with two Facebook accounts is less valuable to Facebook because they will not be able to deliver advertising as effectively.

One possible future is the digitization of everything linked to a single uniform identity. There are privacy and data protection concerns about such a system.

A second possible model is one of self-sovereignty where users grant permission and control based on context. This might have impacts on the functions of states and large Internet institutions.

Ted Hardie asked if there was something about ledgers that make them particularly suited for a distributed data structure like blockchain. Alastair Berg replied that the interest in the technology came about from the increased interest in cryptocurrency after the global financial crisis in 2008.

Brian Trammell asked who is incentivized to bring about self-sovereign identity. Alastair Berg replied that that he sees the emergence of self-sovereign identity as a pushback against the actions of entities like Facebook and Google as well as governments.

Alissa Cooper asked whether the governance of some blockchains can be characterized as decentralized, when in several cases it has only been a very small group of people who control the parameters. The thing put out into the world is decentralized, but the core is not. Alastair Berg replied that there are two aspects to blockchain governance: 1) constitutional design (e.g. how to the protocol works, what consensus mechanisms are used), and 2) how to upgrade a system once it is out in the world. There is currently no accepted metric to measure the decentralization of a blockchain protocol

Christian Huitema noted that multiple identities don’t work because it is too easy to build up the reputation of an identity, use that trust to swindle people, and then close down the identity. Alastair Berg said that the other side of that is that it is nearly impossible to commit exchanges if you lack identity attributes. Ted Hardie added that while that may be true for economic exchanges, that is not always the case for exchanges of ideas. You can email someone who does not know who you are. When there is a system in place where the buildup of trust is slow and it is easy to mint a new identity, you get trolling.

3. Future Tech Plenaries

Melinda Shore reported that the Plenary Planning Program met last week and reviewed the current plenary topics queue. Several items were moved out of the active queue.

Melinda Shore reported that the Plenary Planning Program has suffered for a lack of energy, and discussed expanding the Program’s membership. Brian Trammell asked the IAB for suggestions on possible new people to invite to the Program.

Mark Nottingham noted that the difference in time zones between the current Program members makes it difficult for some members to participate in the conference calls, and suggested looking for ways that the Program can work asynchronously via email or GitHub. Brian Trammell agreed that that was a good idea.

There will not be a technical topic during the plenary at IETF 103.

4. Meeting Minutes

The minutes of the 2018-09-12 business meeting remain under review. Cindy Morgan will send out an e-vote to approve the minutes.

5. Action Item Review

The internal action item list was reviewed.

6. ESCAPE Workshop

Mark Nottingham reported that conversations with the W3C TAG on the proposed ESCAPE Workshop are still in progress.

7. Public IAB Teleconferences

The IAB reviewed the proposal for meeting agendas that could be split into public and confidential sections.

The IAB did not reach a conclusion because there was not quorum present on the call during the discussion. Ted Hardie will send out an e-vote on whether to make the 2018-10-03 IAB meeting public, or to use the 2018-10-03 meeting as a dress rehearsal for a public meeting.

8. IDNA Tables and Unicode 11

Ted Hardie reported that a new version of draft-faltstrom-unicode11 has been posted that includes an IANA Considerations section that asks IANA to update the registry of derived property values after validation with the Appointed Expert that the derived property values are calculated correctly.

Ted Hardie, Gabriel Montenegro, Erik Nordmark, and Suzanne Woolf will review draft-faltstrom-unicode11-02 and provide comments on the art-discuss list.