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Rejoinder to John Curran's response

  • To: "Icg-Forum@Icann. Org" <icg-forum@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Rejoinder to John Curran's response
  • From: "Richard Hill" <rhill@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2015 15:33:36 +0100

I refer to John Curran's response to my message on Process concern regarding
the IETF proposal development process, at:


John cites various parts of RFC 7282, but fails to cite the most pertinent
part of section 3 of that RFC which says that, under the circumstances, "A
valid justification needs to me made". That justification must be provided
by the co-chairs. My fundamental concern is that the required justification
was not provided, so that there is no way to know whether the issues that I
raised were indeed addressed or not.

It is not disputed that a majority of the participants in the discussion
felt that the issues that I raised need not be included in the proposal.
But, as RFC 7282 says, "What can't happen is that the chair bases their
decision solely on hearing a large number of voices simply saying, 'The
objection isn't valid.' That would simply be to take a vote."

Absent the requested justification by the co-chairs, it is not clear whether
the consensus call was based on a majority vote, or whether it was based on
a careful consideration of the isssues.  That is, it is not clear whether
the issues were really "addressed", as opposed to being dismissed because
the majority felt that they should be dismissed.

As RFC 7292 puts the matter: "The chair of a working group who is about to
find that there is only rough consensus is going to have to decide that not
only has the working group taken the    objection seriously, but that it has
fully examined the ramifications of not making a change to accommodate it,
and that the outcome does not constitute a failure to meet the technical
requirements of the work.  In order to do this, the chair will need to have
a good idea of the purpose and architecture of the work being done, perhaps
referring to the charter of the working group or a previously published
requirements document, or even consulting with other experts on the topic,
and then the chair will use their own technical judgement to make sure that
the solution meets those requirements."

One of the issues that arose during the discussions in IETF is that the
majority took the view that, in this context, "technical" refers only to the
actual operation of the IANA function.  Others, such as me, took the view
that "technical" included legal matters, such as the issues that I raised
that are not incorporated in the proposal. Since the co-chairs never
explained their basis for their rough consensus decision, there is no way to
know what definition of "technical" they used and thus no way to know
whether they did consider that the solution met legal requirements.

Therefore, my concerns persist.


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