[Internal-cg] Early draft for a charter

Daniel Karrenberg daniel.karrenberg at ripe.net
Wed Jul 16 15:24:58 UTC 2014

[sorry this has become very long. i just want some things to be on
record. decide yourself whether it is interesting and helpful enough for


I am well aware of the effect that you call "veto power" in consensus
processes.  I have experienced my share of what you call
"obstructionism" too. That's just something we have to deal with. It all
depends on the definition of consensus. See my pragmatic definition of
"consensus" in this thread and we can discuss this further.

Now about being responsible: look at it from the perspective of those
IANA customers that do have robust and credible processes and who can
indeed come to consensus within a reasonable time. Should their fate
indefinitely be subject to "veto power" from those that cannot come to
consensus? They will likely say: "Of course not!"

I would consider it irresponsible of these communities to allow
themselves to be taken hostage by those communities that will not
deliver.The responsible course of action for them is to try hard to get
as broad a consensus as can practically be achieved. But once it becomes
clear that this is not happening within a reasonable time, they will
have no choice but to document this and to propose a transition for
those parts of the IANA whose customers can agree on a proposal.

Note well that I am personally much more flexible about the "reasonable
time" than some others appear to be. I consider it much more important
to have the broadest possible agreement on a well considered proposal
than to finish in time for the current contract period running out. But
it cannot take indefinite time and constant progress must be evident.

An assertion by one community that their area is just more controversial
or complicated than others will only go so far. At this point in time
all areas are permeated by "politics, public policy issues, and
conflicts between economic interests." It is not obvious to me how the
benefits of consensus about self governance are substantially different
among the communities.

I am sure that for instance both the IETF and the RIRs could credibly
argue that their participants constitute a significantly larger share of
industrial activity than the total names business. So there is even more
money at stake and more potential for all sorts of conflicts.  The RIRs
could credibly argue that they have successfully managed running out of
a very finite yet economically critical resource: IPv4 addresses; they
could take the view that this is much more complicated to get right than
distributing an essentially infinite name space. People could take the
view that all that is needed is that other communities get their act
together to the same standards.  After some time the sentiment may well
be that "the names should just get on with it." It is all a matter of

Such assertions and the discussions about them will not be helpful to
us. They will only create antagonism that we do not need. We all have to
do our homework and we will have to help each other doing it as much as
possible. We will have failed if we do not come up with a workable
proposal that only has opponents whome NTIA can safely ignore.  This
will not only preserve the status-quo. It will also show very clearly to
the world that our self governance does not work. I still believe that
everyone around our table does not want that to happen.


PS: My argument against our group making decisions for particular
communities is indeed in the first lines of my message. In my experience
nothing good has ever come from giving in to that particular temptation.
Experience is a strong and totally convincing argument for me. Others
have already mentioned practicalities such as creating the opportunity
for an end-run around the particular community and increased resistance
based on "the wrong people" making decisions.


PPS: We can discuss debating style over a beverage. When I say I agree
with X then I mean I agree with what they have said in the particular


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