Internet DRAFT - draft-hartman-mailinglist-experiment


Network Working Group                                         S. Hartman
Internet-Draft                                                       MIT
Expires: November 17, 2006                                  May 16, 2006

  Experimental Procedure for  Long Term Suspensions from Mailing Lists

Status of this Memo

   By submitting this Internet-Draft, each author represents that any
   applicable patent or other IPR claims of which he or she is aware
   have been or will be disclosed, and any of which he or she becomes
   aware will be disclosed, in accordance with Section 6 of BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups.  Note that
   other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

   The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

   This Internet-Draft will expire on November 17, 2006.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).


   Discussion in the community has begun to question whether RFC 3683
   and RFC 3934 provide the appropriate flexibility for managing IETF
   mailing lists.  This document is an RFC 3933  experiment designed to
   allow the community to experiment with a broader set of tools for
   mailing list management while trying to determine what the long-term
   guidelines should be.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 1]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

1.  Introduction

   As discussed in RFC 3683, the IETF  needs to have rules of conduct to
   limit disruptive or abusive behavior while permitting fair and open
   forum for the discussion of Internet standardization.  The IETF has a
   long and complicated history of rules for managing conduct on its
   mailing lists.

   RFC 2418 [RFC2418] permitted individuals to be blocked from posting
   to a mailing list: "As a last resort and after explicit warnings, the
   Area Director, with the approval of the IESG, may request that the
   mailing list maintainer block the ability of the offending individual
   to post to the mailing list."  RFC 2418 also allowed other forms of
   mailing list control to be applied with the approval of the area
   director and IESG.  However RFC 2418 only applies to working group
   mailing lists.

   The IETF discussion list charter [RFC3005] provides guidelines for  These guidelines provide more flexibility than RFC
   2418. "   The IETF Chair, the IETF Executive Director, or a sergeant-
   at-arms appointed by the Chair is empowered to restrict posting by a
   person, or of a thread, when the content is inappropriate and
   represents a pattern of abuse.  They are encouraged to take into
   account the overall nature of the postings by an individual and
   whether particular postings are an aberration or typical.  Complaints
   regarding their decisions should be referred to the IAB. "  In
   particular it appears that these decisions do not follow the normal
   appeals path outlined in RFC 2026 [RFC2026].

   RFC 3683[RFC3683] provides  a procedure for banning named individuals
   from posting to an IETF mailing list for at least one year.  However
   once such a ban is put in place for one mailing list, the individuals
   responsible for other IETF mailing lists can unilaterally remove the
   posting rights of that individual.

   RFC 3934 [RFC3934] amends RFC 2418 and grants the working group chair
   the ability to suspend a member's posting rights for 30 days.
   However it appears to remove the ability of the AD and IESG to
   approve longer suspensions or alternative procedures: "Other methods
   of mailing list control, including longer suspensions, must be
   carried out in accordance with other IETF-approved procedures."  An
   argument could be made that the amendment was not intended to remove
   the already-approved procedures in RFC 2418 although a perhaps
   stronger argument can be made that the actual textual changes  have
   the effect of removing these procedures.

   The IESG has issued a statement on mailing list management [IESGLIST]
   that allows working group mailing lists to be moderated.  Under this

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 2]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

   procedure, specific off-topic postings could be discarded.  However
   this procedure does not allow the posting rights of an individual to
   be suspended; it simply allows the list as a whole to be moderated.

   The IESG issued a statement on disruptive postings [IESGDISRUPT] .
   This statement applies procedures similar to RFC 3934 and to the
   statement on moderated lists to non-working-group lists.

   The result of these guidelines is that there is a large gap between
   the levels of sanction that can be applied.  An individual can be
   suspended  from a working group list easily for 30 days.  However the
   only option available to the IESG that permits   a longer suspension
   for any list besides is the ability to suspend an
   individual for an indefinite time period from one list.  This
   suspension can expand to any IETF list without community or IESG
   involvement.  This memo is an RFC 3933[RFC3933] experiment to provide
   the IESG  with the ability to create additional mechanisms to manage
   IETF mailing lists while the community decides what mailing list
   guidelines are appropriate.  IN particular this experiment allows the
   IESG to create a level of sanction between RFC 3934 and RFC 3683 for
   working group lists and create  sanctions other than RFC 3683 for
   non-working-group lists.  The goal of this experiment is to improve
   the functioning of IETF mailing lists while keeping the process open
   and fair.  This experiment is successful if it gives the community
   useful input on how to design mailing list management process.  It is
   not expected that this experiment will be adopted in its current form
   as a permanent BCP.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 3]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

2.  Requirements notation

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 4]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

3.  Definition of IETF Mailing List

   This experiment applies to all IETF mailing lists, including those
   not associated with a working group.  The definition of a working
   group list is clear, but the definition of an IETF mailing list
   comprehensive enough to include all IETF mailing lists is not
   obvious.  For the purpose of this experiment, an IETF mailing list is
   defined as follows.

   An "IETF mailing list" is defined as the IETF list itself, any
   mailing list operated to further the work of a current IETF Working
   Group (WG), any mailing list created for WG use but retained for
   ongoing discussion after that WG was shut down, any mailing list
   created in support of an IETF-specified procedure (including mailing
   lists whose purpose is the discussion of registration actions), and
   any mailing list hosted on any site or system operated by the IASA or
   otherwise on behalf of the IETF.  Mailing lists listed at are explicitly
   included in this definition.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 5]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

4.  The Experiment

   This experiment runs for a period of 18 months.  During the
   experiment period, the IESG MAY approve other methods of mailing list
   control besides those outlined in RFC 3683 and RFC 3934 to be used on
   a specified set of IETF mailing lists.  Such methods include but are
   not limited to suspending the posting rights of an individual beyond
   30 days on those lists.  Under such procedures the IESG may delegate
   the authority to perform longer-term suspensions of specific
   individuals on specific mailing lists.

   The procedures of this memo MUST NOT be used to suspend the posting
   rights of an individual beyond the period of the experiment.  The
   procedures of this memo MUST NOT be used to limit an individual's
   ability to read the contents of a mailing list.

   The IESG MUST inform the community in a public statement of any
   procedures for mailing list management approved under this
   experiment.  Such a statement should include the description of the
   procedure and the description of mailing lists to which it applies or
   an indication that it applies to all IETF mailing lists.  The IESG
   MUST make a public announcement of a new procedure  at least 14 days
   prior to the procedure taking effect.  While the community is
   encouraged to comment on any IESG action, community consensus is not
   required to approve such a procedure.  All currently active
   procedures under this experiment MUST be made public in an
   appropriate, easy-to-find location.

   Sanctions made under this memo may be appealed using the procedures
   outlined in  [RFC2026].

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 6]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

5.  How the Experiment may be Used (Informative)

   The IESG could approve a procedure allowing  it to suspend an
   individual from one or more mailing lists for a fixed period of time
   greater than 30 days.

   Also, the IESG could delegate this power.  Two types of delegation
   are envisioned.  In the first, the IESG has a procedure that allows
   it to suspend a named individual from a list and to grant the
   managers of that list the delegated authority to continue to apply
   longer suspensions if disruptive behavior continues.  In the second,
   the IESG approves a procedure that specifies a set of lists and
   allows managers of those lists to unilaterally take action after an
   initial suspension in a manner similar to RFC 3683.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 7]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

6.  Security Considerations

   This document describes a modification to the IETF process for
   managing mailing list discussions.  It has no security

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 8]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

7.  Acknowledgments

   I would like to thank Brian Carpenter and John Klensin for valuable
   input in drafting this experiment.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006               [Page 9]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

8.  References

8.1  Normative References

   [RFC2026]  Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
              3", BCP 9, RFC 2026, October 1996.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997.

   [RFC3933]  Klensin, J. and S. Dawkins, "A Model for IETF Process
              Experiments", BCP 93, RFC 3933, November 2004.

8.2  Informative References

              "IESG Statement on Disruptive Posting", February 2006.

              "IESG guidance on the moderation of IETF Working Group
              Mailing Lists", URL
              moderated-lists.txt, August 2000.

   [RFC2418]  Bradner, S., "IETF Working Group Guidelines and
              Procedures", BCP 25, RFC 2418, September 1998.

   [RFC3005]  Harris, S., "IETF Discussion List Charter", BCP 45,
              RFC 3005, November 2000.

   [RFC3683]  Rose, M., "A Practice for Revoking Posting Rights to IETF
              mailing lists", BCP 83, RFC 3683, February 2004.

   [RFC3934]  Wasserman, M., "Updates to RFC 2418 Regarding the
              Management of IETF Mailing Lists", BCP 94, RFC 3934,
              October 2004.

Author's Address

   Sam Hartman
   Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006              [Page 10]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

Appendix A.  Change Log

   Note to RFC Editor: This section should be removed prior to

A.1  Changes since 00

      Add definition of IETF mailing list

      Remove claim that RFC 3934 can be applied to non-WG mailing lists
      as this  may conflict with an IAB appeal response.

      Clarify what I meant by delegation in section 3 Clarify that the
      IESG must approve procedures and that procedures must be public.

      Remove the idea that actions against specific people should be
      last called.  Nothing forbids this but our experience with RFC
      3683 suggests that we should carefully consider whether this is a
      useful exercise.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006              [Page 11]
Internet-Draft      Experimental Mailing List Control           May 2006

Intellectual Property Statement

   The IETF takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any
   Intellectual Property Rights or other rights that might be claimed to
   pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in
   this document or the extent to which any license under such rights
   might or might not be available; nor does it represent that it has
   made any independent effort to identify any such rights.  Information
   on the procedures with respect to rights in RFC documents can be
   found in BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Copies of IPR disclosures made to the IETF Secretariat and any
   assurances of licenses to be made available, or the result of an
   attempt made to obtain a general license or permission for the use of
   such proprietary rights by implementers or users of this
   specification can be obtained from the IETF on-line IPR repository at

   The IETF invites any interested party to bring to its attention any
   copyrights, patents or patent applications, or other proprietary
   rights that may cover technology that may be required to implement
   this standard.  Please address the information to the IETF at

Disclaimer of Validity

   This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2006).  This document is subject
   to the rights, licenses and restrictions contained in BCP 78, and
   except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.


   Funding for the RFC Editor function is currently provided by the
   Internet Society.

Hartman                 Expires November 17, 2006              [Page 12]