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RFC 4041

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Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts


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Network Working Group                                          A. Farrel
Request for Comments: 4041                            Old Dog Consulting
Category: Informational                                     1 April 2005

       Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts

Status of This Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).


   It has often been the case that morality has not been given proper
   consideration in the design and specification of protocols produced
   within the Routing Area.  This has led to a decline in the moral
   values within the Internet and attempts to retrofit a suitable moral
   code to implemented and deployed protocols has been shown to be

   This document specifies a requirement for all new Routing Area
   Internet-Drafts to include a "Morality Considerations" section, and
   gives guidance on what that section should contain.

1.  Introduction

   It is well accepted by popular opinion and other reliable metrics
   that moral values are declining and that degeneracy is increasing.
   Young people are particularly at risk from the rising depravity in
   society and much of the blame can be squarely placed at the door of
   the Internet.  If you do not feel safe on the streets at night, what
   do you think it is like on the Information Superhighway?

   When new protocols or protocol extensions are developed within the
   Routing Area, it is often the case that not enough consideration is
   given to the impact of the protocol on the moral fiber of the
   Internet.  The result is that moral consequences are only understood
   once the protocols have been implemented, and sometimes not until
   after they have been deployed.

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   The resultant attempts to restore appropriate behavior and purge the
   community of improper activities are not always easy or
   architecturally pleasant.  Further, it is possible that certain
   protocol designs make morality particularly hard to achieve.

   Recognising that moral issues are fundamental to the utility and
   success of protocols designed within the IETF, and that simply making
   a wishy-washy liberal-minded statement does not necessarily provide
   adequate guarantees of a correct and proper outcome for society, this
   document defines requirements for the inclusion of Morality
   Considerations sections in all Internet-Drafts produced within the
   Routing Area.  Meeting these requirements will ensure that proper
   consideration is given to moral issues at all stages of the protocol
   development process, from Requirements and Architecture, through
   Specification and Applicability.

   The remainder of this document describes the necessary subsections of
   the Morality Considerations sections, and gives guidance about what
   information should be contained in those subsections.

1.1.  Conventions Used in This Document

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119].

   The key words "SHALT", "SHALT NOT", "SMITE", and "PILLAR OF SALT" in
   this document are to be interpreted as expected.

2.  Presence and Placement of Morality Considerations Sections

2.1.  Null Morality Considerations Sections

   It may be the case that the authors of Internet-Drafts have no or few
   morals.  This does not relieve them of their duty to understand the
   consequences of their actions.

   The more likely an author is to say that a null Morality
   Considerations section is acceptable, the more pressure must be
   exerted on him by the Area and the appropriate Working Group to
   ensure that he gives full consideration to his actions, and reflects
   long and hard on the consequences of his writing and the value of his

   On the other hand, some authors are well known to have the highest
   moral pedigree: a fact that is plainly obvious from the company they
   keep, the Working Groups they attend, and their eligibility for
   NomCom.  It is clearly unnecessary for such esteemed persons to waste

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   effort on Morality Considerations sections.  It is inconceivable that
   anything that they write would have anything other than a beneficial
   effect on the Routing Area and the Internet in general.

2.2.  Mandatory Subsections

   If the Morality Considerations section is present, it MUST contain at
   least the following subsections.  The content of these subsections is
   surely self-evident to any right-thinking person.  Further guidance
   can be obtained from your moral guardian, your household gods, or
   from any member of the IMM (Internet Moral Majority).

   -  Likelihood of misuse by depraved or sick individuals.  This
      subsection must fully address the possibility that the proposed
      protocols or protocol extensions might be used for the
      distribution of blue, smutty, or plain disgusting images.

   -  Likelihood of misuse by misguided individuals.  There is an
      obvious need to protect minors and people with misguided thought
      processes from utilising the protocols or protocol extensions for
      purposes that would inevitably do them harm.

   -  Likelihood of misuse by large, multi-national corporations.  Such
      a thought is, of course, unthinkable.

   -  Availability of oversight facilities.  There are those who would
      corrupt our morals motivated as they are by a hatred of the
      freedom of Internet access with which we are graced.  We place a
      significant burden of responsibility on those who guard our
      community from these evil-doers and it is only fitting that we
      give them as much support as is possible.  Therefore, all
      encryption and obfuscation techniques MUST be excluded -
      individuals who have nothing to hide need to fear the oversight of
      those whose morals are beyond doubt.

   -  Inter-SDO impact.  We must allow for other moral frameworks and
      fully respect other people's right to subscribe to other belief
      systems.  Such people are, however, wrong and doomed to spend
      eternity in a dark corner with only dial-up access.  So it has
      been written.

   -  Care and concern for avian carriers.  A duck may be somebody's

   Even if one or more of these subsections are considered irrelevant,
   they MUST all still be present, and MUST contain a full rebuttal of
   this deviant thought.

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2.3.  Optional Subsections

   Additional subsections may be added to accommodate zealots.

2.4.  Placement of Morality Considerations Sections

   The Morality Considerations section MUST be given full prominence in
   each Internet Draft.

3.  Applicability Scenarios

   This section outlines, by way of example, some particular areas that
   are in dire need of reform and where a short, sharp shock could make
   a really big difference.

3.1.  Provision of Services

   We must do our utmost to ensure that services are delivered in a
   timely and reliable way.  Emphasis should be placed on Quality of
   Service (QoS) and meeting the needs of the consumer of the service.

   Arrangements should be made for regular provision of services, and
   sermons should be to the point and contain a strong moral message.

3.2.  Political Correctness (PC)

   Political correctness has gone too far.  This problem can be traced
   way back to the 1970s when the desktop PC was invented.  It is
   necessary for Internet-Drafts to observe a form of political
   correctness, but note that you do not always have to mean what you

3.2.1.  Differentiated Services

   Segregation of packets on the grounds of color is now banned and
   Internet-Drafts must not make use of this technique.

   If you follow all of the recommendations in this document, you will
   find that "packets of color" (as we must now refer to them) tend to
   avoid your points of presence, and you will no longer be troubled by

3.2.2.  Jumbo Packets

   It is no longer appropriate to refer to "jumbo packets".  Please use
   the term "capacitorially challenged".

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3.2.3.  Byte Ordering

   Note that within Internet-Drafts, bytes (and bits) progress from the
   left to the right.  This is how things should be.

3.3.  Protection or Abstinence

   Much has been made recently of the need to provide protection within
   the Internet.  It is the role of the IMM to determine when protection
   is required, and the role of the IESG bulldogs to ensure that we are
   all protected.

   However, protection is only one way to prevent unplanned outages and,
   as we all know, the ready availability of protection schemes such as
   1:1 (one-on-one) or 1:n (orgy-mode) have lead to a belief that it is
   acceptable to switch (or swing) at will.  It should be noted that
   protection can fail, and under no circumstances should extra traffic
   be countenanced.

   In reality, the only safe way to avoid passing data to your friends
   is to agree to pledge to have no control plane before marriage.  Join
   our campaign and sign up for the SONET Ring Thing.

3.4.  Promiscuity

   Various disgusting protocols indulge in promiscuity.  This appears to
   happen most often when an operator is unwilling to select a single
   partner and wants to play the field.

   Promiscuous modes of operation are an abomination, exceeded only by

4.  Terminology

   Admission Control
      The caring investigative arm of the IMM.

      Port 666.  Need we say more?

      What is this?  Some kind of Communism?

      The root of all evil.

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      What is with this "layer two-and-a-half" nonsense?  The world is
      flat, just accept the fact.

   Packet Switching
      Sounds like fraud to me.

      The route of all LSPs.

   Policy Control
      The administrative arm of the IMM.

   Random Walk
      Substance abuse is to be avoided.

   Rendezvous Point
      Poorly lit street corner.  Not to be confused with the root of all

   Standard Body
      What we should all strive for.

   Strawberry Ice Cream
      Something that wills the void between rational discussion and
      all-out thermo nuclear war [SCREAM].

5.  Morality Considerations

   The moral pedigree of the author of this document places him and his
   writings beyond question.

6.  IANA Considerations

   IANA should think carefully about the protection of their immortal

7.  Security Considerations

   Security is of the utmost importance.

   A secure Internet community will ensure the security of all of its

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8.  Acknowledgements

   I would like to thank my guru Alex Dipandra-Zinin.

   Jozef Wroblewski, who clearly knows promiscuous behavior when he sees
   it, pointed out some of the dangers in promiscuous operation.

   No avian carriers were harmed in the production of this document.

9.  Intellectual Property Considerations

   Property is theft.  What is yours is mine.  What is mine, you keep
   your hands off.

10.  Normative References

   I don't need to be told how to formulate my morals.

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

11.  Informative References

   To be frank, I don't find many other documents informative.

   [SCREAM]  Farrel, A., "Observations on Proposing Protocol
             Enhancements that Address Stated Requirements but also go
             Further by Meeting more General Needs", Work in Progress,
             June 2003.

Author's Address

   Adrian Farrel
   Old Dog Consulting

   Phone: I'm not telling you that.  Why do you ask, anyway?

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Full Copyright Statement

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).

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   contained in BCP 78 and at, and
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