The Internet is for End Users, by Mark Nottingham

Source: The Internet is for End Users, by Mark Nottingham
RE: RFC8890: The Internet is for End Users | Internet Architecture Board (IAB), by Mark Nottingham

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has published RFC8890, The Internet is for End Users, arguing that the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) should ground its decisions in what’s good for people who use the Internet, and that it should take positive steps to achieve that.

The Internet has been with us for almost 40 years and has contributed to profound changes in society. It currently faces serious challenges — issues that require input from policymakers, civil society, ordinary citizens, businesses and technologists.

It’s past time for technologists to both become more involved in discussions about how to meet those challenges, and to consider broader views of how the technology they create fits into society. Without good communication, policymakers are prone to making rules that don’t work with the technology, and technologists are prone to creating technology naïve to its policy implications.

So at its heart, The Internet is for End Users is a call for IETF participants to stop pretending that they can ignore the non-technical consequences of their decisions, a call for broader consultation when making them, and one for continued focus on the end user. Ultimately, end user impact is as least as important as the technical considerations of a proposal, and judging that impact requires a more serious effort to understand and incorporate other non-technical views.