PWG> IPP> misleading press release issued by IPP WG

PWG> IPP> misleading press release issued by IPP WG

PWG> IPP> misleading press release issued by IPP WG

Keith Moore moore at
Fri May 2 23:32:07 EDT 1997

As this seems to be of importance to everybody in the PWG, I am passing 
on the following message relating to a press release from the PWG on IPP.
In a following message, I will also copy you on an answer, I wrote back 
to Keith earlier today.


re: The press release issued last week by the IPP WG

Don Wright's quote listing vendors as participants in IETF was
misleading. IETF recognizes only individuals -- not vendors or even
representatives of vendors -- as participants in its working groups.
Articles based on this press release have already started to appear,
which are damaging IETF's reputation and misleading the public about
IETF's function.  I've received several complaints about these
articles from IETF participants.

The IPP WG is hereby directed to issue a correction to its earlier
press release, to be sent to the same contacts as the original press
release, which clearly explains that IETF participants are individuals
rather than vendor representatives.

The WG is further directed to change its web pages and ftp site so
that any mention of vendor participation in the IPP WG or IETF is
changed to refer to individual participation only.

The correction to the press release and changes to the web pages are
required by Tuesday, May 6.  The correction must be explicitly
approved by the IETF Applications Area directors before it is issued.
(Harald is currently on holiday, but should be back by then.)

Keith Moore
co-Director, Applications Area
Internet Engineering Task Force

p.s.  I understand if this comes as a surprise to IETF newcomers.
However, on April 17 I sent the following note to the IPP chairs
regarding the press release being drafted, in an attempt to prevent
mischaracterization of IETF:

> To:      Carl-Uno Manros <cmanros at>, szilles at
> cc:      moore at, Harald Alvestrand <hta at>
> From:    Keith Moore <moore at>
> Subject: IPP press release
> Date:    Thu, 17 Apr 1997 15:05:20 EDT
> IETF WGs have traditionally not done press releases.  A popular belief
> is that media attention makes a group's work more difficult.  If the
> working group is open to all, reaches consensus on a solution, and
> produces an effective solution to a problem that needs solving,
> acceptance and deployment are not usually a problem.
> On the other hand, the absence of public information about a WG's
> activities invites disinformation and media speculation, which is
> clearly undesirable.  Keeping the media informed about the activities
> of an IETF WG, so long as the information is accurate, seems like a
> Good Thing, and the WG itself is probably the best source of that
> information.  Nor do I know of any IETF policy that would preclude a
> WG from doing issuing a press release.
> On one point, however, IETF policy is clear.  IETF participants are
> considered to represent themselves as individuals, not the companies
> they work for.  It is therefore inappropriate for an IETF WG to claim
> that it has representatives from particular companies.
> Having said that, I don't see any problem with a press release
> including brief statements in support of an IETF WG's efforts, from
> companies and/or individuals, assuming you can get agreement as to
> whose statements come first...
> Keith

Even though the list of vendors was part of a quote by Don Wright, it
is clearly being taken by the press as a statement from the group.
This is not unreasonable given that the press release was issued by
the group.  The false impression needs to be corrected.

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