Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 4041
Category: Informational
A. Farrel
Old Dog Consulting
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 © 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 sub-optimal.

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.

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", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this 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 life.

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 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 mother.

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.

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 say.

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 them.

3.2.2. Jumbo Packets

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

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 multicast.

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.


      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 multicast.

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 souls.

7. Security Considerations

Security is of the utmost importance.

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

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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