IETF RFC 4041 – Requirements for Morality Sections in Routing Area Drafts

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.

Farrel Informational [Page 1]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

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.

  1. 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

Farrel Informational [Page 2]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

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.

Farrel Informational [Page 3]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

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.

  1. 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”.

Farrel Informational [Page 4]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

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

  1. 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.

Farrel Informational [Page 5]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

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].

  1. Morality Considerations

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

  2. IANA Considerations

    IANA should think carefully about the protection of their immortal

  3. Security Considerations

    Security is of the utmost importance.

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

Farrel Informational [Page 6]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

  1. 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.

  2. Intellectual Property Considerations

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

  3. 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.
  4. 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?

Farrel Informational [Page 7]

RFC 4041 Routing Morality Section Requirements 1 April 2005

Full Copyright Statement

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2005).

This document is subject to the rights, licenses and restrictions
contained in BCP 78 and at, and
except as set forth therein, the authors retain all their rights.

This document and the information contained herein are provided on an

Intellectual Property

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 ietf-


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

Farrel Informational [Page 8]


*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Infosecurity.US authored by Marc Handelman. Read the original post at: