Human Rights IETF

The Intersection of Human Rights…. and IETF Protocols?

Should considerations for human rights such as freedom of expression or freedom of assocation be incorporated into the development of Internet protocols and standards?

That’s the key question being asked today in a session at IETF 92 in Dallas, TX, where there is a proposal to create a “Human Rights Protocol Considerations Research Group” within the IRTF. You can tune in live from 11:50-13:20 US CDT (UTC-5) at:

The HRPC agenda primarily focuses on draft-doria-hrpc-proposal that states as an abstract:

Work has been done on privacy issues that should be considered when creating an Internet protocol.  This draft suggests that similar considerations may apply for other human rights such as freedom of expression or freedom of association.  A proposal is made for work in the IRTF researching the possible connections between human rights and Internet standards and protocols.  The goal is to create an informational RFC concerning human rights protocol considerations.

I am guessing from the agenda that the goal today would be to formally create the HRPC research group and begin the work.  There is a mailing list for people who want to be more involved.  I expect there could be some vigorous discussion at this meeting today.

I’ve not been personally involved in this effort but I find the idea intriguing enough that I thought I’d write this post to draw attention to today’s session.

If you are interested in helping create such a document, I would encourage you to join today’s session if you can – or to join the mailing list.