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Trump Immigration Halt Casts Dark Cloud Over Next Ietf Gathering

By Network World

February 1, 2017

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The Internet Engineering Task Force's (IETF) March meeting in Chicago could have a significantly reduced turnout because of the Trump administration's ban on admission into the U.S. of residents of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

"We now have the situation where people that had planned on attending IETF 98 may not be able to," says IETF member Dan Harkins.

Fellow IETF member Joel Snyder notes an inability to attend is a major loss for members, as most Internet standards are characterized by the requests for comment that are the chief business of the task force. "While a great deal of work is done remotely and via email, these face-to-face meetings are jam-packed with technical sessions and discussions," Snyder notes.

Iranian-born Norway resident and researcher Naeem Khademi cannot attend IETF 98 because his Iranian passport prevents him from entering the U.S. "I believe as a general principle, IETF should avoid holding meetings in the states that have introduced blanket visa bans on various nationalities (or minorities) indiscriminately, especially if there is an interest within the IETF to have a better participation from such underrepresented countries," Khademi says.

The Internet Society's Greg Wood says an IETF subcommittee is working to ensure future meetings are held in as inclusive a setting as possible.

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