Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) J. Halpern, Ed.
Request for Comments: 8789
E. Rescorla, Ed.
Category: Best Current Practice June 2020
IETF Stream Documents Require IETF Rough Consensus
This document requires that the IETF never publish any IETF Stream
RFCs without IETF rough consensus. This updates RFC 2026
Status of This Memo
This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice.
This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
(IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has
received public review and has been approved for publication by the
Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on
BCPs is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841
Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8789
Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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Table of Contents 1.
IANA Considerations 6.
Security Considerations 7.
Normative References 8.
IETF procedures, as defined by [RFC2026
], allow for Informational or
Experimental RFCs to be published without IETF rough consensus. For
context, it should be remembered that this RFC predates the
separation of the various streams (e.g., IRTF, IAB, and Independent.)
When it was written, there were only "RFCs".
As a consequence, the IESG was permitted to approve an Internet-Draft
for publication as an RFC without IETF rough consensus.
The key words "MUST
", "MUST NOT
", "SHALL NOT
", "SHOULD NOT
", "NOT RECOMMENDED
" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP
] when, and only when, they appear in all
capitals, as shown here.
The IETF MUST NOT
publish RFCs on the IETF Stream without
establishing IETF rough consensus for publication.
The IETF procedures prior to publication of this BCP permitted such
informational or experimental publication without IETF rough
consensus. In 2007, the IESG issued a statement saying that no
document will be issued without first conducting an IETF Last Call
[IESG-STATE-AD]. While this apparently improved the situation, when
looking more closely, it made it worse. Rather than publishing
documents without verifying that there is rough consensus, as the
wording in [RFC2026
] suggests, this had the IESG explicitly
publishing documents on the IETF Stream that have failed to achieve
One could argue that there is a need for publishing some documents
that the community cannot agree on. However, we have an explicit
path for such publication, namely the Independent Stream. Or, for
research documents, the IRTF Stream, which explicitly publishes
minority opinion Informational RFCs.
5. IANA Considerations
This document has no IANA actions.
6. Security Considerations
This document introduces no new security considerations. It is a
process document about changes to the rules for certain corner cases
in publishing IETF Stream RFCs. However, this procedure will prevent
publication of IETF Stream documents that have not reached rough
consensus about their security aspects, thus potentially improving
security aspects of IETF Stream documents.
7. Normative References
] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision
3", BCP 9, RFC 2026
, DOI 10.17487/RFC2026
, October 1996,
] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119
, March 1997,
] Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119
Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174
, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174
May 2017, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8174
8. Informative References
IESG, "Guidance on Area Director Sponsoring of Documents",
IESG Statement, March 2007,
Joel Halpern (editor)
P.O. Box 6049
Leesburg, VA 20178
United States of America
Eric Rescorla (editor)
331 E. Evelyn Ave.
Mountain View, CA 94101
United States of America