Mirjam Kühne

The RIPE Chair Team Reports - April 2021

Mirjam Kühne
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RIPE 82 is approaching fast! In this article, get a sneak preview of some of the topics that you can expect to see at the upcoming RIPE Meeting as well as an overview of the activities the RIPE Chair Team has been busy with over the past few weeks.

Community Activities

RIPE Working Groups

The IoT WG in collaboration with the BCOP Task Force published the RIPE document 'Architectural Considerations for IoT Device Security in the Home' (ripe-doc 759). This document is intended for Internet operators (ISPs) who are specifying requirements for CPE devices. It also provides practical advice on current technologies that can be used.

The DNS WG organised another interim session. We've now published guidelines for RIPE WG interim sessions that might be useful for other WGs that want to organise online sessions outside RIPE Meetings.

In order to help RIPE WG chairs moderate discussions on the respective WG mailing lists, we published Mailing List Guidelines for Working Group Chairs that are also included in the Guide for New WG Chairs. Please note there is a code of conduct that applies to RIPE mailing lists. The new RIPE Code of Conduct will apply to all RIPE communication channels including mailing lists.


On 20 April, I sent two mails to the ripe-list with a number of recommendations for updating the Policy Development Process (PDP). As a next step, I will draft a new version of the PDP taking the recommendations into account and will submit it to the ripe-list for community review. We will also have time to talk about it during RIPE 82.

RIPE NCC Staff and the RIPE Community

When we started as RIPE Chair and Vice Chair, Niall and I promised to look at the relation between RIPE and the RIPE NCC and especially how RIPE NCC staff participates in the RIPE community. Now that the RIPE NomCom Report (including a number of recommendations) has been published, we returned to that topic.

We identified certain underlying principles. First, RIPE NCC staff are members of the community and their input and expertise are relevant and valuable. Second, it's important that people in RIPE leadership roles can act with moral independence and that their activities benefit the community as a whole independent of the employer of the person taking such a role. As such it might be worth making a distinction between general participation in community discussions and activities on one hand and taking community leadership roles on the other.

In all of this, we feel that transparency is key. As an example, RIPE WG Chairs biographies are published on the website.

Looking Forward to RIPE 82

I hope to see many of you at the RIPE 82 Meeting, our third virtual meeting! For the second time we will be using the Meetecho platform. The Meetecho team has worked hard on the wish-list we gave them after RIPE 81. Among other features, the Q&A is now integrated in Meetecho, you can preload slides and - maybe most importantly ;-) - use emojis in the chat.

We will have a full week again, but we extended the breaks and some of the sessions, so that we will have more time for discussion, but also more time to interact with each other during the breaks, or to just take a break away from the screen. For those of you who hope to attend but have children to look after at home during the meeting, do make sure to sign up for childcare at RIPE 82. A range of activities have been planned, including fun coding classes for kids, that will help keep your little ones occupied while you attend the meeting.

This time the meeting will start on Friday 14 May with Meetecho training, a session for academic and NRENs and the Introduction for Newcomers. On Monday, we will then start with a full day of plenary sessions. The RIPE Programme Committee put together a very interesting programme covering a diverse set of topics. We will then have three days of WG sessions and will end the week with the Community Plenary on Friday morning.

Plenary Topics

In addition to popular topics such as IPv6, DNS and self-healing networks, the PC chose a number of topics that might seem a little unusual but are equally important.

As you might know, the wellbeing of the community is close to my heart, and I am looking forward to Erik Bais' presentation about The Resilience of the Human Network. Please also note the survey Erik sent to the ripe-list in preparation for this talk.

Another topic that is important not only to the RIPE community, but also to us as Internet users is encryption. And while we might use encryption on a daily basis, it is not at all guaranteed that this will be possible in the future. I am curious to listen to the Encryption Debate Patrik Fältström and Stephen Farrell will kick off.

Birds of a Feather Sessions

On Monday, 17 May, there will be another BoF about SCION, a proposed architecture for a new routing system. This time the group is seeking feedback from the RIPE community about the feasibility to establish a RIPE Working Group on that topic. I would like to urge everyone who is interested in routing or IP address distribution to attend this BoF or to provide feedback to the BoF organisers or to the RIPE Chair Team. Please see the archives of the SCION BoF from RIPE 81.

On Tuesday, 18 May, the RIPE Code of Conduct Task Force will organise a BoF to finalise the draft code of conduct and to gather input from the community for the next two documents on their charter. Please also note the article Leo Vegoda, the Chair of the Task Force, published on RIPE Labs recently.

Last but not least, the RIPE Database Requirements Task Force will hold a BoF prior to the RIPE 82 Meeting on 5 May to present the latest recommendations and to discuss a number of open issues with the community before submitting its final document.

Industry Events

  • The European Internet Forum organised a Diversity in Tech panel session with a number of interesting speakers, both from the European Commission and commercial enterprises. While it was great to see so many women on the panel and in the audience, Petra Kotuliakova, a member of the CEPIS Diversity Team, said that that's actually not a good thing. This is not only a topic for women. She pointed out that "we need to have more men to do advocacy" adding that "we are spending too much time discussing -- it's time that we do more!"
  • The Internet Society held a session called Strong Communities Make a Strong Internet. It was great to see that the Sudan Network Operators Group is going strong. Two of the organisers (Manhal Mohammed and Sara Alamin) were fellows at past RIPE Meetings.

Summing Up

The upcoming RIPE Meeting promises to give us an opportunity to catch up with each other and to get some good discussion going about what's important to us as a community. What with the sessions we have planned and yet further improvements to the platforms we'll be using for the meeting, we're expecting this to be another successful virtual RIPE Meeting. We hope to see you there and, in the meantime, do look out for more information about RIPE 82 coming soon on RIPE Labs.

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About the author

I studied Computer Science at the TU Berlin, Germany, and have been a member of the RIPE community for over twenty years. Currently I am serving as the Chair of the RIPE Community.

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