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Cooperation Working Group Minutes RIPE 87

Wednesday, 30 November, 14:00 - 15:30 (UTC+1)
Scribe: Gergana Petrova
Chairs: Johan (Julf) Helsingius, Desiree Miloshevic and Achilleas Kemos
Status: Draft

View the session recording
Read the stenography transcript

Julf welcomed the attendees. Desiree introduced the agenda.


Carol Roach, Undersecretary Ministry of Economic Affairs, Bahamas

The recording is available at:

Carol Roach, who was recently appointed Chair of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group of the Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF), joined remotely the session. She introduced the work of the IGF – a global multistakeholder platform to discuss Internet policy - and invited the RIPE community to join and actively participate in the yearly event. She encouraged participants to look at the Internet We Want paper published by the IGF Leadership Panel and the Key Messages from the 18th IGF that took place in October 2023 in Kyoto.

Ignacio Castro, Queen Mary University of London, remarked that in his experience from attending the IGF, there was little integration between the technical community and other stakeholders, resulting in siloed conversations. He asked if the MAG is planning to address this.

Carol responded that this might be the perception because of how sessions are organised. She added that the MAG is open to input on improving this.

Robert Carolina, Internet Systems Consortium, asked what would constitute a continued success for the IGF.

Carol responded that an increase in government participation and taking input from the IGF would mark a success. In addition to involving the technical community more, there are other stakeholder groups, such as the judiciary and regulators, that should also be invited to play a bigger role.

Blake Willis, Zayo, encouraged audience members to consider joining a national IGF in their own country.

Jim Reid, rtfm llp, remarked that for businesses, it might not be clear what the return on investment is in sending people to participate at the IGF. He suggested governments could engage more with the technical community on a national level to get the technical perspective.

RIPE NCC EU Regulatory Update and Q&A

Romain Bosc, RIPE NCC Working Group Small Task Team

The presentation is available at:

Romain gave the audience an overview of the direction the EU is taking to regulate the Internet. He talked about the drive to increase economic security and tech sovereignty. He noted there is also a shifting focus from policy creation to implementation. He also mentioned that the RIPE NCC received a confirmation from the Dutch authorities that Internet number resources have been exempted from the EU sanctions imposed on Russia, and the RIPE NCC is now working on restoring service for members and end users falling under exemptions.

The Reform of the European Telecom Framework: The Digital Network Act

Innocenzo Genna, Avvocato, EU Advisor for Namex

The presentation is available at:

Innocenzo dove into the main EU legislative work (DSA, DMA, Data Act, eIDAS, AI). He remarked that the extensive debate on “fair share” over the last two years was put to rest after a detailed negative opinion from BEREC and scepticism from most Member States. Finally, he spoke of the Digital Network Act, which aims to reform the European telecom framework.

Blake Willis, Zayo, asked if there is any discussion about the recent disruptions of sub-sea cables in international sea waters potentially done by state actors.

Innocenzo answered that the Digital Network Act mentions the value chains of submarine cables – creation, insulation, maintenance and preparation. The EU Commission is aware and worried that there is a lack of skill and only three boats in Europe can repair submarine cables, which poses a strategic concern.

Achilleas Kemos, European Commission, said this might be discussed further at the upcoming Telecom Council in Brussels.

Peter Koch, DENIC, remarked that the Digital Networks Act seems to be the EEC repackaged as a regulation rather than a directive. Smaller ISPs are not necessarily covered by their domestic application of the EECC but may be affected by this act.

Innocenzo answered that the most recent legislation is regulations directly applicable to Member States, not directives. He expects similar development for the European Telecom code - part of it will remain a directive, and part of it will become a regulation. The Member States were against reviewing the Code before the ordinary timetable in 2025.

Peter asked if the Digital Network Act might cover smaller ISPs that fall outside the telecoms regulation.

Innocenzo answered that cybersecurity rules are expanding to include Internet exchanges and other critical infrastructure. He expects that ISPs would have to be small not to be covered by this legislation.

Niall O’Reilly, RIPE Co-Chair, welcomed Romain to the RIPE NCC and remarked that his work is very important, goes beyond the operational needs of the RIPE NCC and benefits the whole community.

Bridging the Gap Between Internet Stakeholders with Technical Forum Analytics

Ignacio Castro, Assistant Professor, Queen Mary University London and RIPE RACI Fellow

The presentation is available at:

Ignacio took us through research analysing the process of standard adoption at technical communities. The conclusion is that this process has become much more difficult and labour-intensive: the discussions are much more niche and complex, the days it takes to publish an RFC have tripled, the number of drafts has doubled, and a minority of influential participants dominate draft creation.

Leslie Daigle, Global Cyber Alliance, speaking for herself, asked if Ignacio was drawing causation or mere correlation and suggested that causation can go both ways – influential people write documents, but perhaps writing documents also makes you more influential.

Ignacio agreed that he was merely showing correlations and that the interpretations are more complicated. He added that the interpretation he presented seems aligned with the feedback from many people.

Desiree, Miloshevic, EP Desiree asked what “stated decision” meant.

Ignacio answered that it stands for declaring a decision on something. He explained that multiple annotators annotated every email and classified them. However, sometimes it can be tricky as opinions and especially disagreements can be stated tacitly - not necessarily stating a disagreement, but posing a question that diverts the conversation.

Desiree asked if Ignacio had any solution when it came to this complexity.

Ignacio explained that part of the problem is natural. The first time someone solves the routing problem, they can pretty much publish anything, yet once BGP is there, it's very difficult to publish the second BGP. As we solve many of our problems, many new things are difficult to fit and are very interdependent with the rest. If a new thing were adopted, for example, quantum computing, the conversations would be more open, and there would be fewer dependencies because it is something completely new.

Robert Carolina, Internet Systems Consortium, asked if it is a fair interpretation of the data that the process of standards adoption at the IETF has become much more resource-intensive. And if yes, would standards-making become an oligopoly - only influenced by those who can dedicate the resources to the process?

Ignacio agreed that this is a challenge standardisation bodies will face.

Robert asked if Ignacio saw any data for such an oligopoly.

Ignacio answered that to assess this, they need to look at the specific drafts or families of drafts or periods in the lifecycle of an innovation area.

Rüdiger Volk, UNorganized, asked how much of this is inevitable and how much is more than what is naturally happening. He remarked that an open environment might include a lot of unnecessary involvement.

Ignacio agreed that an open process comes with advantages and disadvantages. There may be conversations that we think are not needed when they are. Retaining expertise and a sense of community is valuable but difficult to measure. Some things become useful and solve problems much after they are initially discussed.

Ignacio reiterated that for external actors not part of the technical community, it's impossible to know what's happening. Regulators want to be involved but do not have the expertise. The technical community is not leveraging the value of the wealth of data they produce.

Avri Doria asked on chat if that would be discussed at the RSP IRTF research group. Ignacio said he presented this in the RASP research group and the ISG. He compared his research to having an x‑ray. It does not mean you see everything through the x‑ray, but you do see some trends. Some might be debatable, and some we might be able to steer.

Andreas asked if there was a chance for an actor to hijack the whole process if they put massive resources into it.

Ignacio answered that, in practice, it could be tricky. In the next step of their research, they will look at affiliations.

Rüdiger remarked that from his observations at the IETF, hijacking does not happen, but small interest groups inject ideas and technology that introduce unnecessary complexity.

Ignacio added that sometimes drafts are brought to the IETF in a very polished form, and by that time, it is difficult for people not already exposed to it to chime in, disagree with it or influence it.

There were no more questions. The chairs closed the session.