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Analyzing the Production of the Law of Cyberspace
Unformatted Document Text:  17 their work in a matter of a few months. In contrast, similar work by the IETF’s Voluntary Access Control Working Group moved much more slowly. The IETF used a public approach that allowed anyone to participate. This group never made progress and was mired in discussion about the basic approach for the standard. So by the end of 1995, the W3C had a draft specification for PICS, while the IETF had not made any progress. This led the IETF to abandon its efforts and just rely on the W3C. 65 In this case, the W3C’s structure favored a much more rapid development process than the IETF’s public process. Consortia may ignore or overlook outside social influences or third parties during the development process. 66 This is important because consortia often appear to be working for the benefit of the public as a whole. Both the W3C and the IETF deem their mission as building a better Internet for society. But because consortia are accountable only to their members, they will inadequately consider the needs of third parties, such as independent software vendors and end users. This can result in ineffective or technically poor solutions. 67 Consortia are chosen because of their rapid speed in developing standards as compared to Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs). However, there is considerable variation in the speed of development within consortia and between projects within a consortium. The W3C was established with the intent of creating a faster standards process compared to the IETF. 68 As a result, PICS was completed in a matter of months, while competing solutions such as the IETF’s Voluntary Access Group were still on the drawing board. However, consortium work is not always completed rapidly. For example, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) consortium 65 Roxana Bradescu, Minutes of the Voluntary Access Control BOF (vac), available at ftp://ftp.ietf.cnri.reston.va.us/ietf-online-proceedings/95dec/area.and.wg.reports/app/vac/vac-minutes-95dec.txt (Dec. 1995). 66 Peter Heywood et al., Standards: The Inside Story Do Vendors Have Too Much Influence on the Way Industry Specs are Written and Ratified, D ATA C OMM ., Mar. 1, 1997. 67 See Andrew Updegrove, Standard Setting and Consortium Structures, S TANDARD V IEW , Dec. 1995, 145.

Authors: Shah, Rajiv. and Kesan, Jay.
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17
their work in a matter of a few months. In contrast, similar work by the IETF’s Voluntary
Access Control Working Group moved much more slowly. The IETF used a public approach
that allowed anyone to participate. This group never made progress and was mired in discussion
about the basic approach for the standard. So by the end of 1995, the W3C had a draft
specification for PICS, while the IETF had not made any progress. This led the IETF to abandon
its efforts and just rely on the W3C.
65
In this case, the W3C’s structure favored a much more
rapid development process than the IETF’s public process.
Consortia may ignore or overlook outside social influences or third parties during the
development process.
66
This is important because consortia often appear to be working for the
benefit of the public as a whole. Both the W3C and the IETF deem their mission as building a
better Internet for society. But because consortia are accountable only to their members, they
will inadequately consider the needs of third parties, such as independent software vendors and
end users. This can result in ineffective or technically poor solutions.
67
Consortia are chosen because of their rapid speed in developing standards as compared to
Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs). However, there is considerable variation in the
speed of development within consortia and between projects within a consortium. The W3C was
established with the intent of creating a faster standards process compared to the IETF.
68
As a
result, PICS was completed in a matter of months, while competing solutions such as the IETF’s
Voluntary Access Group were still on the drawing board. However, consortium work is not
always completed rapidly. For example, the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) consortium
65
Roxana Bradescu, Minutes of the Voluntary Access Control BOF (vac), available at
ftp://ftp.ietf.cnri.reston.va.us/ietf-online-proceedings/95dec/area.and.wg.reports/app/vac/vac-minutes-95dec.txt
(Dec. 1995).
66
Peter Heywood et al., Standards: The Inside Story Do Vendors Have Too Much Influence on the Way Industry
Specs are Written and Ratified, D
ATA
C
OMM
., Mar. 1, 1997.
67
See Andrew Updegrove, Standard Setting and Consortium Structures, S
TANDARD
V
IEW
, Dec. 1995, 145.


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