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[liberationtech] If Muslims are blocked by the U.S., should we respond?

Michael M. J. Fischer mfischer at
Fri Jan 27 18:57:52 PST 2017

both symbolic and substantive moves are needed

since much of what the new administration is doing is symbolic signaling, we need to be visible in that space too

meanwhile substantive actions such as holding meetings in places all academics and technologists are welcome is important, both physical and virtual

On Jan 27, 2017, at 2:33 PM, Yosem Companys <companys at<mailto:companys at>> wrote:

From: Dave Burstein <daveb at<mailto:daveb at>>

I raise the question of whether we should respond to the proposed U.S. ban on nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen.

Scott Aaronson reports one of his MIT students will probably have to leave if he can't get his visa removed. We all know how many Iranians are world-class technologists, including in computer science and electrical engineering.

I hope many from outside the United States speak up. The issues around Trump make it hard to be objective here.

Should we take a stand?

If so, should it be symbolic or substantive?

Symbolic actions could include:

  *   A resolution
  *   Establishing remote hubs for our meetings in Iran and one of the Arabic speaking countries. ISOC has funded remote hubs.
  *   Outreach in Farsi and Arabic to show that whatever actions the government takes, the IETF welcomes participation. This could be as simple as Jari Arkko writing a letter to the editor of the leading newspapers with an invitation for all to join our work.

Some might also think that we should move the July 2018 meeting from San Francisco to a location accessible to more of our members, perhaps to Mexico or Canada.

As we discuss this, I urge everyone to avoid distracting comments about U.S. politics. We're not going to change many minds here pro or con the new U.S. President.

Instead, let's keep the discussion here to how we should respond to a major nation refusing visas to so many of our members.

Dave Burstein

Editor, Fast Net News, 5GW News, Net Policy News and DSL Prime
Author with Jennie Bourne  DSL (Wiley) and Web Video: Making It Great, Getting It Noticed (Peachpit)

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