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Alissa Cooper's Yes on draft-ietf-httpbis-legally-restricted-status-04: (with COMMENT)

From: Alissa Cooper <alissa@cooperw.in>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2015 10:47:36 -0800
To: "The IESG" <iesg@ietf.org>
Cc: draft-ietf-httpbis-legally-restricted-status@ietf.org, httpbis-chairs@ietf.org, mnot@pobox.com, ietf-http-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <20151213184736.32481.75960.idtracker@ietfa.amsl.com>
Alissa Cooper has entered the following ballot position for
draft-ietf-httpbis-legally-restricted-status-04: Yes

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I realize that the way this document uses the term "legal demand" has
been discussed at some length, but I'm concerned that the way that it is
used may limit the applicability of the status code, so I wanted to
mention that here.

The term "legal" has at least two meanings, one being "related to the
law" and the other being "authorized by law." I think it would be a shame
if use of this status code could be interpreted as a concession on the
part of a server operator that any particular demand was authorized by
law. Sometimes a server operator may feel the need to comply with a
request even if it does not believe the request is authorized by law
(e.g., while litigation is pending, or out of fear of adverse
consequences for its employees). Operators shouldn't be put in the
position where they have to be concerned that using the status code could
later be used as evidence that they believed a particular request was
authorized by law, particularly if there is a chance that they will be
sued for having blocked the resource.

The tricky part is that it takes more words to convey this concept than
the document currently uses. My suggestion would be to replace "legal
demand" with "demand based on a claim of legal violation" in the
abstract, section 1, and the first paragraph of section 3, and replace
all other instances of "legal demand" with "demand." This is a little
clunky but it's the best idea I could come up with.
Received on Sunday, 13 December 2015 18:48:07 UTC

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