The following release was issued today by the IEEE Standards Assocation. This release really underscores the importance of open standards and open technology development – principles upon which OpenStand was founded.
On the observation of World Standards Day, now is an opportune moment to denote the importance of open standardization processes and the principles of OpenStand, the modern standards paradigm that has driven technological and economic advances in recent decades.
The observed current erosion of trust in the technical foundations of the Internet demands for a radical turn towards universally open and fully transparent standardization processes, in particular in the domain of cyber security. This is exactly what IEEE and the OpenStand principles represent. The principles of direct participation, independent of the passport or where one is domiciled, of due process, of broad consensus, of balance, of transparency and of universal openness from the very beginning of the standardization process are practiced by thousands of collaborative groups around the world, building a kind of global basis democracy in virtually all fields of technology.
The importance of the principles are noted below.
- Direct participation means there are no intermediaries between a good idea and the peer group that decides the start of a new standardization project. Everybody, from anywhere can submit a proposal without permission by a government or a company or elsewhere.
- Due process provides for a level playing field for all participants to understand the rules of engagement; the opportunity for equal participation; and provides a means for the definition of a standard based upon technical merit.
- Broad consensus ensures that decisions are made by either a majority or supermajority of participants, so no single person or entity wields undue power in the definition of a standard.
- Balance provides opportunity for a multitude of stakeholders to participate in the definition of a standard, resulting in global interoperability, scalability, stability, and resiliency. This, in turn, enables global competition and outputs that serve as building blocks for further innovation, thus contributing to the creation of benefit for humanity.
- Transparency of the process and proceedings ensure that the policies and procedures under which the standard is defined are available so that participants understand the rules of engagement and so that appropriate audit trails are available for inspection upon emergence of an output.
- Universal openness from the very beginning ensures that the appropriate notification to a global audience is provided for attendance at meetings and engagement in the definition of a standard. Combined with transparency, this creates the basis for a robust and trustworthy standardization process in all fields of technology, including for cybersecurity and privacy.
In times of uncertainty and volatility, rebuilding systemic trust is of paramount importance. While the OpenStand principles cannot ensure that all participants are acting in good faith, rigorous governance processes, run by standardization volunteers and professional staff of the involved standardization organizations, are designed and implemented to prevent a subversion of the principles or manipulation of the standardization process. Thus, by the very nature of the standardization processes built upon this paradigm, emergent outputs (standards) are standing with integrity.
Only the integrity of process and product as well as the empowerment of the open and global communities working under the OpenStand principles can re-establish the shaken trust to the Internet as a privileged platform to advance global prosperity as well as social and political emancipation.