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Publicly Verifiable Nomcom Random Selection (RFC2777)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003375D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 12 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D. Eastlake: AUTHOR

Abstract

This document describes a method for making random selections in such a way that the unbiased nature of the choice is publicly verifiable. As an example, the selection of the voting members of the IETF Nominations Committee from the pool of eligible volunteers is used. Similar techniques would be applicable to other cases.

This text was extracted from a ASCII Text document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 11% of the total text.

Network Working Group D. Eastlake 3rd

Request for Comments: 2777 Motorola

Category: Informational February 2000

Publicly Verifiable Nomcom Random Selection

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does

not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this

memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.

Abstract

This document describes a method for making random selections in such

a way that the unbiased nature of the choice is publicly verifiable.

As an example, the selection of the voting members of the IETF

Nominations Committee from the pool of eligible volunteers is used.

Similar techniques would be applicable to other cases.

Acknowledgement

Matt Crawford made major contributions to this document.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction............................................2

2. General Flow of a Publicly Verifiable Process...........2

2.1 Determination of the Pool..............................2

2.2 Publication of the Algorithm...........................2

2.3 Publication of Selection...............................3

3. Randomness..............................................3

3.1 Sources of Randomness..................................3

3.2 Skew...................................................4

3.3 Entropy Needed.........................................4

4. A Suggested Precise Algorithm...........................5

5. Fully Worked Example....................................6

6. Security Considerations.................................7

7. Reference Code.........................................8

Appendix: History of NomCom Member Selection..............14

References................................................15

Author's Address..........................................15

Full Copyright Statement..................................16

1. Introduction

Under the IETF rules, each year 10 persons are randomly selected from

among the eligible persons who volunteer to be the voting members of

the nominations committee (NomCom) to nominate members of the

Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) and the Internet

Architecture Board (IAB) [RFC 2727]. The number of eligible

volunteers in recent years has varied in the approximate range of 40

to 60.

It is highly desireable that the random selection of the voting

NomCom be done in a unimpeachable fashion so that no reasonable

charges of bias or favoritism can be brought. This is for the

protection of the IETF from bias and protection of the administrator

of the selection (currently, the appointed non-voting NomCom chair)

from suspicion of bias.

A method such that public information will enable any person to

verify the randomness of the selection meets this criterion. This

document gives an example of s...