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Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) 20 April 2021

Feedback Requested: Chartering the MANRS Community

Kevin Meynell
By Kevin MeynellSenior Manager, Technical and Operational Engagement

While MANRS has gone from strength to strength since its beginning in 2014, gaining attention, interest, and credibility from network operators worldwide, for the initiative to be sustainable and impactful in the long run there should be a stronger sense of ownership by the community.

MANRS is an industry-led initiative whose participants set and develop the principles and standards for joining as well as ensuring network operators continue to uphold good routing practices.

Administered by the Internet Society, which supports the initiative with funding and staffing, MANRS now counts 627 participants representing over 690 autonomous systems.

To scale and remain effective over time, we must move towards a self-organizing community of responsible operators taking collective responsibility for the resilience and security of a critical part of the Internet infrastructure. This means more decisions need to be taken by the MANRS participants, and there needs to be a structure for this to happen.

The first step towards enhancing the community governance structure was establishing the MANRS Advisory Group at the beginning of 2020. This is a group of 18 volunteers from the MANRS Community – chaired by Andrew Gallo (George Washington University) and Warrick Mitchell (AARNet – Australian Academic and Research Network) – who are providing oversight of the MANRS application and auditing processes, making recommendations with respect to the MANRS Actions, and, most recently, developing the MANRS Community Charter.

The MANRS Community Charter defines the different elements within the initiative, such as who the participants are, what constitutes the community, and how decisions can be taken. In particular, it defines a community-appointed Chair and Deputy-Chair along with a Steering Committee to coordinate MANRS activities, define the participation criteria for current and future programs, supervise the auditing processes, and handle issues where operators fall below the necessary standards. The role and responsibilities of the MANRS participants are also clearly defined, which include approving changes to the MANRS Programs and Actions, as well as changes to the MANRS Charter itself.

The Internet Society will continue to provide for the MANRS Secretariat that consists of the administrative personnel supporting its activities, including the audit or review of networks to ensure they meet the conformance criteria for MANRS participation.

The MANRS Advisory Group reviewed the draft MANRS Community Charter at its meetings in January and March 2021 and is now publishing it for community consultation.

Both the Internet Society and MANRS Advisory Group would love to have your feedback by 4 May 2021, which can be sent to manrs@isoc.org.

The aim is to implement the Charter from 1 November 2021, with the MANRS Advisory Group also transitioning into the elected MANRS Steering Committee from this time, thereby giving the MANRS Community the opportunity to have full input into the MANRS decision-making processes.

Read the draft MANRS Community Charter. We looking forward to hearing your feedback on the Charter and your participation to make MANRS stronger together!

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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