Politics, Public Goods, and Corporate Nudging in the HTTP/2 Standardization Process

Paper by Sylvia E. Peacock: “The goal is to map out some policy problems attached to using a club good approach instead of a public good approach to manage our internet protocols, specifically the HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol). Behavioral and information economics theory are used to evaluate the standardization process of our current generation HTTP/2 (2.0). The HTTP update under scrutiny is a recently released HTTP/2 version based on Google’s SPDY, which introduces several company-specific and best practice applications, side by side. A content analysis of email discussions extracted from a publicly accessible IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) email server shows how the club good approach of the working group leads to an underperformance in the outcomes of the standardization process. An important conclusion is that in some areas of the IETF, standardization activities may need to include public consultations, crowdsourced volunteers, or an official call for public participation to increase public oversight and more democratically manage our intangible public goods….(More)”.