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[I-coordination] A different model

Chip Sharp (chsharp) chsharp at cisco.com
Fri Dec 13 10:45:08 CET 2013


Dear Brian,

Although this discussion has moved on, I would like to offer another opinion on the topic of the WSIS and its outcomes. See below.

On Dec 11, 2013, at 1:30 AM, "Brian E Carpenter" <brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com<mailto:brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com>> wrote:

While not universally accepted, and still under discussion how to interpret
it, out of WSIS 2005 there was some agreement on a "working" definition
that says:

Does anyone have a shred of respect for anything that came out of WSIS?

I can understand this question since I have been skeptical of what real positive effect WSIS has had.

One obvious (to me) positive effect is the IGF that was created out of the WSIS.

Earlier this year I had a question on what real positive effect the WSIS has had (other than IGF) that would not have happened anyway.  I was pretty skeptical at the time.  I was able to pose this to several delegates from developing countries at last summer's CSTD.   A common answer was that the WSIS and it's ongoing process has changed attitudes in their governments that has enabled things like consultations within their countries, modifying the regulatory environment  to enable increased connectivity, etc.  In this regard, what I might call "soft outcomes" might be as important as many of the development projects initiated.

Of course, there have been ongoing discussions at the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UN General Assembly related to the WSIS, but whether they are positive or not is debatable.

"Internet governance is the development and application by Governments, the
private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared
principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that
shape the evolution and use of the Internet."

Try this and see if it makes sense:

"Atmosphere governance is the development and application by Governments, the
private sector and civil society, in their respective roles, of shared
principles, norms, rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes that
shape the evolution and use of the atmosphere."

This makes sense to me if I take it as applying to stakeholders' use of and effect on the atmosphere (and the atmosphere's effect on stakeholders).  Perhaps that is the point?
Someone on the list pointed out the difference between the governance of use of the Internet and governance of the operation of the Internet itself.

As George pointed out, there is a great gulf between administration of
the technical side of the Internet and regulation of the social and economic
impact of the Internet. Mixing these two up under the G-word has led to
enormous confusion of thought, not least right here on this list.

While I agree these are two separate concerns, I don't think there is such a great gulf between them.  They interact with each other.

We have identified at least 2 ways of separating out the aspects of governance related to the Internet:
*  Governance of the use of the Internet vs. governance of the operation of the Internet
*  Administration of the technical side of the Internet and regulation of the social and economic
impact of the Internet.

Par. 69 of the Tunis Agenda recognizes a separation similar to the above:
*  The "day-to-day technical and operational matters" of the Internet and
*  The "international public policy issues pertaining to the Internet"

The Tunis Agenda reserves a special role of governments in public policy issues (par 35) as a sovereign right of States, but not in the technical matters  "that do not impact on international public policy issues."  It also affirms that "the management of the Internet encompasses both technical and public policy issues."(par. 35).

While this separation of responsibility sounds good in theory, it quickly runs into problems when trying to apply it to the real world.  For example, while some might see IP address allocation as a technical administration task, some governments see it as a public policy issue.  Other technical administration functions such as configuring BGP (e.g., peering decisions, route filtering) could also be seen as having an impact on international public policy issues.

This went on longer than I planned.  To summarize, developing a method to disentangle the public policy issues pertaining to the Internet from the technical operation of the Internet might be worth investigating while keeping in mind the interaction between the two.

Thanks,
Chip Sharp
Cisco Systems

P.S.  I understand that some might be skeptical of the Tunis Agenda, especially as it was an inter-governmental agreement with a very restricted role by other stakeholder groups; however, it continues to drive discussion on Internet governance today in inter-governmental discussions.  So even if one were skeptical of it, understanding it is important to understand some of the current debate (at least in UN circles).



The best thing the IGF (and the Brazil meeting) could do is ban the
G word and separate the two discussions.

  Brian
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