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[I-coordination] (part 2) [governance] [bestbits] HLLM in LOndon - CS reps

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 02:50:55 CET 2013


Thanks for this Adam, it does begin to lay out some of the issues that will
need to be addressed and also to clarify some of the points of disagreement
that will equally need to be addressed... but I’m a bit surprised at the way
that you’ve taken Rousseff and Chehade’s bold and even visionary initiative
and turned it into a mini-pre-IGF. I’m not sure who will find what you are
proposing of that much interest apart from those desperate to maintain the
status quo, certainly I would have thought, not most in CS, at least those
outside of these rather narrow and unrepresentative boundaries, but maybe
that’s the point


 

Let me comment inline...

 

-----Original Message-----
From: bestbits-request at lists.bestbits.net
[mailto:bestbits-request at lists.bestbits.net] On Behalf Of Adam Peake
Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 10:16 PM
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; George Sadowsky
Cc: bestbits at lists.bestbits.net Bits
Subject: Re: (part 2) [governance] [bestbits] HLLM in LOndon - CS reps

 

carrying on from my last email, sorry for the length...

 

Brazil is a wonderful opportunity, so here are some ideas about how I think
it could proceed.

[MG>] yes

 

Purpose.  A two-day meeting to discuss a limited number of IG
issues/challenges.  Address how to resolve those issues by creating a number
of working groups which will report back to the 2015 IGF in Brazil. The
Brazil meeting to charter each working group, charters can be reviewed and
if necessary finalized at the 2014 IGF in Istanbul (IGF consultation in May
can also be used.)  IGF Istanbul and opportunity to check on progress,
tweak, and set the WG off to report back the following year (opportunity for
review during the typical February and May IGF sessions of 2015.) 

[MG>]  I think that this rather over-privileges the IGF (see comments below)
and a more appropriate approach, and one which gives the Brazil event the
significance that I believe it could and should warrant would be to develop
working groups before the Brazil meeting to develop working papers and even
proposals that might be addressed during the session.  A possible outcome
would then be follow-on working groups or whatever seemed appropriate under
the circumstances.  I think it is both presumptuous and mistaken to
pre-judge the outcomes as you have done here and I’m hoping (and expecting)
that the planners for Brazil will take the event rather more seriously then
you seem to be doing.

 

The IGF is an established global process with some participation from all
stakeholders. Participation must be improved, but it is the best we have for
interested parties to discuss as peers. 

[MG>] I think that one of the necessary elements and subjects for discussion
should be the future of the IGF and what if any role it might play in the
mechanisms for Internet Governance. From my limited observations while the
scope of the IGF discussions have broadened over the years alongside the
developing significance of the Internet overall, as others have also noted
the range of participation/participants has become narrower and
narrower—fewer high level officials, fewer significant participants from
LDC’s, little if any extension in the range of content participation, little
if any serious social diversity beyond the (useful) tokenism of “interns” or
“trainees” or “ambassadors’ (i.e. links into other areas where the Internet
is of increasing significance and concern
 I think that the narrowness in
the perspectives and lack of imagination and overall “de-politicization” of
the IGF through the deadening hand of a self-reproducing MAG, is, to a very
considerable degree responsible for this and if the IGF is to have a serious
role these issues will have to be addressed quite directly. I should add
that what little experience I’ve had with the national/regional IGF’s
strongly suggests that they are a very positive addition within their local
Internet ecologies but the evident difficulties in making an appropriate
linkage between them and the global IGF would seem to further reinforce my
above observations.

 

Brazil is an opportunity to strengthen the IGF, make it more relevant, more
useful. And at the same time give the Brazil meeting a means to be more than
just another two days of talk.

[MG>] Brazil is to my mind a significant opportunity to break out of the
fairly rigid and largely trivializing mode that the IGF has fallen into and
one can only hope that this opportunity is taken advantage of.

 

Themes.  Importance of Bali IGF as a starting point for identifying themes.
The Brazil "summit" was an important topic referred to repeatedly during
sessions in Bali.  The Montevideo Statement attracted almost as much
interest and support. 

[MG>] yes


 

Bali's been the only opportunity we've had to hear a broad spectrum of views
on the proposal to meet in Brazil, the only significant gathering of
different stakeholders where that meeting and why it was called has been
discussed. There were rich discussions in Bali, they are worth building on,
we aren't staring from nothing. The chair's summary attempts to cover some
topics <
<http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/Chair's%20Summary%20IGF%202013%20Final.Nov1v
1.pdf>
http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/Chair's%20Summary%20IGF%202013%20Final.Nov1v1
.pdf>, the transcripts provide a full record <
<http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/igf-2013-transcripts>
http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/igf-2013-transcripts> 

 

A few things I think there's some agreement on: 

[MG>] agreement among whom, and how is this agreement ascertained apart from
within the echo chamber

 

- The Brazil meeting should focus on dialogue, not in itself be a decision
making event. 

[MG>] see above
 I see no justification for this position to be taken at
this time and certainly not by a shadowy group of “those who are in
agreement”

 

- Widespread support for the IGF: the Brazil meeting should not in anyway
replace/undermine the IGF (and nor should 1net.)

[MG>] see above
 ibid.

 

- Widespread support for the five principles President Rousseff proposed to
the UN general assembly (they inspired Fadi Chehadé to meet her and to call
for the meeting).

[MG>] yes

 

- The Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation is widely
supported (also by Brazil govt representatives during the IGF.) 

[MG>] yes

 

- The multi-stakeholder approach must be strengthened; there is concern
about a coming period of multilateral processes. 

[MG>] I have no idea whether this is true or not, but it seems to me to be a
bit odd to “strengthen” something for which there is no agreed upon
definition, no clear procedures for its operation, no wide agreement on who
the “stakeholders” are, how they might determined, what their possible role
and “powers” might be and so on.. The first priority I would have thought
would be to get some clarity and consistency in what we mean by
“multistakeholder” and then decide whether it should or needs to be
“strengthened”


 

- Condemnation of surveillance.  

[MG>] yes

 

- Agreement that global principles protecting human rights online should be
developed and adopted (a close fit with President Rousseff's principles, and
also Marco Civil -- the still draft Brazilian bill of online rights.)

[MG>] yes

 

More recently the Brazil Steering committee announcement <
<http://www.nic.br/imprensa/releases/2013/rl-2013-62.htm>
http://www.nic.br/imprensa/releases/2013/rl-2013-62.htm> refers to President
Rousseff's UN speech and to the Montevideo Statement and says of the meeting
it should "pursue consensus about universally accepted governance principles
and to improve their institutional framework."

[MG>] yes

 

I suggest the meeting should focus on universal governance principles
(Rousseff) and institutional framework (Montevideo, and noting that parts of
statement are complementary with Rousseff's principles.)

[MG>] yes

 

I think we can take it that "institutional framework" refers to IANA and
ICANN, the original themes of Internet governance. Gives seven main
discussion themes for the meeting: 

 

President Rousseff (speech to the UN General Assembly), principles and norms
to help guide the international operation of the Internet:

 

1. Freedom of expression, privacy of the individual and respect for human
rights.

2. Open, multilateral and democratic governance, carried out with
transparency by stimulating collective creativity and the participation of
society, governments and the private sector.

3. Universality that ensures the social and human development and the
construction of inclusive and non-discriminatory societies.

4. Cultural diversity, without the imposition of beliefs, customs and
values.

5. Neutrality of the network, guided only by technical and ethical criteria,
rendering it inadmissible to restrict it for political, commercial,
religious or any other purposes.

[MG>] yes

 

Original issues of Internet governance and from the Montevideo Statement:

 

6 & 7. The globalization of ICANN and IANA functions, towards an environment
in which all stakeholders, including all governments, participate on an
equal footing, i.e. development of new institutional framework.

[MG>] yes

 

These fall into five main areas:

 

(1) Good work's done on Internet governance principles and cooperation in
many organizations and fora, these were well presented in Bali. Bring the
different actors together for Brazil, invite them to join a working group
and collectively develop a set of principles for global governance, tasks
completed by IGF 2015. To address aspects of Rousseff 1-4 and parts of the
Montevideo Statement. 

 

 [MG>] This is a serious trivialization of what Ms. Rousseff articulated.  I
don’t see how it is possible to follow the process you are proposing i.e.
“Bring the different actors together for Brazil, invite them to join a
working group and collectively develop a set of principles for global
governance, tasks completed by IGF 2015” and have any  serious addressing of
the issues the President of Brazil identified as for example, the very
significant issues involved in achieving
 #3Universality that ensures the
social and human development and the construction of inclusive and
non-discriminatory societies. 

 


with similar caveats concerning Rousseff’s items #1, 2 and 4
 What you have
said seems to me to be deeply insulting of the very real concerns regarding
the future of the Internet as a fundamental infrastructure for all aspects
of daily life, that Ms. Rousseff was articulating and which many around the
world responded to with hope and vigour.

 

(2) Global principles for protecting Human Rights online. Work's been done
by various parties, from the UN Rapporteur to more recently a group leading
international authors, and a collection of U.S. Internet companies.  In Bali
the Swedish Government presented seven fundamental principles that should
apply to maintain respect for human rights when carrying out surveillance of
electronic communications -- these were strongly supported, they refer to
legality, legitimate aim, necessity and adequacy, proportionality, judicial
authority, transparency, and public oversight. And of course there's much
more.  Brazil is an opportunity to bring these parties together, hear their
ideas and set the tasks for a working group to develop appropriate and
working principles. 

[MG>] I would have said exactly the opposite process should be undertaken
i.e. have these parties get together in advance of Brazil, develop a common
position and work with others during Brazil to identify actionable items
towards effective and useful ways forward  

 

It is not hard to imagine working groups on these themes producing adoptable
outcome

[MG>] as I said it will be much more useful to have inputs which can be
processed towards actionable outputs rather than anticipate possible
outcomes which are most likely to get lost in the vast windiness of the
neverneverland IGF  

 

(3) President Rousseff's fifth topic, Network Neutrality, might be harder to
reach consensus on.  But that doesn't mean discussion of different
approaches to network neutrality would not be valuable (e.g. proposed
regulation in Europe, actual situations elsewhere, the IGF net neutrality
coalition reported in Bali, greater consideration of what network neutrality
means in developing markets, particularly mobile). If a working group was
unable to reach definite recommendations, one still might be established
with the task of providing model frameworks, an overview of different
approaches and critiques of them.  

[MG>] see above

 

(4) Institutional Framework for the IANA function. Internet tech community
has been making recommendations since 2006, RIRs made proposals for an
independent IANA function during the last re-bid of the contract. Civil
society actors have made proposals and have strong opinions... so do
governments.  A multi-stakeholder discussion of IANA, root zone database and
Verisign's contract with NTIA, the root operators and whether their work
needs more oversight, this is a discussion I think needs to happen.  Give a
working group 18 months to develop a new institutional framework.

[MG>] see above

 

(5) Globalization of ICANN. What would an independent ICANN look like? How
would an independent ICANN be globally accountable? An affirmation of
commitments between ICANN and us not U.S.  From oversight by one government
to no government, or oversight by all?  What kind of host country agreement,
what protections?  And many more questions. A working group might monitor
the Accountability and Transparency Review Team process and provide advice
on ICANN's internal processes, while also propose new models for
independence.

[MG>] see above

 

18 months to get an international framework for IANA into acceptable shape,
for principles on good governance and human rights, for some dialogue that
may or may not shape some domestic policy on net neutrality, to provide
models for an independent ICANN.  

[MG>] see above

 

Between now and April 2014 various actors invited to make proposals, papers
to help shape discussion, and provide ideas as to charters for the working
groups. The Brazil meeting discusses issues, the charters and tasks of
working groups, sets ground rules for there operation (multi-stakeholder,
transparency, etc).

[MG>] see above

 

September 2014, IGF in Istanbul can be used to review progress, perhaps
recommend changes. Not hard to imagine a role for the high-level/ministerial
pre-meeting.  Tasks to be complete by IGF of 2015 back in Brazil. The IGF
offers check-points along the way: first in May 2014 when the MAG typically
meets to finalize the agenda for the year, and two meetings in 2015. The IGF
is our only substantive multi-stakeholder process, it's known, it can be a
means to carry work forward, so use it. And make the Brazil meeting more
than talk. 

[MG>] see above
 I must say that your faith in the IGF (a body whose most
widely acknowledged, even celebrated, achievement is that it has not
achieved anything much at all) as a means of carrying out the quite
ambitious tasks being set for it (by you) is either charming, if naïve, or
something rather more shall we say, in the form of  a deliberate
misdirection.

 

M

 

Adam

 

 

On Dec 12, 2013, at 12:28 PM, George Sadowsky wrote:

 

> I find this a refreshing view of civil society representative issues, and
I take Mike's point that looking at a model with polar choices may not get
at the real issue.

> 

> I understand the concern about being at the table, especially when from a
CS point of view, other actors have the potential, and often the intent, to
weaken CS goals.

> 

> Mike's comments strengthen the hypothesis that the arguments over
representation really represent a proxy dispute for representation issues
unsolved within the CS representative community.  If that is the case, and
CS is attempting to represent a diverse and apparently disparate set of
views not bound by rough consensus, that helps to explain why specific
representation is believed to be so important.

> 

> Has there been any attempt to do some cluster analysis, quantitative or
intuitive. on the divergent views, so that areas of agreement can be more
sharply defined, and clusters of areas of disagreement also be identified?
I suspect that these are difficult topics to discuss, in part because of
believing that a united front provides more strength vis-à-vis other
stakeholder groups, and exposing differences within the group could be
regarded by some as an indication of weakness or disarray.

> 

> Thanks for this analysis, Mike!

> 

> George

> 

> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

> 

> On Dec 11, 2013, at 8:38 PM, michael gurstein wrote:

> 

>> I think the issues are rather different from the polarity Milton (and
George) are posing
 It isn’t just an issue of representation or substance
but rather representation and substance or rather representation being
necessary for substance
 Even though there appears to be some issues with
recognizing this in our current context.

>>  

>> I’m also copying this to BestBits and by implication the “steering
committee” (or whatever it is currently being called)


>>  

>> So far, I have yet to see any specific recognition or more importantly
accommodation to the quite evident differences as between various groupings
within Civil Society as to the nature of the substantive inputs that will be
given into any framework for which nominations are/will/should be solicited.

>>  

>> There are I believe, quite significant differences with respect to how
matters of Internet Governance could/should be addressed/resolved within (IG
based) CS (as there is of course, in the larger CS and non-CS world


>>  

>> These differences apart from the cartoonish mis-characterizations
pro-offered by certain irresponsible elements are serious and reflect
different perspectives (and broad societally based interests) on how an
overall balance towards a democratic, just and inclusive Internet can be
achieved.

>>  

>> Either these differences are reflected first within whatever approach to
selection is entered into and then in the range of nominees themselves; or
the selection process will be illegitimate, have done CS overall a major
disservice, and any illusions of a common CS front will be impossible. And
one can expect that the resulting parallel strategies for representation
will be pursued with the utmost vigour including through whatever means of
public visibility might be available.

>>  

>> The usual process within CS of opting for “identity” based modes of
“representivity” i.e. gender, region, age etc. is clearly insufficient in a
context as fundamental and as normatively/substantively divided as the one
that we are currently dealing with.

>>  

>> I believe however, that there is within CS a broad underlying agreement
on overall values with respect to IG and the future of the internet.  I
think it would be a serious mistake to not have the principled disagreements
on how best to achieve those ultimate goals reflected within whatever
representations CS makes in the various venues in the days going forward so
that a united CS can move forward towards those goals.

>>  

>> Best,

>>  

>> Mike

>>  

>>  

>>  

>> From:  <mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org>
governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [
<mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org>
mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller

>> Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2013 3:53 AM

>> To:  <mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
governance at lists.igcaucus.org; Marilia Maciel

>> Subject: RE: [governance] [bestbits] HLLM in LOndon - CS reps

>>  

>> Thank you. Marilia's position as stated below reflects exactly my own. 

>>  

>> The point is not, as Jeanette mistakenly argues, that there is a
"madness" about filling committee positions to the exclusion of substantive
debate. No one can fairly accuse me, of all people, of failing to actively
formulate positions on the substantive issues. That's what I spend most of
my time doing.

>>  

>> The problem is that we were told to provide names, we did a lot of work
to do so, and then those names were disregarded. This will have long term
consequences regarding other requests by 1net  (and we still do not have a
statement as to who is actually making decisions on behalf of 1net) for
participation in the future. 1net really needs to think carefully about what
kind of precedents it is setting and how much trust it is or is not building
here.

>>  

>> I have to say I am especially unimpressed with the statements from Mr.
Sadowsky. When he says, "concentrate on substance, don't pay any attention
to who is represented on committees," it has absolutely no credibility,
because it comes from a person who is at least connected to, or more likely
is actually one of the people making, decisions behind the scenes. George
might do better to keep silent or to just recognize that a mess was made and
apologize for it. If it truly doesn't matter who is on these committees, why
did ICANN appoint some people to them and not others? And why not tell us
who is making decisions for 1net?

>>  

>> Let me make it clear: I attribute most of this problem to disorganization
and bad procedure rather than ill intent. But when lame rationalizations are
offered for the effects of the disorganization it contributes to ill will. 

>>  

>> --MM

>>  

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