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[I-coordination] Agenda for the Brazil meeting

Adam Peake ajp at glocom.ac.jp
Sun Dec 15 15:07:53 CET 2013


Hi Milton,

Thanks for your comments, responses below.


On Dec 14, 2013, at 3:29 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:

> Adam:
> Your three messages provided a constructive and interesting contribution to the discussions here. 
> Let me respond to what seems to be your 'executive summary' below, indicating points of agreement and points of divergence (not really disagreement, more a feeling that things should go in a different direction)
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> 
>> We do not need to start devising an agenda from scratch, there's a rich body of relevant work to 
>> build on, much of which was discussed at the IGF in Bali.
> 
> Agree, of course. 
> 
>> The Brazil meeting should be the start of a process, not a self-contained event; we do not need another 2 >days of Internet governance chatter that leads nowhere.
> 
> Agree, but which process should it be the start of? A new one or an old one? You answer this question below, but see my response...
> 
>> The IGF is our best means to carry work forward: far from ideal, but it is the most significant, 
>> global multi-stakeholder process (and the work coming out of the Brazil meeting can hopefully >strengthen the IGF and make it more relevant).  
> 
> There are two problems with this recommendation. 
> 
> 1) For this aspect of your program to work, certain actors in IGF process would have to revisit their opposition to the IGF making any recommendations or having any tangible outcomes. Furthermore, the MAG and the IGF Secretariat would have to up their game quite a bit. They would have to respect the outcome of the Brazil meeting and not try to undermine or reverse it if the Brazil outcome did not correspond to views of the dominant faction of the MAG.
> 


Yes, absolutely, and I think (hope) there's willingness to do this.  Most people I spoke to in Bali recognized the IGF had to achieve something more than talk.  What I am suggesting is the IGF would be the means to monitor progress of working groups (2014-15), make sure their work is widely known and accessible, be the place they report to (and perhaps to a govt pre-meeting before the 2015 IGF).  Would the IGF in 2015 be willing to take the reports of such working groups and accept them or "bless" them in some way, send them on to some appropriate body (UN?)... I don't know, but I hope so (and that the meeting will be in Brazil perhaps gives hope.) 

The IGF would have to allow for inter-sessional work, and perhaps 1Net can help in that regard: the MAG remaining more program committee and convener of the annual meeting rather than getting overly involved in content, 1Net as an open platform for all stakeholders might be more suitable to coordinate matters of content throughout the year.

During the (exciting) weekend catching up with some reading, I found notes from an informal meeting of the MAG, 3rd December, when they discussed the IGF's role given the Brazil meeting, 1Net etc.  And also seem to have positively discussed engaging in inter-sessional work beyond the regional and national IGF and dynamic coalitions.  So I hope we can be hopeful.  See <http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/Virtual%20MAG%20Meeting%20Summary%207DecemberFINAL.pdf>


> 2) The main significance of the Brazil event is that it needs to bridge states and the Internet community of nonstate actors. It is not clear that states who are generally critical of or resistant to the native internet institutions are convinced they should view the IGF as the next step nor have they shown even a _capability_ to use the IGF very well. So you have a lot of work to do here to get your program implemented. 
> 


Again, yes.  And I don't have an answer.  Just hope that the Brazilian organizers are contacting governments to invite them to the April meeting, seeking their opinions.  More below (stakeholder roles).  I am concerned that the Brazil meeting, any improvements to the IGF, probably isn't making IG anymore relevant to developing countries.  


>> President Rousseff's speech at the UN General Assembly earlier this year and the Montevideo 
>> Statement should be the basis of discussion in Brazil next April, and the basis of work the 
>> meeting sets in motion.  
> 
> Agree about the Montevideo Statement. But Rousseff's speech was about surveillance. I have heard direct statements from ICANN staff that they will not participate in a meeting if surveillance is a major part of the agenda. Am I wrong about this? 
> 


No, in my opinion you're not wrong.  I agree about the motivation for the President's speech (as I understand it), and I've heard the same comments that the meeting should not being about surveillance or people might walk away.  In Bali and since I think we've heard a consistent message from Brazil that President Rousseff's speech should be a foundation of the April meeting.  And the steering committee announcement <http://www.nic.br/imprensa/releases/2013/rl-2013-62.htm> tells us in their view "The purpose of that meeting is to pursue consensus about universally accepted governance principles and to improve their institutional framework."

I take this to mean we are not to have a meeting discussing Snowden, NSA, GCHQ and how Tempora works, but to develop principles to protect our privacy and human rights from such surveillance (among other things).  And as I mentioned in the earlier email, there's been a lot of work on this, by governments (Marco Civil, Swedish proposals commented on very favorably during the IGF, etc), work of many civil society organizations and also many IGOs, and recent proposals from some U.S. companies, etc etc.  There's work on principles for human rights online, and also a very good body of work on principles for Internet governance (Bali covered well).  Let's bring those actors together to help develop the agenda for Brazil, they can shape the charters of the working groups, participate in the work of the working groups.


>> The Brazil meeting should charter working groups to address the challenges Rousseff/Montevideo raise.  
>> The 2015 IGF in Brazil will be an ideal opportunity to receive the completed work from the working >groups.
> 
> I like this idea a lot. Presumably the WGs would be multistakeholder. How open they would be and who would "chair" i.e., direct and possibly control them, needs to be considered. 
> 


Yes.  And I've no idea at the moment how that might happen!  From the expert groups working on those issues already, I guess.  But as a starting point they should be multistakeholder, transparent.  


> One important thing is missing from your agenda. I believe that the Brazil meeting needs to explicitly take up the question of stakeholder "roles" that was handed down to us by the Tunis Agenda (TA). I believe that good faith cooperation around global IG will not be possible until the unworkable ideas about stakeholder roles put forward by the TA are modified. As long as half or more of the world's states are acting under the belief that they have exclusive authority over some non-existent thing called "international internet public policy" and that business and civil society cannot participate as equals in the formulation of policies governing their operations and usage, we simply do not have the basic meeting of minds around fundamental principles of governance. 
> 

Yes, and I think this also goes back to your 2nd point about the need to "bridge states and the Internet community of nonstate actors".  

When I was writing the earlier email about ideas about the possible themes of the April meeting I thought about including the topic 'role of stakeholders in Internet governance'.  Building on Brazil's opinion at the WTPF and discussions this inspired in Bali in the session Building Bridges-The Role of Governments in Multistakeholder Cooperation.  I think worth looking at the transcript of that session (or the Chair's summary, though I should be clear I was involved in writing that paper, biased of course), I thought it was helpful. 


> We have already seen the European Union fighting over this aspect of the Tunis Agenda - some parties within the Commission adopting a conservative, pro-TA and anti-MSM approach to stakeholder roles, and others in Europe strongly resisting that. Consensus needs to be reached on a global basis.  The Brazil meeting may allow us to bridge that gap - not just in Europe, but all over the world. 
> 


Yes, this would be a good topic to discuss in Brazil.  

Adam


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