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[I-coordination] Europe at a tipping point?

michael gurstein gurstein at
Mon Dec 16 14:40:38 CET 2013


Governments don't have an expert knowledge of most of the systems or areas
that they regulate in support of the public interest... That isn't their
job.  Rather it is to ensure that the public interest is maintained even in
the midst of developments where expert knowledge is being deployed.

My guess is that the government of Namibia doesn't have an expert knowledge
of the Internet. That doesn't/shouldn't prevent them from intervening to
ensure that the interests of the Namibian people are maintained as the
Internet is deployed and used as a fundamental infrastructure for their
interaction with themselves and with the world.

Are you seriously suggesting that Namibia (and all the other "Namibia's" in
the world) should leave it to the "technical community" where Namibia is
scarcely represented if at all; or to the "private sector" where in the
Internet sphere Nambian enterprises have, I would guess little or no
significant role; or to the self-identified Internet Governance associated
civil society where Namibia is equally unrepresented; to ensure that the
best interests of Nambians now and in the future will be ensured. 


-----Original Message-----
From: i-coordination-bounces at [mailto:i-coordination-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2013 8:08 PM
To: Dr. Ben Fuller; i-coordination at
Subject: Re: [I-coordination] Europe at a tipping point?

-----Original Message-----

>I have worked with our government (Namibia) on many policy initiatives 
>over the years, and in a sense what is quoted below is correct. 
>Stakeholders, interested and affected parties, and others are invited 
>to the table for discussions, but at the end of the day it is government
that makes the policy.

This has never been the case with the Internet. Most of the centralized
governance and coordination functions are transnational in scope, not
national. National governments were never in a position to be in control of
the Internet and thus are in no position to "invite" others to the table for
discussions and then make a decision. Indeed, governments have often
displayed tremendous ignorance of the actual workings of the system and of
the implications of their regulations or policies. 

Neither a single national government, nor a collection of national
governments, can represent the users and suppliers of internet services as
well as they can represent themselves. This is a new era and involves a new
form of governance. 

Judging from your comment, and from Adam's response in the thread "Agenda
for the Brazil meeting" it is evident that we do need to make stakeholder
roles a major item of the agenda.  

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