[discuss] technical vs societal issues (was: Report from the BR meeting local organizing group - Dec 2013)

Nick Ashton-Hart nashton at ccianet.org
Mon Dec 23 09:50:44 UTC 2013

Aside from the Brazil meeting, the 'unpacking' of issues you eloquently present in your first paragraph really needs to be done - right now everything is conflated together and if that's not remedied, we are going to end up with a messed-up Internet for everyone.

It seems to me that the unpacking is an excellent thing for /1net to engage in, whatever happens with one meeting or another. 

Mawaki Chango <kichango at gmail.com> wrote:
>Hi S Moonesamy,
>I hear you... and I'll second John's answer to that. I guess different
>people will converge to the BR meeting with different expectations. My
>hopes for a successful BR meeting would be as follows. Let people
>(politicians, the social crowd, part of academia and even some of the
>techies) voice their concerns. Let the technical community (design and
>specification of technologies, protocols and standards, plus DNS, IP
>addresses and ASN operations, and to the extent technically competent
>the matter at hand hybrid players such as ISOC and academia) engage and
>explain to all of us that some of those concerns are ill-scoped in the
>context of "internet governance" at the global level, and why (part of
>category may be better forgotten about, part may be issues to address
>between governments or within national polities in areas that are not
>specifically Internet, etc.); but some other concerns may be tackled
>some technical contribution and these are possible trade-offs; and no
>other ones we know for sure will create a far more nefarious situation
>what you guys are complaining about and this is how, etc.
>In the end of that process whereby the different groups of actors will
>genuinely try and help each other come to a common, well informed and
>intelligent understanding of the issues (through the understanding of
>other's concerns), one could draw a list of "societal and political"
>principles which the BR government will be happy to call "global
>governance" principles. Complementarily, the tech community may draw
>the deliberations that would have led to those principles a set of
>lines for things they might be able to do to get the Internet closer to
>what those principles imply, at their technical level (see Gentleman
>Curran's suggestions about what some of that might be.)
>Last, meetings such as BR's need not to be assessed or appreciated from
>technical perspective mainly, let alone, only. They are catalysts that
>create/shape social discourse and benchmarks (norms) empowering social
>actors to expose related abuses of power by governments and large
>corporations or any other powerful actors, shame the authors of such
>and even eventually move the needle in policy/legal provisions at
>appropriate levels, in order to institutionalize accountability
>in the domain at hand --even if the technology were not to change the
>Am I being too much optimistic?
>Best regards,
>-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
>*Mawaki Chango, PhD*
>Founder & Principal, DIGILEXIS Consulting
> http://www.digilexis.com
>m.chango at digilexis.com
>Skype: digilexis
>On Sun, Dec 22, 2013 at 11:36 PM, S Moonesamy <sm+1net at elandsys.com>
>> Hi Mawaki,
>> At 12:46 22-12-2013, Mawaki Chango wrote:
>>> It tells me two things. One, despite your own skepticism (well
>>> some in the technical community may still be of the opinion that
>>> technical improvements are possible, and they are trying to achieve
>>> Two, you recognize that there are some negative issues, but you
>think they
>>> are of societal and political kind and so will be their solutions,
>if there
>>> are solutions.
>> There are negative issues.  Once one gets into the details one might
>> across solutions.  The problem with the solutions is that they come
>> together with other problems.
>> There is nothing I disagree with there. So for me it's simple. I
>>> think the BR meeting purports to be an IETF kind of meeting with a
>view to
>>> come up with a blueprint for the redesign of the Internet, not at
>all. The
>>> talk that will take place there is, IMHO, of the societal and
>>> kind --which you recognize may be relevant in this context. And if,
>>> addition to bringing some clarity to the issues on that front, the
>>> of the BR meeting also sends a signal of encouragement to those in
>>> technical community already striving to make some improvements so
>that they
>>> take a long and hard view in order to come up with some
>>> innovative/ingenious possible (if only partial or incremental)
>>> wouldn't that be enough? I would think so (keeping in mind that all
>>> folks have been running around to IGFs since 2006 without
>accomplishing any
>>> of these.) After all, wasn't one of the defining innovative features
>of the
>>> TCP/IP architecture to be modular and capable of evolving?
>> I can give you a magic box which provides you with the ability to
>> communicate with many people in the world.  It also allows many
>people to
>> communicate with you.  Some of these people may be bad people.  The
>> architecture can be fixed to prevent bad people from communicating
>> you.  I would have to ask you to define "bad people" to implement
>that fix
>> in the magic box.
>> I'll assume that innovative or ingenious solutions are possible. 
>> getting into solutions it would help to get an understanding of what
>> problems are, or as what is written above, bring clarity to the
>> Regards,
>> S. Moonesamy
>discuss mailing list
>discuss at 1net.org

Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.
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