[discuss] Representative Multistakeholderism (was: Re: Report from the BR meeting local organizing group - Dec 2013)

Alejandro Pisanty apisanty at gmail.com
Tue Dec 24 17:25:28 UTC 2013


there will be great difficulty as people try to define stakeholder groups
for more general and comprehensive approaches to Internet governance,
instead of the sharper definitions that are viable for narrower definitions
of the Internet governance problems one may try to solve.

The case of ICANN has already been quoted in this discussion; while all
businesses are businesses (a tautology), in ICANN and for its specific
function related to the DNS (domain-name system), domain-name registrars
and registries play a key role (without them the system almost doesn't even
exist), and what they can do and cannot do is defined by contracts, in turn
defined by a set of rules which emerge from ICANN processes. Their clearly
differentiated role comes together with risks, costs, affordances and
obligations that no other party is equally subjected to.

If you turn to phishing, the function of the whole DNS management system
becomes only a part - and not the most important any more - of the way
phishing works and is fought against. There instead the ISPs and OSPs
(online service providers, a layer above) are key, and subject to a number
of complex obligations (many of which arise from laws, national, and
law-enforcement coordination efforts, international.)

It is very hard (I think impossible) to slice and dice the world and come
up with a single set of subsets that satisfies all Internet governance

You have also mentioned in a previous message the fact that telephone
companies and other communications carriers use the IP protocol. That is
not an Internet governance problem, not until they actually use IP for
Internet traffic. So the IETF is critical for them but not the rest of the
Internet governance complex. Comprehension and regular application of the
layers principle in telecommunications and the Internet provides great
guidance here as well, and could have spared many this confusion.

For the Brazil meeting, as Jorge Amodio, Brian Carpenter, Andrew Sullivan
and others have emphasized, we still face a too blurry and shifting
definition of the problem to be solved to know well who has to solve it
now. The events that started the motion towards this meeting are mostly a
Layer-8 (I'd say Layer 11) phenomenon and that's where the rules have to be
made, with the stakeholders there - citizens, law enforcement units,
intelligence agencies, etc. before a well-defined Internet governance
problem exists and then can be solved. But, as others have said,the "form
follows function" principle has already been abandoned long ago.

Thinking pragmatically, the make-up of the Sao Paulo gathering will have to
be smart enough for its results to even be meaningful for anyone other than
the convener. The risk the convener runs is not that much of heated fight
as it is of irrelevance.

So, let's see a list of problems that have to be solved, are not in the
process of being solved, and can only be solved with this gathering...


Alejandro Pisanty

On Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 11:03 AM, Mawaki Chango <kichango at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 2:21 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:
>>  I would be interested in whether there is any systematic model for
>> representation, or even commonly
>> accepted practices, as there are aspects which remain unclear to me at
>> this time regarding the general
>> approach to "representative multistakeholderism".    For instance, is
>> representation valid based on a
>> parties past demonstrated activity in a given community, or is it their
>> involvement with institutions whose
>> mission is helping a given community?  Is representation valid if
>> self-asserted, or does the community
>> itself have to be involved in selection of representatives for the model
>> to be valid?  How does funding
>> influence the legitimacy of representation, i.e. are community-funded
>> representatives more valid than
>> those funded by governments or institutions?
>>  Are there different levels of rigor for representative
>> multistakeholderism appropriate depending on
>> whether it is for administrative/facilitation functions versus supporting
>> statements of position on issues?
>> e.g., it is relatively straightforward for myself (or the ARIN Board of
>> Trustees depending on the context)
>> to assert _ARIN's_ position on an issue but only to the extent that the
>> position is germane to ARIN's ability
>> to fulfill its mission.  Representation of the 4500+ ARIN members on
>> Internet topics beyond that scope
>> isn't generally appropriate without first conducting some member
>> consultation and dialogue on the topic.
>>  To the extent that the 1net coordinating committee undertakes duties
>> beyond administration and more
>> towards 1net output development, these questions about methodical
>> representation become rather
>> important; further, given that many folks on this list are likely more
>> familiar with the "open multistakeholder"
>> model of outcome development (such as practiced in the IETF or in RIR
>> address policy development), it
>> would be useful to have some additional insight into what exactly
>> "representative multistakeholderism" is...
> Is there an up-to-date reference document you could point to regarding the
> "open multistakeholder" model or any other similar model? I have been
> thinking about these questions, too from the moment it became clear to me
> that people have issues with the empirical definition of stakeholder
> (whatever that might be) through the proxy of recognizing a person as from
> one or another stakeholder group. We all know people may relate to more
> than one stakeholder group, and I personally don't like relying too much on
> labels when it comes to human beings. And yet, there seems to be a tension
> in embracing "multistakeholderism" while rejecting the need to structure
> stakeholders, precisely for the purposes of facilitating recognition and
> representation.
> Arguably, there is an alternate solution which lies in direct democracy
> without the need for any structuring of the stakeholders: participates
> whoever can and the best outcome will trickle up. I'm not sure how
> practical and feasible that model is beyond certain scale, but in any case
> it might be better called open/ participatory direct democracy or something
> like that rather some name that involves the notion of stakeholder. So, the
> question for me is this: Can we argue for and build an alternate model
> still having to do with the existence and recognition of multiple
> stakeholders, yet with different and innovative ways of organizing
> participation and representation, or shall we reject all-things-stakeholder
> and for what? I wanted to write a blog about that, so I'd appreciate any
> relevant pointers to ideas one could build on.
> Thanks,
> mawaki
>>  Thanks!
>> /John
>>  Disclaimer:  My views alone.
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