[discuss] Government Engagement model [2 of 2] (was: Re: IPv6 Deployment and IG)

Mawaki Chango kichango at gmail.com
Sat Dec 28 09:59:47 UTC 2013

This thought experiment illustrates very well the kind of approach I have
in mind when I wrote the following, from IG perspective overall, which Nick
referred to as 'unpacking'.

> 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 in
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 this
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 with
some technical contribution and these are possible trade-offs; and no these
other ones we know for sure will create a far more nefarious situation that
what you guys are complaining about and this is how, etc.

This needs not to remain just a thought experiment or an hypothetical
scenario. One only needs to welcome genuine engagement with those who have
concerns and wanted this kind of meeting in order to air them and try to
have them addressed, and be humble enough in order to help create a
conducive environment for a productive dialog. Then one might see actual
instances of what is now hypothetical emerge. Unfortunately, for some
particularly on the tech side of things (and I'm not pointing finger to the
whole TC or the I* as a whole), unless the other stakeholders can speak
their (tech-savvy) language, which they seem to consider THE language of
Internet affairs, and translate their concerns into a precise definition of
a problem _in terms of that language, and only of that language_ there is
nothing worth talking about.

The issue with that is if we keep refusing to do the _work_ of listening to
the concerns of others, so as to help once for all put to rest the ones
that are unwarranted, to better define the others (if any) and refer them
to their respective appropriate context/ definition domain, they will keep
coming back one way or the other even if in different forms (like they have
now 10 years after WSIS).

I realize there are a lot of misunderstandings from the part of many
governments. Whatever USG does with the Internet, which they and possibly
most of the world finds outrageous (eg, the NSA overreaching surveillance
program), they are quick to ascribe that to the particular status of USG in
the IG environment (with ICANN, the IANA authority/contact, etc.) while
that may not be accurate. Indeed, that might just be due to the fact that
i) most global internet companies are US-based and are subject to the US(G)
jurisdiction; ii) USG is smart enough with the technology (via the related
manpower available to them) to play with it in their/ the government
self-asserted interest (eg, national security, etc.) None of those issues
can be directly changed or decided upon through a global IG process. But
that does't mean we can't listen and try to understand (even beyond what
people are readily and explicitly able to articulate) what their problem
might be with the internet and see what can be improved and explain in
definite terms what cannot change.

Governments, especially from developing countries, usually feel ITU listens
to their concerns but they see they can't get anything done about the
Internet through ITU. On the other hand when they want to voice those
concerns in multistakeholder processes, some quarters just dismiss them as
dumb or irrelevant, or at any rate they feel they are not listened to, not
given any consideration. The next thing you might know is that they are
turning to China (which is, in its own way, the other smart government as
far as its political interests) to import technology and know-how and to
train their engineers in order to help them play with internet at home. So
much for "one net" and no to balkanization of the internet. Well, maybe we
will still have US trade agreements to save the "global" Internet with
special clauses.


On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 10:55 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:

> Folks -
> As an example of trying to improve engagement with governments towards
> constructive
> outcomes on Internet issues, I am going to revisit the Country Internet
> Registry
> question, but attempt to express some potential motivations that could
> have been
> behind the question... This is the type of discussion that one would
> probably never
> have been able to have in the multilateral intergovernmental forum that
> was available,
> and would be unlikely to attempt to bring to the IETF or the RIRs (unless
> one is
> particularly brave...)   Instead, on behalf of governments everywhere, I
> will try to
> hypothetically bring this topic to 1net for consideration.  Given the
> hypothetical
> perspective from which this is based, I ask leave of the list to consider
> the
> following text to be on behalf of the Minister of Telecom of a Hypothetical
> (but outspoken) Country -
> === Begin written remarks
>   Distinguished 1net Participants -
>   I have come to 1net today to express the urgent desire for establishing
>   Country-based Internet Registries for IPv6, as without these my country
>   will not be able to properly perform several functions related to our
>   sovereign rights and responsibilities.  In particular, we require
>   country-based IPv6 Internet registries so that we can do one or more
>   of the following activities in fulfillment of certain important public
>   policy obligations -
>    A) To be able to appropriately license ISPs operating within our
> country -
>       By having a having country-based IPv6 registry, we can require that
>       ISPs in our country make use of that registry and only issue address
> space
>       to those providers which meet our necessary licensing provisions.
>    B) Similarly, licensing ISPs is viewed as a potentially significant
>       source of revenue; this is a source of revenue badly to needed
>       to offset other effects of the Internet on our country receipts.
>    C) We also desire that all users in our country be on one distinct
>       IPv6 prefix, so that we can filter out everyone else from reaching
>       our important in-country government resources and servers.
>    D) We also desire that all users and websites in certain other countries
>       be on their own IPv6 prefix, so we can filter out reachability to
>       them from users in our country.
>    E) We need to have a country-based Internet registry to be able to do
>       better validation of entities (ISPs, organizations) receiving IPv6
>       addresses than can be done by an external, non-government endorsed
>       entity
>    F) We desire the ability to establish different policies for allocation
>       in our country, although not in contradiction to regional or global
>       policies.
>    G) We desire the ability to establish different policies for allocation
>       in our country, in particular the assignment of global IPv6 addresses
>       to each user to provide portability of them between providers
>    H) We desire the ability to establish different policies for allocation
>       in our country, in particular the assignment of global IPv6 addresses
>       to each user to provide for improved tracking of all their activity
>    I) We must have a country-based Internet registry because we cannot
>       have any dependence on any entities outside of our country for
>       such an important function as allocation of Internet addresses.
> I thank the 1net community for your prompt consideration of this matter.
>   Honorable Minister, Hypothetical Country.
> === end written remarks
> Would we ever get such frank statement of goals from any government?  Quite
> unlikely, but (if we were more receptive) we might easily receive some
> lengthy
> remarks that could be parsed to obtain the equivalent of one or more
> objectives
> such as those listed above.
> The fact is that some of these objectives are probably achievable (E & F)
> have
> been achieved on a limited basis in the past via national Internet registry
> efforts) although there are tradeoffs involved, others have technical
> issues
> (A, C, D, G, H), and some of them do not align with principles and values
> held
> by other stakeholders (B, D, H, I)...  The fact is, if we knew what exactly
> the problem was, it would be possible to have a rational discussion of
> whether
> country-based Internet registries solved that problem, with what
> side-effects,
> and whether there was any better alternatives.
> None of that discussion has occurred to date, because we never provided an
> open environment for discussion and never received a clear statement of the
> problem(s) that country-based Internet registries were supposed to solve.
> Making it easier for governments to come forth with their Internet issues
> and conduct an open constructive in-depth dialogue on neutral ground may
> not
> actually solve any of the problems, but will go a long way to improving
> everyone's understanding of the issues involved.
> FYI,
> /John
> Disclaimer: My views alone.  No Minister of Hypothetical Country exists.
> _______________________________________________
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> discuss at 1net.org
> http://1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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