[discuss] Government Engagement model [1 of 2] (was: Re: IPv6 Deployment and IG)

Bjoern Hoehrmann derhoermi at gmx.net
Sat Dec 28 15:16:05 UTC 2013

* John Curran wrote:
>It is quite likely that there were governments with very real challenges that 
>they hoped to address via country Internet registries for IPv6, but what exactly 
>they were, and whether changing the registry model would solve them is unknown
>and unexplored by the ITU IPv6 exercise.  There also was a session at one of 
>the IGF's touching on this topic, but in typical IGF fashion, we had three or
>four discussion themes, one or two speakers for each, 90 minutes to cover it
>all, and therefore barely enough time to outline the issue...
>What's lost in all of the above efforts is that there is still a problem out
>there (or at least the perception of a problem), and despite everything that 
>has occurred, we are not meaningfully closer to a definition of the problem
>(let alone work towards a solution)... This is very unfortunate, since there
>may actually be real issues, with potentially real solutions available, but
>instead of asking everyone involved in these efforts "are you satisfied with 
>this outcome", much of the Internet technical community has effectively been
>satisfied with the status quo outcome without realization that any outcome
>is a failure if we never actually discussed the underlying concerns of all
>the parties (including governments) that have been involved.  
>To some extent, this is inevitable as a result of the engagement model that 
>has been developed over the years: 1) Government perceives problem, and 2) 
>Calls for process to discuss and possibly regulate or otherwise get involved, 
>3) Internet technical community rises up with chants of "Hands off the Net!"
>thus giving pause to all, 4) Government then stands down, start the 5) Internet
>victory lap...   While this is slightly tongue-in-cheek, it's not to far from
>the history of several government Internet initiatives over the years, wherein
>the specific initiative was "defeated", and thus meaningful and constructive 
>discussion of the underlying public policy concern or mandate never occurred.

If Government does not articulate the problems it perceives then it can
not have the consent of the governed in taking actions to address them.
In your description, the fault lies exclusively with Government.
Björn Höhrmann · mailto:bjoern at hoehrmann.de · http://bjoern.hoehrmann.de
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