[discuss] Why oversight? (was Re: Opportunity for input on the development process forIANAoversight transition plan)

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Tue Apr 1 12:58:36 UTC 2014

On Tue, Apr 01, 2014 at 04:31:55PM +0530, parminder wrote:

> What is really needed is an external, arms length, oversight over
> the working of this 'technical community', without  interfering in
> its day to day functions.

Why is that needed?  Why do some think it would help?  What problem is
it trying to solve?  

One answer I've seen in these discussions seems to rest on
"legitimacy", but that seems to me to be a false claim.  I do not
understand how an external body that does not understand the problem
it is ostensibly governing is somehow more legitimate.  Perhaps
"legitimacy" has some technical meaning I don't understand.

Another answer I've seen appears to have to do with represtantivity or
something like that.  As I've argued in another thread, however, if
people feel their issues are not being addressed when technical
solutions are proposed, it would be much more effective simply to
participate to get those issues addressed.  This is tricky, of course,
but many of us are willing to help and the technical communities
mostly have, as far as I can see, processes that are designed to
enable such participation.  (To the extent not, let's work on _that_,
and not invent a new layer.)

A third answer I've seen appears to be that we need a place for
governments to supervise everything.  I think that view is
antithetical to the multi-stakeholder approach we're supposedly using.
If people are really opposed to that approach, they should say that.

A fourth answer appears to boil down to, "I want this."  There are
lots of things I want, too, but alas I don't get everything I want.
So this needs a better argument.

If there is some other reason that this external party is needed, I
don't understand it, so I'd like to be enlightened.

Best regards,


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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