[discuss] Transparency and Accountability vis-à-vis ICANN and the IANA functions

Suzanne Woolf suzworldwide at gmail.com
Mon Apr 7 22:49:32 UTC 2014

On Apr 7, 2014, at 3:22 PM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 07, 2014 at 07:07:33PM +0000, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> There actually is no such thing as a public interest that is in no one's private interest.  
> Depending on how one reads it, that may be going slightly too far, in
> that the compromise that gets worked out in a lot of public policy
> discussions turns out not to be in any _one_ private interest, but
> instead gives a little to various different interests in an effort to
> assemble a stable coalition.  (I don't think that "too far" reading is
> what Milton meant, but I hate to leave an opportunity for yet another
> straw person to be stood up.)
> Nevertheless, what Stephen and Milton appear to be saying is what I've
> been trying to say when I claim that the public interest on the
> Internet emerges from the collection of other interests.  It's not
> spooky or mystical, it's just what "public interest" means.

Amen, with the additional observation that there may well be a time component involved; short-term interests are often not identical, for a group or overall, with long-term interests. One function of considering "public policy" or "the public interest" explicitly is that it can enable better tradeoffs among timescales.

In re: the issues at hand, an answer to questions about accountability that makes sense in terms of certain current realities may not make nearly as much sense in ten years. One of the requirements is probably adaptability over time.


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