[discuss] NETmundial / Neelie Kroes: My thoughts on NETmundial and the Future of Internet Governance
stephanie.perrin at mail.utoronto.ca
Sat Apr 12 19:03:47 UTC 2014
Please include in your notes an enthusiastic fan letter from me. I found her remarks to the HLMC, which I obviously am not at liberty to share, an absolute breath of fresh air, and I applaud the release of this statement and her insistence on the protection of privacy and human rights.
I am not a political scientist like Milton, so I hesitate to say this....but I think our democratic problems are indeed inherently contradictory. If one lives in a nation state that has a strong constitution that protects human rights, and one has national privacy legislation that protects one's privacy and security, is it crazy to not want to keep that? If I were a European Citizen, would I give up the Charter and Court of Human Rights? On the other hand, a global multi-stakeholder organization that is still inchoate needs to be created to continue to build the Internet, but it is a mystery to me how we persuade nation states to give up their aspirations for control on an equal footing. Some aspirations for control are beneficent, others less so and until we see a demonstrated non-government organization that protects rights, and/or leaves power at the nation-state to fully protect rights, I am afraid I have a foot on each log going down the river. I like Avri's vision (last paragraph) but I don't think we have built it yet. Many of our trade negotiations have been disappointing in this regard.
On 2014-04-12, at 1:36 PM, Andrea Glorioso wrote:
> Dear Milton, Avri and all,
> as you might guess, it would be inappropriate for me to react on this list to your comments on Vice-President Kroes' letter to the NETmundial High-Level Multi-stakeholder Committee - although I do find them quite interesting.
> In any case, I do want to clarify that I am taking note of all such comments / reactions, whether shared on this mailing list or eslewhere, and I am making sure they are known to the Vice-President and the colleagues of the European Commission who will be accompanying her in Sao Paulo.
> On Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 7:04 PM, Avri Doria <avri at acm.org> wrote:
> On 12-Apr-14 12:52, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> > It’s great that Vice President Kroes chose to address the Netmundial
> > outcome draft with a public expression of her opinion. It would have
> > been possible for her to express these opinions privately via the HLC,
> > but she allowed the broader public to participate in the dialogue by
> > making these comments open.
> I agree this is a good thing.
> > At a more philosophical level I also have a feeling that her view is
> > confusing or incoherent on a specific topic, namely “democratic”
> > governance. She speaks repeatedly about “democratic principles” and
> > “democratic process,” as do many on this list. However, those principles
> > and processes typically are rooted in citizenship in a particular nation
> > state with its own (territorially exclusive) legal regime and rights.
> > Moreover, democracy in this sense inherently involves a single,
> > centralized government. She says this in the context of critiquing or
> > expressing reservations about “self-organization.” At the same time, she
> > praises “*distributed institutional models for Internet governance,
> > avoiding centralised solutions as a default.” I find these expressions
> > to be contradictory, or at least not well thought-out. Distributed,
> > networked governance is never going to be “democratic” in the classic
> > sense, and democratic governance is never going to be as distributed and
> > flexible as self-organization by engaged stakeholders. There is a
> > tradeoff here, and in a transnational context you can’t really call for
> > “democracy” unless you are also calling for a centralized world
> > government. Kroes is a politician not a political philosopher or
> > theorist, but I think it’s important to flag this. ***
> Whereas I disagree with her arguments about Democracy and the
> Multi-Stakeholder model in that I see it as a form of participatory
> democracy that includes the representative democratic ideal of the
> individual countries and the varieties of democratic self organization
> among the stakeholders to create a richer trans-national form of democracy.
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> I speak only for myself. Sometimes I do not even agree with myself. Keep it in mind.
> Twitter: @andreaglorioso
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