[discuss] NETmundial / Neelie Kroes: My thoughts on NETmundial and the Future of Internet Governance

Jefsey jefsey at jefsey.com
Sun Apr 13 02:30:21 UTC 2014

At 18:52 12/04/2014, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>she missed an important opportunity to impose some discipline on 
>ICANN and the USG.

This is may be because she does not want to get involved in internal 
ICANN details. Either ICANN presents an acceptable proposition, or it 
does not and demonstrates this way that it is not fit for the job to 
be a stand-alone NTIA replacement.

>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.

You allude in part to what I call polycracy as an entirely different 
system from monocracy, aristocracy, diktyocracy (actually  a  kind 
of  layered networked MSism), and democracy.  The same as each of 
this systems have variants, the polycracy she culturally envisions 
can only be enschrined in  the european institutional philosophy of 
subsdirarity and substitution. You can certainly envision that a 
responsibility is distributed through subsidiarity and democratically 
assumed locally. Also that a substitution is carried democratically 
among the subsituted subsidiaries.

This is the DNSA you proposed (I stay at the TLD layer). Some TLDs 
could be democratically managed, for example for a City like N-Y or 
Paris. And the DNSA to be democratically managed among TLDs. This is 
a form of MSism. MSism and European concertation can be similar, but 
US MSism is not documented enough: this is part of the WSIS enhanced 
coalition system that was to be experimented and ICANN de facto delayed.


>From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On 
>Behalf Of Andrea Glorioso
>Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 12:04 PM
>To: 1net
>Subject: [discuss] NETmundial / Neelie Kroes: My thoughts on 
>NETmundial and the Future of Internet Governance
>[ Apologies if you receive this message multiple times ]
>Dear all,
>you might be interested to read the recent blog post of Neelie 
>Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and member of the 
>High-Level Multistakeholder Committee of NETmundial, available at 
>and reproduced below.
>My thoughts on NETmundial and the Future of Internet Governance
>Published by 
>KROES on Friday, 11/04/2014
>As the European Commission clearly stated in its 
>on Internet Policy and Governance of 12 February 2014, conflicting 
>visions on the future of the Internet and on how to strengthen its 
>multistakeholder governance in a sustainable manner have intensified 
>recently. The next two years will be critical in redrawing the 
>global map of Internet governance. Europe must contribute to finding 
>a credible way forward for global internet governance; it must play 
>a strong role in defining how the internet is run and ensuring it 
>remains a single, un-fragmented network.
>In less than two weeks, I will be travelling to Sao Paulo to attend 
><http://netmundial.br/>NETmundial, the Multi-stakeholder Meeting on 
>the Future of Internet Governance. The purpose of NETmundial is to 
>develop principles of Internet governance and a roadmap for the 
>future development of this ecosystem. This international conference 
>comes at a very timely moment in the debates on Internet governance 
>and I commend the Brazilian government, and in particular President 
>Dilma Rousseff, for taking this important initiative.
>I was very pleased that the Brazilian Government asked me to join 
>the <http://netmundial.br/hlmc/>High-Level Multi-stakeholder 
>Committee of NETmundial, which oversees the overall strategy of the 
>meeting and fosters the involvement of the international community.
>The members of the High-Level Multi-stakeholder Committee recently 
>received a "draft outcome document", prepared on the basis of the 
><http://content.netmundial.br/docs/contribs>more than 180 comments 
>and submissions (including 
>by the European Commission) to the conference. A 
>consultation on the outcome document is going to be launched by the 
>conference organisers very shortly.
>In the meantime, I shared my observations on this draft document 
>with my colleagues in the High-Level Multi-Stakeholder Committee, 
>the co-chairs of the drafting team and with the secretariat of the 
>conference; in a spirit of transparency, I would like to also share 
>them with the broader Internet community.
>From: KROES Neelie (CAB-KROES)
>Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 7:26 PM
>To: '<mailto:hlmc at netmundial.br>hlmc at netmundial.br'
>Subject: RE: [HLMC] NETmundial draft outcome document
>Dear colleagues,
>I read with great interest the "draft outcome document" for 
>NETmundial prepared by the Executive Meeting Committee (EMC). I 
>would like to thank the members of the EMC and the colleagues who 
>supported them for the hard work that went into drafting the 
>document in such a short amount of time.
>On behalf of the European Commission, I would like to share with you 
>a number of observations and considerations, which I trust will be 
>useful as we move forward towards meeting each other in Sao Paulo in 
>two weeks' time.
>It is in my view absolutely essential that we make a collective 
>effort to ensure that the final outcomes of NETmundial are concrete 
>and actionable, with clear milestones and with a realistic but 
>ambitious timeline. As I had the occasion to underline throughout my 
>tenure as EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda and responsible for 
>EU Internet governance policies - and as the European Commission 
>clearly asserted in our recent Communication on Internet Policy and 
>Governance - I strongly believe that we need to put on the table an 
>evolutionary but concrete agenda for addressing the limitations – 
>whether real or perceived – of the current multi-stakeholder model 
>for the governance of the Internet.
>In this sense, I regret to say that I find the draft outcome 
>document too abstract and vague when it comes to the proposed 
>roadmap. I understand the challenges that the EMC had to face in 
>summarising the many contributions that were submitted, and I trust 
>my remarks will be taken as a constructive contribution; but I am 
>convinced this outcome document, as it stands, will be interpreted 
>as putting off necessary discussions – in particular by those who 
>have different opinion as to the value and effectiveness of the 
>multi-stakeholder model.
>To be clear, I am not arguing that all substantive issues should be 
>"solved" in Sao Paulo. This is neither the purpose of the meeting 
>nor a realistic achievement to plan for, and indeed we need to have 
>a targeted number of issues to address over the two days. However, 
>NETmundial should definitively mark a significant "change of pace" 
>in the discussions and deliberations that have taken place so far. 
>My own experience in public service suggests that a necessary 
>condition to achieve such objective is to start from a substantially 
>more ambitious point of departure than is currently the case.
>There are a few other observations on the draft outcome document 
>that I would like to make at this point in time.
>First of all, I found some of the language related to human rights 
>unnecessarily weak. I refer in particular to the passage "Internet 
>governance should be open, participatory, Multistakeholder, 
>technology-neutral, sensitive to human rights". We have an 
>obligation to respect and promote human rights, not merely be 
>"sensitive" to them, and this should be clearly reflected throughout 
>the outcome document. This includes, among a number of important 
>issues, the protection of privacy and personal data protection, 
>which should have a prominent role in the outcome document.
>Secondly, self-regulation and self-organisation of different 
>stakeholders are certainly to be preserved and promoted. However, 
>this cannot be to the detriment of basic democratic principles. It 
>is not sufficient that the mechanisms through which "different 
>stakeholder groups [
] self-manage their processes [are] based on 
>publicly known mechanisms", if this results in the explicit or 
>implicit exclusion of persons in a manner that would contradict 
>democratic processes.
>Thirdly, I am glad that the draft outcome document recognises the 
>importance of distributed institutional models for Internet 
>governance, avoiding centralised solutions as a default. This is 
>very much in line with the position of the European Commission that 
>stronger interactions between stakeholders involved in Internet 
>governance should be fostered via cross-cutting, issue-based 
>dialogues, instead of through new bodies. This would allow relevant 
>stakeholders to address specific challenges across structural and 
>organisational boundaries. Such arrangements should be inspired by 
>the distributed architecture of the Internet which should serve as a 
>model for better interactions between all parties.
>In this light, let me underline that in order for such distributed 
>models to truly work, especially for people, organisations and 
>countries with fewer resources to devote to this policy area, it is 
>absolutely essential that the right ICT tools are globally 
>available. The draft outcome document does refer to this, in 
>particular in regard to remote participation in meetings and 
>discussions. I believe we should be more ambitious and look more 
>carefully at the role that ICTs, including Big Data technologies, 
>can play in this context. The European Commission is addressing this 
>challenge via the Global Internet Policy Observatory (GIPO) 
>initiative. I would be glad to share further details and explore how 
>we could join forces in this endeavour, possibly as a concrete 
>deliverable of NETmundial.
>Fourthly, I cannot stress enough how important it is that we keep 
>the momentum towards a real and effective globalisation of core 
>Internet functions and decisions. This is perhaps one of the most 
>essential conditions to satisfy if we want the multi-stakeholder 
>model for Internet governance to be seen as truly legitimate across 
>the world. I have already had the occasion to congratulate the 
>United States Government for its announcement of 14 March 2014, 
>concerning the globalisation of certain IANA functions; I am 
>therefore pleased that the draft outcome document specifically 
>mentions the globalisation of both IANA and ICANN. I want 
>nonetheless to underline that any such movement towards further 
>globalisation of Internet processes should firmly and explicitly 
>keep the public interest as a primary condition.
>I appreciate that the EMC in its proposal has tried to take maximum 
>account of the contributions received. However, I think that the 
>conference should not overextend the areas it wants to cover meaningfully.
>I am not convinced, for example, that the outcome document should or 
>indeed needs to touch upon issues such as "network neutrality" and 
>the liability of Internet intermediaries. Both are certainly very 
>important issues in the overall debate on an open Internet, but are 
>the subject of detailed discussions elsewhere.
>On Net Neutrality for example, legislators of the European Union are 
>at this very moment engaged in a democratic debate on the "Connected 
>Continent" proposal by the European Commission. I understand a 
>similar debate is taking place in Brazil, on the "Marco Civil". We 
>should not be seen as prejudging the outcome of a democratic 
>procedure on such sensitive topics.
>As regards the topic of the liability of intermediaries, I believe 
>there is no added value in referring, via potentially contentious 
>language, to an issue which has extensively been debated in many 
>different settings and democratic fora and has in some cases been 
>enshrined in legislation, as is the case of the European Union.
>I trust the above observations will be taken with the same 
>constructive spirit with which I wrote them. I am looking forward to 
>meeting all of you in Sao Paulo.
>Yours sincerely,
>Neelie Kroes
>Vice-President of the European Commission"
>Best regards,
>Andrea Glorioso (Mr)
>European Commission - DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology
>Unit D1 (International relations) + Task Force on Internet Policy Development
>Avenue de Beaulieu 25 (4/64) / B-1049 / Brussels / Belgium
>T: +32-2-29-97682 M: +32-460-797-682 E: 
><mailto:Andrea.Glorioso at ec.europa.eu>Andrea.Glorioso at ec.europa.eu
>Twitter: @andreaglorioso
>The views expressed above are purely those of the writer and may not 
>in any circumstances be regarded as stating an official position of 
>the European Commission.
>Les opinions exprimées ci-dessus n'engagent que leur auteur et ne 
>sauraient en aucun cas être assimilées à une position officielle de 
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