[discuss] FW: [IP] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name Oversight/reality check

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Mon Apr 14 14:24:36 UTC 2014

On Monday 14 April 2014 06:52 PM, joseph alhadeff wrote:
> Milton:
> I guess I see these as two discussions which could be developed on 
> parallel and potentially/likely intersecting paths (one narrowly 
> focused, the other, more broadly conceptualized) but any outcome would 
> still need to meet the NTIA criteria.  I see no downside to 
> discussions of a range of mechanisms of governance, but discussing the 
> possibility of Congressional action seems less productive.  I am also 
> concerned that when we speak of democratic inclusiveness from those 
> potentially impacted, we also keep in mind the operational 
> requirements of the Internet and governance mechanisms.  Even the more 
> symbolic oversight functions require some level of knowledge of the 
> ecosystem and implications of decisions on that ecosystem.  While a 
> large number of users may well be potentially impacted, the vast 
> majority of them have little knowledge of the working of DNS systems 
> and related technology or the nuances of principles of governance.  
> How do we include them?  I try to stay away from exclusionary 
> language, but an not sure how to accommodate the realities of not 
> every conversation or decision-making process being appropriate for, 
> or open to, all people...


Democratic inclusiveness is not a planned activity as a kind of add on, 
it is people's right.... And no one has a right to be second guessing 
what people think is right for them.... Now, at one level we may just be 
considering a committee which should be charged to recommend the 
appropriate oversight for ICANN, or whether there should be none. Any 
set of intelligent people after hearing all sides and going through all 
the available material and after intense discussions among them, can 
come up with the appropriate model.. What is important is (1) their 
legitimacy and (2) the breadth of experience and expertise in different 
sectors of public affairs, which are impacted by the Internet. Technical 
community can make any number of presentations, and if still it thinks 
these 'other people' wont understand, so bad for them (the technical 
community) . I think such kind of techno-centricism and -aloofness if 
not -superiority is not right in pulbic affiars - and oversight of the 
basic Internet's critical resources is centre and front a public affair. 
Let the people decide it. It they think that the final oversight body 
does need some kind of technical expertise, they will make sure that it 
has that kind of technical expertise.


> Best-
> Joe
> On 4/14/2014 9:01 AM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> Joe:
>> >There is a challenge on the table to develop a solution that will 
>> credibly
>> > meet the NTIA conditions.  To date that is at best a work in progress.
>> > You don't need to have Congressional action for a failure to meet those
>> > criteria to result in the status quo.  The best path forward on 
>> these matters
>> > is to develop a truly credible  solution that protects stability, 
>> functionality
>> > and unity while remaining a non-governmental, multistakeholder 
>> solution,
>> > not subject to capture or subversion by those elements that would 
>> try to
>> > make the Internet less open.
>> Agreed, we need to focus on the IANA transition, and general 
>> discussions of what is democracy do not contribute to that. However, 
>> it is legitimate for people to relate specific proposals to broader 
>> governance principles. Indeed, that is unavoidable.
>> As for developing solutions, there are a number of specific plans on 
>> the table. The IGP proposal is one, but I am still a big fan of the 
>> InternetNZ diagrams, which parse out the various activities and 
>> functions and show how different proposals might structure them. 
>> http://www.internetgovernance.org/2014/03/27/mapping-out-the-iana-transition/ 
>> I would propose this as a reference point for discussion. There is 
>> plenty of constructive activity and discussion that can happen if we 
>> start with that.
>> What is not helpful, or constructive, is for ICANN's scoping document 
>> to tell us that any such discussion is out of scope. That gambit has 
>> completely derailed constructive planning and proposal-making around 
>> the transition. That is why we and many others have rejected the 
>> scoping document and proposed a modified version here: 
>> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nYQwmfTB52fLwT88RpAyGd3kD69rBLXbnG5zi5IT9yw/edit?usp=sharing 
>> Joe
>> On 4/13/2014 9:53 AM, michael gurstein wrote:
>>     Accepting for the moment the argument that the USG has been
>>     completely benign and acting completely in support of the global
>>     public interest in its stewardship of the Internet,  shouldn't
>>     someone somewhere be doing the deep thinking involved in figuring
>>     out what to do if/when the USG/Congress says to the world... "The
>>     Internet is ours, we paid for it, and you can't have it or you
>>     can have it only on our terms... (or the diplomatic/technical
>>     equivalent)... and without of course, having any clear idea of
>>     what that does (or could) mean.
>>     M
>>     ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>     From: *Dewayne Hendricks* <dewayne at warpspeed.com
>>     <mailto:dewayne at warpspeed.com>>
>>     Date: Sunday, April 13, 2014
>>     Subject: [Dewayne-Net] GOP, Dems Clash Over Online Domain Name
>>     Oversight
>>     To: Multiple recipients of Dewayne-Net <dewayne-net at warpspeed.com
>>     <mailto:dewayne-net at warpspeed.com>>
>>     By ALAN FRAM
>>     Apr 10 2014
>>     <http://bigstory.ap.org/article/gop-dems-clash-over-online-domain-name-oversight>
>>     WASHINGTON (AP) --- Republican opposition to Obama administration
>>     plans to spin off U.S. oversight of the Internet's domain name
>>     system is evolving into an election-year political fight, with
>>     GOP lawmakers using it as the latest front in their attacks on
>>     President Barack Obama's trustworthiness.
>>     "We've seen enough out of this administration and its imperial
>>     presidency politics that I'm not going to just give them a blank
>>     pen and then walk away," Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said Thursday
>>     as a House subcommittee he chairs voted to impose a one-year
>>     delay in implementing any changes so congressional investigators
>>     could study the issue.
>>     The party-line 16-10 vote came as administration officials
>>     defended their proposal at other congressional hearings. And
>>     Democratic lawmakers said Republican warnings that the Internet
>>     could be turned over to hostile governments were the stuff of
>>     fantasy.
>>     "It's not a conspiracy or a digital black helicopter," Rep. Anna
>>     Eshoo, D-Calif., said in a sarcastic reference to 1990s-era
>>     claims by some militias and other right-wing groups about
>>     government surveillance aircraft. "It's a plan, and I think it's
>>     time to move forward with it."
>>     The back and forth comes during a campaign season in which
>>     Republicans have vilified Obama as exceeding his powers by taking
>>     steps such as delaying various deadlines set by his health care
>>     overhaul law, which they solidly oppose.
>>     The latest dispute is over an administration announcement last
>>     month that it wants to give up its oversight of the non-profit
>>     U.S. corporation that manages the Internet's system of addresses,
>>     such as www.ap.org <http://www.ap.org>.
>>     That entity --- the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
>>     Numbers --- has allocated domain names and the numerical
>>     addresses to which they are attached since 1998. Ever since,
>>     ICANN's work has been overseen by the Commerce Department's
>>     National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
>>     "We are not giving up our leadership role," Lawrence Strickling,
>>     who heads the NTIA, told members of the House Judiciary
>>     Committee. "We are stepping out of clerical functions we
>>     currently perform."
>>     Shedding oversight of how ICANN distributes addresses is a
>>     long-planned, logical next step, administration officials say.
>>     They say the move would still leave the U.S. with a voice on
>>     advisory committees and other entities that make decisions about
>>     larger questions about Internet policies.
>>     The Obama administration and ICANN say decisions about who would
>>     take the current U.S. oversight role will be made by companies,
>>     engineers, nonprofit groups, governments and other Internet users
>>     --- the same way many decisions about Internet policy are
>>     currently made.
>>     "Everyone is at the table with equal voice," ICANN's president
>>     and CEO, Fadi Chehade, told the Judiciary panel. "The model
>>     works, and it works very well."
>>     Critics say there is no way to know what new entity would take
>>     the administration's role, or what other changes might occur
>>     should the U.S. lose leverage with the domain assigning
>>     corporation The U.S. government has had a series of contracts
>>     with ICANN since 1998, with the current one expiring in September
>>     2015 --- with two two-year renewals possible.
>>     [snip]
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