[discuss] List announcement "robust governance in the digital age"
nb at bollow.ch
Sun Feb 9 19:38:56 UTC 2014
hereby I to announce the creation of a new public discussion mailing
list on the topic of how to make Internet governance structures (and
also governance structures for other global concerns) robust against
capture and other forms of undue influence by special interests.
This is going to be a topically narrow mailing list, and I'm going to
actively manage it to ensure that it stays that way and that it has an
excellent signal to noise ratio.
The creation of this list was inspired significantly by a posting by
Michael Gurstein on the IGC and BestBits mailing lists (quoted in full
below) in which he observes that in many discussions of Internet
governance structures, there is a naïve and dangerous implicit
assumption denying the possibility of “significant, well-funded, very
smart and quite likely unscrupulous forces looking to ... ensure the
dominance of their own corporate/national/institutional interests”.
> On Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 9:05 AM, Norbert Bollow <nb at bollow.ch> wrote:
> I'm strongly in agreement with Michael that we absolutely need for
> the design and discussion of governance mechanisms to strongly
> take these realities of particular interests (which are often in
> conflict with the public interest) explicitly into consideration.
> Michael Gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com> wrote:
> > As I’m reading the various messages and suggestions concerning
> > Brazil and following the discussion on this list and others I’m
> > struck by one overwhelming observation…
> > Folks here seem to be assuming that whatever develops with
> > respect to Internet Governance (and their own interventions)
> > are taking place in a world of benign and selfless actors
> > (stakeholders) whose only interest is in the public good and
> > the well-being of the Internet.
> > Thus proposals for this type of “decentralized” governance
> > structure and that proposal for the “management of decision
> > making through MSism” all are making the completely unwarranted
> > and dare I say, naïve and even dangerous assumption that there
> > are not significant, well-funded, very smart and quite likely
> > unscrupulous forces looking to insert positions that serve and
> > ensure the dominance of their own
> > corporate/national/institutional interests into whatever
> > emerges from whatever process.
> > It really is hard to take any of this discussion very seriously
> > unless there is an attendant discussion on what measures
> > can/will be taken to ensure that these forces do not prevail…
> > that these processes are not captured and subverted… i.e. what
> > are the defensive strategies and institutional mechanisms that
> > “we” (CS) are advocating as part of whatever package we are
> > promoting.
> > Is no one in these CS discussions taking into consideration the
> > overwhelming resources of wealth and power that will be
> > impacted by whatever might emerge from these discussions and
> > the similarly overwhelming temptation (even in some cases the
> > responsibility) to do whatever it takes to twist the result to
> > support one’s own narrow (corporate/national/institutional )
> > interests and what the significance of this observation has to
> > be for these discussions and their outputs.
> > This isn’t paranoia or USA or whatever bashing. This is simple
> > common sense.
> > Has no one here heard of Mr. Snowden and what he has been
> > telling us?
> > M
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