[discuss] Possible approaches to solving "problem no. 1"

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Thu Feb 20 22:09:00 UTC 2014

John, I don't buy your distinction between governments' "taking unilateral actions against the Internet" and governments getting involved in existing institutions. Governments have their own agendas, which respond to the pressure groups that affect them. They will take the agendas that prompted them to act unilaterally into the Internet governance institutions if any only if they think it will be more effective. Case in point: Law enforcement's demands for surveillance of Whois data or their demand to impose pre-verification requirements on domain name registrars. 

-----Original Message-----
From: John Curran [mailto:jcurran at istaff.org] 
Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 3:25 PM
To: Milton L Mueller
Cc: discuss at 1net.org List
Subject: Re: [discuss] Possible approaches to solving "problem no. 1"

On Feb 20, 2014, at 3:00 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

> Speaking of false dichotomies, what the heck are Mike (or Jefsey) talking about when they defend the need for government "involvement"????
> Have they been asleep since 1998? Have they missed more than a decade of state-imposed filtering and censorship, ICE domain seizures, cybersecurity initiatives, cyber espionage, kill switches, data retention, surveillance not only by NSA but most others, etc., etc., etc? Did they overlook the existence and growing influence of the GAC within ICANN? Did they overlook the takeover of various ccTLDs by national governments ranging from Korea to Kazakhstan to Ukraine? They are already involved.

Milton - 

Your examples predominantly refer to governments taking unilateral actions against the Internet, as opposed to what I suggested - "... continues via the present model, with a significant addition of efforts to facilitate government involvement in the process, both by increasing the awareness of the ongoing policy development efforts underway at any moment in time, but also through the encourage of governments to work towards common expression of clear high-level standards and norms which may be applicable inputs into the technical coordination process (e.g. EU Data Privacy Directive, UN GA 68/167, etc.) "

specifically - 1) governments participating in the existing processes for coordination, and 2) governments working together on common expression of high-level standards and norms as input into these processes.

> I get rankled about this kind of stuff because when Mike and John make these soothing overtures to states, the actual bargaining chip that they offer those poor confused states usually ends up being _my_ rights and _my_ freedom and that of billions of other individual internet users. 

If you're referring to your rights being impinged upon because of the actions you listed above, those don't appear to be the result of governments getting involved in Internet coordination; to the contrary, they're the consequences of them not being involved and seeking other means to fulfill their perceived duties.


Disclaimer: My views alone. 

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