[discuss] ICANN policy and "Internet Governance"

Brian E Carpenter brian.e.carpenter at gmail.com
Fri Jan 3 19:49:46 UTC 2014

On 04/01/2014 02:38, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 03, 2014 at 01:03:35AM -0500, Avri Doria wrote:
>> I do not see the problem with the term.  It is not as if it had any
>> previous meanings or any previous usage baggage.
> The part of Brian's paper that I strongly agreed with is that the term
> for many appears to be a catch-all for "anything related to the
> Internet about which I feel strongly Something Should Be Done".  I
> understood him to be arguing that it's not an actionable category, and
> I agree with him.  It sounds like you have a list, though.

Yep, precise lists are good. A precise list of ICANN-related
issues would help to resolve the argument I was just having with
Milton for example (instead of arguing about teminology).

   Brian (1/4 for 2014-01-04 NZDST)

>> It is true that not all of the issues being categorized under Ig,
>> are directly linked.  Similarly, all the issues listed under
>> technical coordination are not necessarily directly linked, yet we
>> see enough similarities between the issues and the architecture they
>> relate to, that we call them all technical coordination.  I would
>> argue that Internet policy issues have similar elements that bring
>> them into the same category. Ig defines a category. not a single
>> thing.
> I certainly don't think that categories are useless, so in principle I
> would agree with this.  On the other hand, I listed a pretty wide
> array of items (and I could come up with more; child pornography and
> protection of children were two prominent categories at the IGF as
> near as I could tell, for instance).  Some of these seem to me to be
> at least possibly related.  There might be common policy issues across
> naming and numbering (presumably, that's why they both ended up at
> ICANN, after all).  Neither of these two, of course, need any new
> "governance" forum at all.  We have at least one, and frequently more
> than one.
> There is conceivably a link between numbering and the problems of
> intra-country or intra-regional peering (though I personally think
> this usually just a matter of lousy national telco regulations coupled
> with poor local infrastructure).  There might even be an argument to
> be made that the money to pay for some of that infrastructure ought to
> come from parties other than the relevant countries/local communities
> in question (perhaps on the grounds of financial resources).  These
> issues, if they are governance issues, perhaps need a home, though I
> guess I don't understand why the IGF isn't the home.  For peering
> issues are by definition voluntary and physically located, so I don't
> get why we need any decision-making body for that.  Why isn't that an
> issue of the relevant parties working together on their own?
> Some of the other topics -- international crime and so on -- are only
> "Internet" issues in that they happen to be using the Internet as an
> enabling technology.  Apart from a discussion forum to inform national
> lawmaking, what is needed here?  If nothing, again, why isn't the IGF
> adequate?
> Finally, the actions of national intelligence services (including but
> certainly not limited to the NSA) are, I submit, not "Internet" issues
> at all, but international government issues in the simplest sense.
> This is what diplomatic channels are for.  The US or Chinese effects
> on Internet traffic (to pick two cases we definitely know about)
> subvert apparently innocent international or domestic communications
> of other countries' citizens.  Why does this need a special forum?
> You'll note I keep asking why above.  This is the same question I've
> asked before: what problem is some new body supposed to be solving
> that isn't already covered?
>> Then there are techno-policy problems, such as the inability to map
>> one variant name to another that leak into the social sphere.
> I'm sorry, but that is _not_ a techno-policy problem.  That's an "I
> want a pony" problem.  To the extent that problem can ever be solved,
> ICANN now has a mechanism to cope with it (full disclosure: I wrote
> much of it).  To the extent people are unhappy with that solution,
> their problem actually cannot be solved.  What people actually want
> there is for the various Tower of Babel-like stories to contain no
> truth.  
>> NSA, results in some degree of policy linkage: how do we trust the
>> US to be a good steward when it obviously doesn't really know what
>> that means, at least not in terms others can accept.  
> That's ok with me.  But then again, why does this need a new body?
> Why isn't that a reform-of-ICANN topic?
> I'm not trying to be difficult.  It's just that, ever since these
> discussions got underway, I have been having a hard time understanding
> not just what we are talking about, but to what end.  I think if the
> goal is some action, then we need to be working on some actionable
> category, and I don't know how "Internet governance" is that.
> Best regards,
> A

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