[discuss] [I-coordination] New: How do we dissect Internet governance?--

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Jan 5 14:15:08 UTC 2014

The issue Mike raises goes to the heart of the matter...

If the present phase (post-Snowden?) is about some real change in global 
Internet governance, then it has to be of coming out of narrow 
ideologies that the Internet and Internet governance remain stuck in..

After a very good start in the hands of early pioneers  of the Internet, 
the original sin of course was committed when the US establishment 
characterised the Internet's primary identity  as a global marketplace, 
which identity forms the basic philosophy and rules of its current 
governance ... This over-rode the primary role of the Internet in global 
community building, social mediation, access to knowledge, p2p 
production models, and so on, which certainly was a very political act 
if shrouded rather well in 'technical neutrality' and such things.

Next layer of political clothing for the Internet came, a few years 
later, as a narrow set of negative rights - mostly, just freedom of 
expression, no doubt a very important right, but being just one out of 
many, and often rather meaningless without the larger set of rights. 
This struggle of what makes FoE meaningful was precisely the struggle 
that civil society did in the form of communication rights movement, but 
all those advances seem to have been simply rolled back, unfortunately 
even by much of IG related civil society.

Interestingly, the needs for an Internet for global extension of digital 
trade, and, through digital networks, other forms of trade, seemed to 
share a lot of points with the conception of an Internet for global 
freedom of expression, and a very strong alliance of Internet free 
trade-ists and free expression-ists got built, which has its good 
points, but very huge limitations as well. Snowden spoiled this party a 
bit, but the alliance seems rather resilient.... That is the political 
reality of the Internet that we have right now.

Well, to come back to Mike's point, if we have to make progress, we have 
to come out of these safe and comfortable spaces. There is a huge world 
out there, and the Internet is simply not serving its interests in its 
full potential. In many ways, it can begin to make things worse for 
them, unless the interests of disadvantaged people are specifically 
recognised and articulated in IG spaces, and also judged as often being 
different from those of the dominant classes. Such an exercise must be 
the most important thing to do in this current phase of revisiting 
Internet governance. In default, it would just be  a lot of window 
dressing, which dominant groups are known to resort to whenever strong 
challenges to their domination emerge. And that would be such a waste of 
everybody's time.


On Sunday 05 January 2014 02:39 PM, michael gurstein wrote:
> My apologies if this is a bit out of sequence... I'm only now getting 
> around to reading the fascinating document that Alejandro and George 
> pointed us towards by Baak and Rossini.
> And it is excellent and fascinating work. It is quite remarkable I 
> think in surfacing the pre-occupations and directions that have guided 
> the Internet Governance discussions including those on most lists, the 
> IGF and even the academic research.
> One can only marvel at the strong measure of coherence and convergence 
> that the paper demonstrates so clearly and concisely.
> But I must say I'm struck in reading that document by (as Sherlock 
> Holmes would say) the dogs that aren't barking.
> Where in the collection of themes/principles is there any reference to 
> (responding to) the distributional impact of the Internet---in terms 
> of wealth, power, position, influence; or where are there proposed 
> principles that deal with the increasing concentration/centralization 
> of power that is such a characteristic of the current Internet and 
> away from what was a fundamental element in the design of the Internet 
> its decentralization, distributed governance and control migrating to 
> the edges; or (and of course most of these documents are pre-Snowden), 
> where is there any reference that even hints at the rise of the 
> Surveillance State and what if anything that can/should be done about 
> this.
> So perhaps the convergence and coherence rather than something to be 
> celebrated should be seen as a problem to be addressed.
> Is this perhaps a reflection of a false and narrow, even artificial 
> consensus, among those proposing IG principles. Moreover is this 
> "consensus" something that can truly provide the range of principles 
> that would respond to Pres. Rousseff's call to "harness the full 
> potential of the Internet" including in ensuring universality, 
> diversity, democracy, development and human rights in and through the 
> Internet and its governance.
> Mike
> *From:*i-coordination-bounces at nro.net 
> [mailto:i-coordination-bounces at nro.net] *On Behalf Of *George Sadowsky
> *Sent:* Wednesday, December 18, 2013 2:25 AM
> *To:*Nigel Hickson
> *Cc:* I-coordination at nro.net
> *Subject:* Re: [I-coordination] New: How do we dissect Internet 
> governance? [Was: Europe at a tipping point?]
> It really worth looking at the paper that Alejandro suggested:
> in 
> http://bestbits.net/wp-uploads/2013/10/ChartConceptNote_MB_CR.pdf Jeonghyun 
> Baak and Carolina Rossini present a compilation of principles (for 
> Internet freedom, mostly). They have also made public tables with a 
> detailes, issue-by-issue compilation of statements from a very broad 
> set of organizations. Very high quality work.
> George
> On Dec 17, 2013, at 2:01 PM, Nigel Hickson wrote:
> Nick; great idea; we have some from OECD; Council of Europe and 
> European Commission. A coordinate input to Brazil would be great!
> *From: *Nick Ashton-Hart <nashton at ccianet.org 
> <mailto:nashton at ccianet.org>>
> *Date: *Tuesday, December 17, 2013 6:45 PM
> *To: *William Drake <william.drake at uzh.ch <mailto:william.drake at uzh.ch>>
> *Cc: *"I-coordination at nro.net <mailto:I-coordination at nro.net>" 
> <i-coordination at nro.net <mailto:i-coordination at nro.net>>
> *Subject: *Re: [I-coordination] New: How do we dissect Internet 
> governance? [Was: Europe at a tipping point?]
> To Bill's point in the first instance it would be useful to identify 
> those principles that exist to date and their source and scope. 
> Perhaps 1net could host a wiki environment or the like where those 
> with knowledge of one or more could get a list together?
> On 17 Dec 2013, at 18:34, William Drake <william.drake at uzh.ch 
> <mailto:william.drake at uzh.ch>> wrote:
> Hi George
> On Dec 17, 2013, at 6:24 PM, George Sadowsky 
> <george.sadowsky at gmail.com <mailto:george.sadowsky at gmail.com>> wrote:
> Bill,
> You say: "Do we really have nothing more important to be doing here at 
> this point than redefining the wheel as just a round thingy?  I 
> thought this list was supposed to be for coordination 
> of multistakeholder dialogue on Sao Paulo and beyond, but it seems to 
> alternate between being a troll paradise and the site of a lot of 
> meandering debates on points that are generally being addressed more 
> systematically elsewhere.  Or am I alone in this perception?"
> I agree that we need to address points systematically.  Can you 
> provide a list of systematic points (dare we call them issues?) that 
> it would, in your view, be useful to discuss?
> Well, why not start with the question of principles?  The initiators 
> of the SP meeting have been saying from the outset they'd like to have 
> a sort of multistakeholder declaration of principles.  Presumably it'd 
> be helpful if 1net participants were to provide some input on this, 
> and presumably we'd like it to be more than just nice fluffy words. 
>  Why not discuss the range of options to make this a useful exercise, 
> and see where there's cross-stakeholder consensus and where there's 
> not?  It's something concrete that needs to be done, and they want 
> input by 1 March.
> Cheers
> Bill
> _______________________________________________
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> discuss at 1net.org
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