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

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Mon Jan 6 09:12:04 UTC 2014

On Sunday 05 January 2014 10:51 PM, Mike Roberts wrote:
> The arrival of each new generation of communications technology 
> enables and expands the power of various social, political and 
> economic interests. 

No it does not just uniformly expand, it differently impacts such 
interests... Further, the concerned technology can be designed, evolved 
and governed as to benefit some interests rather than others... This is 
the key political issue in Internet governance. Rest is technical 
coordination and management.

>  The Internet is just the latest such arrival, although the 
> conjunction of the technology of moving bits with that of stored logic 
> in computers has raised the bar considerably on deus ex machina 
> considerations.  Jousting occurs as these interests attempt to reshape 
> the landscape to fit their diverse visions of a better future.
> The Internet itself is amoral.

While, no technology is socially neutral, also it here further depends 
on what you call as the Internet. Most people today understand by the 
Internet a complex socio-technical artefact intertwined in various 
social processes. The governance of the Internet is accordingly 
socio-political ....

>  It neither advances nor retards human activities except through the 
> actions of its users (including those who use the technology to 
> provide services).

A technology is nothing but concretised human intentions .. Internet 
impacts human activity even more through the intentions and actions of 
its designers and 'governors' than through the actions of its users.

>  This list seems to be excessively caught up in debate and value 
> judgments over what humans are or are not doing with use of Internet 
> technology.

IMHO, it is still too much on technical details of the Internet . How 
perspectives vary :)

>   In the early days of ICANN, we used to refer to this as special 
> interest groups attempting to seize the ICANN agenda for their own 
> purposes, whatever they might be, including those who favor a 
> nihilistic "hands off the Internet" agenda.

Interesting, and what would be considered as "ICANN agenda"?
> Given the very limited sphere of potential influence of the Brazil 
> meeting on Internet evolution, it might be helpful to focus on a 
> pragmatic assessment of what outcomes of the meeting are feasible and 
> useful and how the list members might advance them, emphasis on 
> feasible and useful.

Very much agree...

> - Mike
> On Jan 5, 2014, at 6:15 AM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net 
> <mailto:parminder at itforchange.net>> wrote:
>> 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.
>> parminder
>> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> discuss mailing list
>>> discuss at 1net.org
>>> http://1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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