[discuss] My current understanding of scope and why

Jari Arkko jari.arkko at piuha.net
Tue Jan 7 15:22:55 UTC 2014


Thanks for this. This is a close to my view about the scope as well.

A couple of follow-ups on the details:

> 3.  On the need for this exploration
>    There are three reasons that existing forums and institutions are
>    inadequate to the purposes of our activity.  One is that it is
>    nearly impossible for someone unfamiliar with the various topics
>    to learn how they relate to each other or even where a given topic
>    may already be treated.  We can function as a clearing house for
>    such questions, hooking interested parties into existing
>    structures that already treat the issue of interest.

I agree, but I also like to think of 1net not just in terms of educational role or routing functionality, but also as an opportunity to connect the parties in a meaningful discussion and action. This is not always of the form where someone has a problem and that problem is sent to someone else to be "solved". For most difficult problems, the solutions involve action and commitment across different players. For instance, if we wanted to solve the problem of source address forgery at the IP layer, it would probably involve efforts from both the standards, operator, and regulatory communities. It is those discussions of joint efforts that I think would be most valuable to have.

>    A second is that trust in both the technology and in the good
>    faith of existing institutions has been shaken by some reported
>    actions in recent history.  Only by facing such behaviour and
>    discussing what can be done can any trust be restored.  When
>    facing those facts, we must acknowledge that the answer might be,
>    "Nothing can be done.  To make this better would require that no
>    bad people exist, that perfect knowledge was universal, and that
>    sovereign states will have to give up chunks of sovereignty."  It
>    is the discussion in an open forum of many actors that is at least
>    as important as the outcome.

Yes. It is important to understand that many of the difficult issues in the Internet are… difficult, and that there are no easy solutions for things like spam or cybercrime or surveillance. At the same time, I hope we collectively (not just in 1net) have a can-do approach rather than a we-can-never-change-anything. Because _are_ things that we can do on many fronts.

>    A third is that everyone acknowledges that there have been "orphan
>    issues" even in the narrowest meaning of Internet governance.
>    This activity provides an opportunity to uncover these gaps and
>    either identify where those orphans fit, or to identify new
>    institutions that should be created.  

I prefer the term difficult issues, because it is hard for me to think about any case where there'd be no one thinking about how to solve an issue. At the same time, it should be clear that there are many difficult issues and challenges.

>    In general, we could say that our activity functions as a
>    facilitator for the "tussle" necessary for continued global
>    scaling of the Internet, without the creation of global or local
>    hegemons, and in service of the minimization of any perceived
>    existing threat from hegemony.  In the end, we hope to converge on
>    something that most people, including people of very different
>    backgrounds and interests, will agree is legitimate even if
>    imperfect.  We do not seek merely something that is effective.  We
>    do not aspire to universal happiness, but we do aspire to wide
>    acceptance across different types of interests and experiences.

Well said. Thanks.


P.S. For a full definition of the 1net activity, I think it would also be useful to understand what more can we do beyond forums that already provide an opportunity for different parties to talk about Internet governance topics, primarily the IGF. My personal answer to that question is that 1net could be the "e-mail discussion forum" arm of the IGF that primarily works through meetings. But maybe that is inaccurate. I'd like to understand what other people think about this.

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