[discuss] Interesting article

Joly MacFie joly at punkcast.com
Mon Jan 13 20:52:58 UTC 2014

Thanks. I've extracted the following passages:

What Lies Ahead – So, what’s next in this domain?  As I just noted, the
> ITU’s next plenipotentiary meeting will be in South Korea from late October
> to early November 2014.  Two events are on the horizon for that meeting.

> First, some are talking about amending the Constitution of the ITU.  Doing
> so requires a two-thirds majority<http://www.itu.int/net/about/basic-texts/constitution/chapterix.aspx>.
> The current proposals range from an ITU “oversight” council to replacement
> of ICANN with ITU governing structures.  The later prospect, in particular,
> would be chilling and could result, in the end, on the amendment of
> technical Internet Protocols and naming rules to foster sovereign control
> of the network.  No drafts have yet been produced – and the Constitution
> requires that they be published by April.  At that point we may see exactly
> what steps might be proposed.

> Bottom line:  The decision of some countries to not accede to the Dubai
> ITRs has already raised the possibility of degrading the interoperability
> of the network globally.  Revisions to the IP creation process or the DNS
> naming system might accelerate that degradation (since Western nations are
> also unlikely to follow authoritarian IPs) and accelerate the move toward
> the possibility of a “splinternet.”

> Still, amending the Constitution would be hard.  If we take the 89-55 vote
> in Dubai as a baseline then those who would change the ITU’s Constitution
> to mandate internet governance were short of the necessary majority in 2012
> – but perhaps not any longer.  For one thing, there were many members who
> did not cast a ballot in Dubai – total ITU membership is 193 countries, so
> 55 is already fewer than the 1/3 blocking minority necessary.  More to the
> point, however, those 55 votes have likely eroded since Dubai – thanks to
> Edward Snowden.


The second development is even more of a sleeper.  At the Busan meeting,
> the ITU will elect a new Secretary-General.  The incumbent, Dr. Hamdan
> Toure of Mali, is term-limited.  As of today, there is only one announced
> candidate for the position.  He brings to his candidacy a great deal of
> experience, including, most recently as Deputy to Dr. Toure in the ITU.
>  While such internal promotion is laudable, I will be forgiven if I express
> a small amount of concern – the candidate is Dr. Houlin Zhao of China.
>  Thus, one plausible scenario would be for 2015 to see a newly empowered
> ITU dealing with international internet public policy issues, and perhaps
> even asserting authority to create internet technical standards, under the
> direction of Dr. Zhao.

> One final note:  The US is not really paying attention.  Again, as of
> today we have yet to name an ambassadorial rank leader for the US
> delegation.  And, frankly, I don’t think that the Executive Branch has as
> great a concern about these events as I do.  There is a crying need,
> however, for greater US engagement – notwithstanding the Snowden fall out.
>  More importantly, the US private sector needs to recognize that the lack
> of a strong US governmental presence is doing them harm – they need to
> quickly and decisively collectivize their efforts if they are going to
> avert potentially adverse results.

and the conclusion

There is a real intellectual appeal to the idea of an international
> governance system to manage an international entity like cyberspace.  But,
> upon closer examination the idea is fraught with peril.  What is needed now
> is a reinvigoration of the existing multi-stakeholder structure combined
> with bilateral and multilateral agreements on narrow issues of general
> applicability.  Those who support the MSM and ICANN/IETF structure must
> acknowledge the dislocation that diminished revenue is having on some
> nations that are dependent on telecommunications taxes for a portion of
> their budget and, where possible, propose mechanisms to ameliorate the
> adverse effects.

> More importantly, we should strive to instill confidence in ICAAN and the
> IETF as stewards of cyberspace.  It may, for example, be necessary to
> further decouple those institutions from Western influence.    But even
> after the Snowden disclosures we must also recognize that the non-State
> structure currently in place is less subject to political manipulation than
> the alternatives.  These international institutions are multi-stakeholder
> groups where individuals, technologists, political organizations,
> innovators and commercial entities all have a voice.  The product of their
> consensus is more representative and more moderated than any system
> respondent to only sovereign interests can hope to be.

> The way forward for the United States and other Western nations is to make
> common cause with allies and friends around the globe to establish
> cooperative mechanisms that yield strong standards of conduct while
> assuring the continuity of critical cyber freedoms against the challenge of
> authoritarian sovereigns.

On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 11:23 AM, Ben Fuller <abutiben at gmail.com> wrote:

> All,
> Some food for thought.
> http://www.lawfareblog.com/2014/01/the-continuing-struggle-for-control-of-cyberspace-and-the-deterioration-of-western-influence/#.UtQRdX8ayK1
> Ben
> Sent from my iPad
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