[discuss] Interesting article

Nick Ashton-Hart nashton at ccianet.org
Tue Jan 14 09:59:37 UTC 2014

I would actually dissent from the conclusion of this article, that the US
and close allies should be exerting leadership. They can't - not after
Snowden, unless they aren't members of the 5-Eyes system.

Other countries, not a part of that system, need to be leading on these
issues. The 5-eyes simply don't have credibility anymore to talk about the
open Internet, and it actually irritates many countries when they try to
use the same, pre-Snowden messages. It is counterproductive; they should
take a back-seat and let / encourage others to do the leading.



Nick Ashton-Hart

Geneva Representative
Computer & Communcations Industry Association (CCIA)
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On 13 January 2014 21:52, Joly MacFie <joly at punkcast.com> wrote:

> 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.
> and
> 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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