[discuss] Governmental participation (Was: Problem definition 1, v5)

Jeanette Hofmann jeanette at wzb.eu
Wed Jan 29 17:08:05 UTC 2014

> "Without broad consent among many governments, effective public
> policies/regulations for the Internet are very difficult."

yes, but some powerful governments, among them yours and mine, might 
regard achieving broad consensus among governments as even more 
difficult, which is why we see a considerable number of efforts 
following the country-club approach.


> There's a balance here: governments are quite unlikely to limit themselves to high
> level principles, but then they risk being overtaken by technological change.  If
> the issues that they really care about are _public policy issues_, shouldn't those
> issues be able to be expressed in terms of principles?

> In short, the Internet community needs to encourage governments to participate in
> Internet technical coordination bodies (so as to maintain awareness of potential areas
> of intersection with the public policy), and to encourage expression public policy goals
> in terms of high-level principles so that compliance with the intent can be more readily
> achieved in a durable fashion.  Governments need to consider the tradeoffs in their
> regulatory efforts, and in particular the improved potential for success that comes
> from specification of higher-level principles and from working with other governments.

I like the idea of translating public policy issues into high level 
principles that are able to travel back and forth between the 
governmental and the engineering world. Such a project might need 
translators on both sides though.
My pleasure!

> Thanks for your comments - very helpful to the discussion!
> /John
> Disclaimers  My views alone. No governments were harmed in the making of this email.

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