[discuss] Will there be life on 1net after IANA is globalized? (:-)

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Fri Mar 7 22:04:06 UTC 2014



A problem with this approach to the "social" is that it fails to recognize
that many/most/all of the issues which would fall into the "social" layer
(and many of those associated with these in other layers as well) are
essentially "political" issues i.e. ones where there are significant
differences not simply of (technical or other) opinion (or which could be
easily resolvable through some sort of consensus building process). Rather
they are issues where there is a distinct difference/conflict  of
values/norms/interests which ultimately have to do with power and who
controls a situation sufficiently to determine how rewards/benefits/outcomes
are distributed.


More or less subtle attempts to "depoliticize" these issues is in fact an
attempt to divert attention away from the very real clash of interests in
these areas. Is my digital identity something that belongs to me along with
all of the data that accrues to that identity or is it a "profile" that
belongs to Google where they can use that as a basis to slice and dice all
the attributable data and then sell it on as a means to
manage/manipulate/market me in the digital marketplace? This isn't a
"technical" question (nor a "social" question whatever that could be) rather
it is a "political" question which could become the basis for mobilization,
political organizing, political contestation (one can presume that Google et
al will not want their "ownership" of my digital identity to be transferred
back to me) and ultimately clashes of political opinion out of which policy
would emerge where the (monopoly) power of the State would of necessity be
used to enforce the distribution/redistribution of benefits/determination of
relative positions and so on. . 


And I'm not sure what a Mulstatkeholderist approach can contribute here.  I
don't see that a "consensus" position is either possible nor necessarily
desirable-what kind of consensus position could a Google sign on to in the
case I've just pointed. I for one wouldn't particularly want the range of
options to be considered in the political/policy forum to be subject to a
veto by Google as would presumably be required by a MSist approach with
consensus outputs. Similarly even entering into the MSist context would to
my mind be disempowering in an instance such as this given the depth of
resources-human, financial, political/influential which a Google could toss
at the issue and which would in an enforced MSist (and regrettably it seems
in the broader political contexts as well), be effectively and practically




From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf
Of George Sadowsky
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2014 10:37 AM
To: discuss at 1net.org List
Subject: [discuss] Will there be life on 1net after IANA is globalized? (:-)




Purpose: What topics in Internet governance should 1net focus upon?


Discussion on this list has focused heavily on the future of IANA, as well
as on human rights issues.  Those are certainly appropriate topics for the
Brazil meeting, but if 1net is to have a longer life, then there may well be
other topics included in Internet governance that do merit attention.




I'd like to talk about this more after introducing a couple of diagrams and
some text from a publication forthcoming in I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy
for the Information Society   (www.is-journal.org)  It is titled "Internet
governance is out Shared Responsibility," by Vint Cerf, {Patrick Ryan, and
Max Senges.  I take the following from a draft version of the paper, subject
to final edits.  In my view, it's an excellent paper and should be read by
anyone involved in Internet governance discussions.


Among other things, the authors propose a layering of issues in Internet
governance according to their relative position between strictly technical
and strictly social.  A number of such models have been proposed.  One
proposed earlier on this list by Brian Carpenter, and augmented by a set of
his slides, was an extremely good and thorough exposition of this concept.
ISOC has published something similar, using a different approach to
displaying the results.  


The paper proposes adding a social layer to the normal stack of issues, as
in the chart below.  I believe that the specific issues listed are meant to
be examples, because they are certainly not exhaustive of the issues at any
of the four layers.  Of course, many problems in this space do not live
exclusively in just one layer, but 'bleed' somewhat into adjacent layers.




            Illustration 1 - Social Layer Added to the Established Layered

                                                 of Internet Governance



The authors state:


"We provide this conceptualization in order to trigger discussion about
which institutions and stakeholder groups should legitimately be involved in
which Internet policy issues. Put differently, we believe that it will be

beneficial to the operation of the whole online ecosystem if the mandates of
institutions are mapped and clarified with regard to their relevance in
steering Internet governance practices and policymaking." 


"Hence, Illustration 2 shows a schematic example of mapping of institutions
with relevant mandates overlaid on the layers of Internet governance.  Here
we show the IGF is positioned in the center as it has no decision-making
mandate itself but is instead, it is positioned to facilitate and moderate
said decision making to take place elsewhere. In Clark's terminology, at the
IGF, we're separating the "tussles" in a forum where they can be analyzed in
workshops and discussion sessions and then brought back to the various other
forums for decisions."





This approach to defining shared responsibility for Internet governance is
not new.  ICANN has published its view of this, and a extraordinarily good
and thorough presentation of analysis of this type has been made by David
Souter and is well worth reading.  In the above display, national
governments and their various agencies are totally missing, and that seems
to be to be a fundamental flaw, but one that can be easily corrected.  


The space of Internet governance issues


The 1net discussions until now have focused primarily upon Internet naming
and numbering (the logical layer) on the one hand, and human rights issues
with respect to the Internet (the social layer).  This perhaps appropriate
given the announced focus of the Brazil meeting. However, the Brazil meeting
is just one in a number of meetings, and the purple of 1net goes well beyond
that meeting.


However, Internet governance is much more than names and addresses.  And in
fact, in terms of stability of operations, the current use of names and
addresses by Internet users to actually do things using the Internet is
working remarkably well.  On the other had, most of the other examples in
the first chart above, where the Internet is colliding with existing
activities and changing the nature of processes, is not working nearly as
well as we would like.  To be sure, the problems are more difficult, and
require a different set of actors to solve, but that is no reason for not
discussing them.  In fact, there is every reason to address this set of
issues in order to start to solve them.


Consider just the content layer for the moment.


Many of the issues in this layer depend locally upon adequate legislation
and regulation that depends on a balance between freedom for and
restrictions on behavior and actions, both sides of the balance being
supported by social goals.  At the international level, cooperation requires
a minimum of agreement regarding that balance so that international
cooperation among nation governments can take place.  What initiatives might
make it possible to achieve both appropriate structures at the national
level and coordinated structures at the international level to make this
happen.  Do we need an UNCITRAL-type movement to work toward these goals?
Among the issues affected are:


            - Addressing cybercrime activities effectively

            - Understanding and ameliorating the spam situation

            - ISP liability issues for content stored and/or transmitted

            - Consumer protection

            - Electronic document status (contracts, etc.)

            - Regulatory and legislative environment -- effects on Internet
access and pricing

            - Competition policy within country and internationally

            - Policy/support for community services

            - Culture with respect to private data of individuals (tracking,
advertising, etc.) 

            - Intellectual property rights


I suspect that most everyone on this list can expand it with their own issue
of importance. 


These are areas where intensive national government involvement is
absolutely essential.  Where are these issues being discussed in a way that
has the possibility of dramatically improving these situations?  Does the
1net list have any claim to, or responsibility for, addressing this area?
It certainly is a part of Internet governance? 


Bertrand de la Chapelle has been discussing the international dimension of
these issues in his cross-boundary jurisdiction project, and he is raising
really important issues and providing insights into the nature of this
problem.  However, as much if not more attention needs to be paid to these
issues at the national level.  Where are national governments being faced
with these issues as a part of their responsibilities.  How can other
sectors assist in making this happen?  Which other actors play a part in
improving things, and is this happening.  How can 1net comment meaningfully
on these issues?


Concluding .


Using the working definition of Internet governance adopted by the WGIG in


            Internet governance is the development and application

            by Governments, the private sector and civil society, 

            in their respective roles, of shared principles, norms, 

            rules, decision-making procedures, and programmes 

            that shape the evolution and use of the Internet.


How might the discussions on 1net be enlarged in a productive manner to
address some of the issue areas included in the above definition, other than
the ones that have received extensive discussion to date?  Define this as
problem no. 2, if you like, but its really a meta-problem.   The real
problems are the ones listed above.









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