[discuss] Will there be life on 1net after IANA is globalized? (:-)
Milton L Mueller
mueller at syr.edu
Sat Mar 8 21:59:49 UTC 2014
> I am learning that I can count on you for a dismissive pedantic
> comment that overstates the obvious and contains little if any
> contribution to the discussion. (:-)
Calm down. My comment was a challenge, not a dismissal. You may have perceived it as dismissive (though it was nowhere near as dismissive as your own first sentence above) but it was neither pedantic nor, alas, obvious - and given the 500 word paragraph you wrote in response I would judge that it contributed something to the discussion. To your points:
> More seriously, there is a range, or spectrum, of Internet governance
> concerns that are highly technical at one end and raise existential
> societal concerns at the other end.
Yes. But they are not "layered." Here is a definition of layers in software:
"In computer programming, layering is the organization of programming into separate functional components that interact in some sequential and hierarchical way, with each layer usually having an interface only to the layer above it and the layer below it."
This ain't how governance institutions work. All I am asking is that you break out of that inappropriate metaphor. It really is an obstacle to appropriate analysis of the governance problems. Can you afford my institutional and policy expertise the same respect as I would afford, say, Vint Cerf's technical expertise?
> I noted that national governments were missing from
> Vint's diagram, and I believe that a they need to be added
> because they have responsibility, individually and collectively,
> to address many of these problems that are toward the upper
> layers, or toward one end of the spectrum, in a productive manner.
Again, your layer model is causing you problems. If governments believe that the Internet creates societal issues, they will reach for whatever tools or mechanisms give them leverage on that problem, regardless of what "layer" you happen to think it resides in. I don't think you are helping us deal with IG problems by asserting that there is something called the "societal layer" which is different from the "technical layer" because the technical standardization process are fundamentally social and economic and institutional
If governments cannot control behavior what they want to control, they might very well decide to intervene in what you call the technical "layer." E.g., SOPA and PIPA tried to enlist the DNS and IP addressing in the cause of copyright protection. Or national govts could decide to regulate information-communications standards themselves (as many did 40 years ago). If you see the "societal" as a "layer," distinct from the "technical" you will not understand how or why this is happening.
> My concern with regarding a space like Internet governance as a
> set of simultaneous and interwoven problems is that it's difficult to
> solve any one without trying to solve many of them at the same time.
> While it is true that there are interrelationships, I don't think that
> there is any magic bullet that will do that.
I have never asserted that a "magic bullet" will solve all internet governance problems. So I really don't know what you are asserting here.
What I am asserting is that you just need to alter your analytical paradigm. You are in a political-economy arena now, and need political economy and international relations concepts to understand what's going on.
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