[discuss] Contributions to NETmundial

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Mon Mar 10 19:23:38 UTC 2014

As one of ISOC's policy staff, I would like to know your reaction to the European Commission submission to NetMundial, specifically those portions of the comments that call for forms of oversight to make IETF standards conformant to public policy concerns.

To make things easier, I paste in the relevant text of the EC submission here:

5. Technical details of Internet protocols and other information technology specifications can have significant public policy implications. Even where the technical discussion process is open, key decisions are frequently made by technical experts in the absence of broad stakeholder representation. An effective multistakeholder approach to specification setting on the internet will be based on efficient mutual interactions between technical and public policy considerations so that technical specifications more systematically take into account public policy concerns. This is particularly important when legal rights of individuals, especially their human rights, are clearly impacted. The implications of this evolution in norm setting in relation to the Internet require an open public debate with all concerned.

The Commission proposes to convene, together with interested parties, a series of workshops with international experts in law, ethics, social sciences, economics, international relations and technology, in order to develop concrete and actionable recommendations to ensure coherence between existing normative frameworks and new forms of Internet-enabled norm-setting.

Furthermore, all stakeholders should strengthen (and where appropriate create) structured mechanisms to allow regular, early and truly inclusive upstream participation, review and comment in technical decisions. These structured mechanisms should also strive towards consistency of technical decisions with human rights. The Commission stands ready to discuss with relevant stakeholders the best options to achieve this objective.

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