[discuss] Contributions to NETmundial

Eliot Lear lear at ofcourseimright.com
Wed Mar 12 09:05:26 UTC 2014

Hi Milton and thanks for your note.

On 3/11/14, 6:31 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> What you described in your response were forms of governmental
> _/participation/_ in IETF standardization activities. I think that’s
> fine, as long as governments participate on the basis of individuals
> with expertise and an ability to contribute something of value to the
> development of protocols and standards. I am completely opposed to any
> situation in which governments participate as “overseers” of
> standardization processes, or any process to require technological
> designs to “conform to policy.”

Again, speaking for myself I agree with the above, for many reasons, not
least of which is brittleness.  If a protocol only suits a single local
policy, then it will be only locally applicable.  There are times when
protocols DO intersect policy.  I gave some examples earlier.  In these
cases, it's important for a broad set of interested parties (dare I say
"government participants"?) to engage so that we have a sufficiently
general approach.

> Behind my view is a more academically derived argument about the ‘code
> is law’ line. In certain naïve manifestations, the belief that code is
> law or that protocols have politics can lead to a misplaced belief
> that if we design standards and architecture right then we will have
> no social problems. We can have, for example, “privacy by design,” or
> “freedom in a box” regardless of powerful political and economic
> forces pushing in the opposite direction.  The reality is that
> standards and technology can be, and often are, overcome or distorted
> by politics and economics, and – most importantly – that you can
> rarely predict the actual social impact of a technology when it is
> just in the early design stages. In practical effect, political
> oversight of design will be inherently conservative; had there been
> “oversight” of the development of the Internet standards, for example,
> the telephone companies and governments would have designed them to
> protect vested interests in the control of communications. Disruptive
> technologies occur precisely because no one understands their ultimate
> societal impact and/or no one in established authority has any say
> about it.

Thank you.  One of the early leaders on the Internet, Mike O'Dell, would
point out that it is hard to predict a paradigm shift.  We have seen
many in a relatively short period of history.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://1net-mail.1net.org/pipermail/discuss/attachments/20140312/cd80d108/attachment.html>

More information about the discuss mailing list