[discuss] JustNet Coalition contribution on Roadmap for the further evolution of the internet governance ecosystem for Netmundial.br

Ian Peter ian.peter at ianpeter.com
Fri Mar 14 19:22:30 UTC 2014

very utopian Siva.

But I can give you countless examples of small businesses that had promise being taken over/squashed by large dominant corporations in the internet sphere. The internet is not immune to the practices of dominant corporations and there is no level playing field.

From: Sivasubramanian M 
Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2014 5:22 AM
To: parminder 
Cc: 1Net List 
Subject: Re: [discuss] JustNet Coalition contribution on Roadmap for the further evolution of the internet governance ecosystem for Netmundial.br

Dear Parminder,

My response is also inline :)

On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 10:44 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

  Dear Siva

  pl see inline....

  On Friday 14 March 2014 06:00 PM, sivasubramanian muthusamy wrote:

    Dear Parminder, 

    1,  It is interesting to note that what you have observed "Things are not going in the right directions with the evolution of the Internet vis a vis canons of equity and social justice (for instance, 10 top websites had respectively 25, 50 and 75 percent of the total page views in the US in 2000, 2005 and 2010, and things have gone considerably worse since)."  Are these websites or networks of websites?  Even if this data pertains to "networks of websites", it would be interesting, please provide a list.

  I provide as the quote occurs in an IT for Change annual report "John Bellamy Foster and Robert W. McChesney discuss this in their commentary on 'The  Internet’s Unholy Marriage to Capitalism', noting how “we are entering a world of digital feudalism, where a  handful of colossal corporate mega-giants rule private empires.... the top 10 Web sites accounted for 31 percent  of US page views in 2001, 40 percent in 2006, and about 75 percent in 2010...” (Monthly Review, March 2011)". Sorry my numbers were slightly off, and the actual facts show an even worse deterioration between 2005 and 2010. 

    2.  I am also interested in learning from you if there are any barriers for entry for anyone from India or Brazil to publish and promote such a "website" and gain a traffic share. Please point me to any licensing barriers or growth bottlenecks for any one from the Global South to build such a network.

  Well, one can also say, please show me any licensing barrier or growth bottleneck for poor people to become rich and developing countries to become developed! 

​Poor people are slow to become rich and the rich become richer. That much I agree. In the conventional business 
eco-system, it has not been possible, until recently, for a business firm a developing economy to globally compete with Western mega corporations, at least in some sectors. There have been barriers, visible and invisible. 

Internet is free of such barriers, at least on a visible level. There may be some intricate barriers, but at like how it has been before the Internet. Internet has brought about a transformation. The Hope for the rest of the world comes from the borderless, One Internet, which is free and open. It so happens that "Firms such as Google, Amazon, Craigslist, and Facebook have become iconic"  to quote from your source. My point is that there isn't an evil design behind the success of these corporations, they merely made use of the opportunities Internet presented, and succeeded. What prevents any one or any business firm from any other country from starting a search engine, a book store or a social network? In Internet there are no start up barriers, so it is the eco-system of hope. The strength of the eco-system comes from being borderless and global, so any argument to create divisions, even for rhetoric reasons, would lead to policies that would result in balkanization of the Internet, which would negatively alter the Internet eco-system and cause to perpetuate the very imbalance between the rich and poor. 

Hope for the "Global South" lies in preserving the Internet eco-system of permissionless-innovation, which as an eco-system barely 20 years old, happens to have caused a relatively minor imbalance of a few American (and other) Corporations making visibly significant business gains. I would have no complaints about their business gains, but if your concern lies beyond this, I would argue that eventually there will be a balance, and the hope for such a balance comes from the very eco-system about which you have complaints, for it allows anyone to create a search engine, perhaps better than what Google has created :)

Dear Parminder, If you want to fight for the Global South, then fight to preserve the Internet eco-system. 

Sivasubramanian M

  After all poor are poor because they are lazy and ignorant, and developing countries are lagging because a large majority of its people are lazy and ignorant... What has any kind of global structural conditions to do with it, and thus where is their any role for any kind of political approach to such issues.

  I had thought that Social Darwinism was rather disreputable a social theory to be cited in global political discourse.


    Thank you
    Sivasubramanian M

    On Fri, Mar 14, 2014 at 2:07 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:

      While we are on this subject, it may be useful for the 1Net to recognise that many actors do not think the ' ICANN/IANA issue' should be the main concern of NetMundial.... Reading the minutes of the recent High Level Committee meeting for NetMundial, I see France say this clearly, and ICANN rep agree to it. 

      Now, even if we are to take that ICANN/IANA will only be half of the story at NetMundial, should we do some discussion on the other half as well? Beginning perhaps with recognizing what this other half is. 

      I take it to the broader public policy issues related to the Internet which are either inherently global, like general jurisdictional disputes and global mass surveillance, or have very significant global implications, for instance, net neutrality and economic of personal data. 

      What kind of global Internet governance mechanisms are required to address these pressing global issues?

      I certainly take the need for urgent addressing of these issues to be of much greater important than the ICANN/IANA issue. Also, remember that President Rousseff's UN Speech which precipitated matter and set us on the road to Sao Paolo had nothing to do with the ICANN/IANA issue and everything to do with these other issues.


      On Friday 14 March 2014 01:05 PM, parminder wrote:

        On Tuesday 11 March 2014 05:33 PM, S Moonesamy wrote:

          Hi Parminder, 
          At 02:29 11-03-2014, parminder at itforchange.net wrote: 

            The preamble is the same, however the operative part is different. It 
            provided a roadmap for institutional reform in global governance. The 
            earlier document was about principles for Internet governance. 

            Happy to provide any further clarification. 

          If one of the aims of the proposal is to help developing countries, could you please explain how it would help such a country? 

        Dear Moonesamy,

        I am happy to explain...

        To understand how the proposal from Just Net Coalition helps developing countries one needs to first understand 'what and who' shapes the evolution of the Internet today, as the Internet itself shapes our larger social structures, whereby the impact of this 'what and who' goes rather far and deep...

        To keep it brief, it is my understanding that the following key political and economic forces shape the Internet today, in the decreasing order of impact;

          1.. Extravagant profit motives of a few global corporation, almost all US based;

          2.. The laws and policies of the US, which are enforced, overtly and subtly, on these global corporation; and,

          3.. Policy framework of some clubs of rich countries, like the OECD and CoE (for instance, OCED's principles for Internet policy making).

        There is huge nexus between 1 and 2, which together constitute the most powerful, in fact, quite overwhelming, force shaping the Internet today. Meanwhile, the US is largely able to bull-dodge its way with regard to 3 above as well.  

        Apart from the above, Internet technical standards and critical resource management bodies, also have a strong impact. These bodies have swung between doing extremely good work to frequent capture by the above corporate interests. In my view, their public policy oversight while important is relatively the lesser problem right now as compared to other issues listed above. 

        Now, before we move forward to frame a response to the basic question you asked, 'how does the Just Net Coalition's (JNC) proposal help developing countries', we need to form some level of agreement on two propositions.

          1.. The above is largely the right picture of the forces that are shaping the Internet today.

          2.. Things are not going in the right directions with the evolution of the Internet vis a vis canons of equity and social justice (for instance, 10 top websites had respectively 25, 50 and 75 percent of the total page views in the US in 2000, 2005 and 2010, and things have gone considerably worse since).

        If you strongly disagree with either of the above two propositions, JNC's proposal will make no sense to you. But if you do agree, there is a lot of ground for us to look at remedial political solutions. And I am ready to take up such a discussion, admitting that our proposed solution may only be one among many possible, and even perhaps not the best one. Our group, in its collective wisdom, thought that what is needed in the current context is an counter-magnetic field to the highly dominant forces today, that would be created by developing an anchor point inside the UN system which begins to undertake normative discussions on issues of Internet policies, and where needed comes up with higher norms and principles (as OECD has come up with), policy frameworks, and as and when needed, binding conventions and treaties.As happens with every sector in the UN, it will be much more about developing higher norms and principles, much fewer policy frameworks and rather infrequent conventions or treaties.... 

        Such a counter magnetic field alone can even begin balancing the lopsidedness of the current political and economic model around the Internet, and it goes to reason that such a balancing will serve the interests of developing countries, in fact of all marginalized groups everywhere in the world.I hope you agree. 



          S. Moonesamy  

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Sivasubramanian Muthusamy
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