[discuss] [governance] NTIA statement

Danny O'Brien danny at eff.org
Mon Mar 17 04:04:42 UTC 2014

On Sun, Mar 16, 2014 at 06:34:05PM -0400, Pranesh Prakash wrote:
> Given this difference, why are the Brazilian government, the I*, and
> the European Commission insisting on treating US mass surveillance
> as a trigger for calling for IANA reform?
> The Brazilian government lumped those two topics together for
> NetMundial, with ample encouragement from 1Net and ICANN.  The I*
> brought those two issues together in the Montevideo Declaration.
> The European Commission in a recent press release noted:
> "Recent revelations of large-scale surveillance have called into
> question the stewardship of the US when it comes to Internet
> Governance. So given the US-centric model of Internet Governance
> currently in place, it is necessary to broker a smooth transition to
> a more global model while at the same time protecting the underlying
> values of open multi-stakeholder governance of the Internet."
> I can't quite grok why.

My working theory is that it was recognised in late 2013 among both many
internet tech co-ordination orgs *and* elements of the US government
that the Snowden revelations were absolutely corrosive to the role the
US had previously adopted as "safe pair of hands" for Internet
management -- and that that reputational damage, if not quickly checked
or firewalled, would also burn through the legitimacy of the I* groups,
and anyone else in governance who was even tangentially associated with
the United States' asserted role. From the US government's point of
view, the scandal was also undoubtedly doomed to demolish the fragile
civil society/US/EU coalition to oppose the ITU making inroads into
those roles in 2014. 

Given a bad (for it) choice, my sense is that the USG (or at least the
Depts. of State and Commerce) would far prefer to have a stable
transition to independent orgs that still roughly mirrored the previous
status quo than have the entire existing management structure shatter by
association with the NSA spying scandal, and then have the ITU (or some
other unknown alliance with interests at variance to the US government)
sweep in to pick up the pieces.

Given that, even the USG must have recognised that the I* groups needed
to be swiftly pared from being perceived as agents of US intelligence
policy, and an alternative process quickly improvised that could have
some independent legitimacy before the next round of ITU maneuvres.

I'm not suggesting some grand conspiracy here -- I'm just pointing out
that by the time the Montevideo meeting came around, it was probably
just as much in the USG's interest to accept that the existing technical
infrastructure co-ordination groups needed some clear distance from the
shenanigans of the US intelligence services.

It doesn't really matter if these groups were ever working in tandem
with the USG, or had any technical or political capability to be
complicit in the NSA's spying. The reputational damage would be present
whatever had happened.

This is just my theory. The best evidence in its favor for me is the
timing of the Montevideo accord statement, the high status placed -- as
you have noted -- on disowning and condemning US mass surveillance by
all parties, even those who generally stay very clear of politics or
whose operational capabilities are utterly unrelated to the US's
surveillance capabilities, the repeated emphasis on an extremely swift
and smooth transition outside of existing initiatives, and most
pertinently the almost complete lack of objections for any of these
shifts made by any wing of the US executive. 


> ~ Pranesh
> Kleinwächter, Wolfgang
> <wolfgang.kleinwaechter at medienkomm.uni-halle.de> [2014-03-16
> 12:36:14]:
> >1+ Adiel.
> >
> >A good performance of the IANA functions is a pre-condition that the Internet works and can be used by all kind of governmental and non_governmental players for good and bad things. The publication of a TLD zone file in the root doesn´t say anything what the Registrant of a domain name is doing with the domain. And it has nothing to do with third party´s attack on this domains by blocking, filtering, hacking, manipulating, spying etc.  The problem is that so far there not enough multi-stakeholder places where users and providers of services can go to look for (policy and technical) arrangements to counter bad things. This is one challenge for Net Mundial. It should discuss what on top of a multi-stakehoder managed technical layer (which includes the termination of the transition of the IANA function to the network of the multistakleholder I* organizations) should be done to have multi-stakehooder mechanisms on the content/political layer. We know that the two lyers are interconnec
> ted, but they are two different shoes. New multistakeholder policy mechanisms will not emerge over night. But Sao Paulo can start the process and deliver a Multistakeholder Internet Governance Roadmap 2020 (MINGORO 2020).
> >
> >wolfgang
> >
> >________________________________
> >
> >Von: discuss-bounces at 1net.org im Auftrag von Adiel Akplogan
> >Gesendet: So 16.03.2014 13:47
> >An: Seun Ojedeji
> >Cc: 1 Net List; Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus - IGC
> >Betreff: Re: [discuss] [governance] NTIA statement
> >
> >
> >
> >I disagree as well. In this discussion it is very important to dissociate the USG/NTIA by role in the performance of IANA function by ICANN and the issue related to mass surveillance. The two are not technically linked and should be addressed separately.
> >
> >- a.
> >
> >On Mar 16, 2014, at 11:03 AM, Seun Ojedeji <seun.ojedeji at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >>Well I would not disagree that mass surveillance indeed continues.
> >>
> >>Any NSA statement that says otherwise?
> >>
> >>Cheers!
> >>sent from Google nexus 4
> >>kindly excuse brevity and typos.
> >>
> >>On 15 Mar 2014 19:08, "Joly MacFie" <joly at punkcast.com> wrote:
> >>Disagree,
> >>
> >>Different department.
> >>
> >>j
> >>
> >>
> >>On Sat, Mar 15, 2014 at 7:06 AM, Louis Pouzin (well) <pouzin at well.com> wrote:
> >>Hi,
> >>
> >>The IANA ballyhoo comes from the same factory as the "internet freedom" smoke screen launched before WCIT. It's a spin diversion for the show.
> >>
> >>Mass surveillance continues. What's new ?
> >>
> >>Louis
> >>
> >>
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> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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> >
> -- 
> Pranesh Prakash
> Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
> T: +91 80 40926283 | W: http://cis-india.org
> -------------------
> Access to Knowledge Fellow, Information Society Project, Yale Law School
> M: +1 520 314 7147 | W: http://yaleisp.org
> PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: https://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash
International Director, EFF | +1 415 436 9333 x150 | 815 Eddy Street, SF, CA 94109
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