[discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?
gurstein at gmail.com
Sat Mar 22 21:47:50 UTC 2014
Please note that my comments were meant for the larger audience of those
with an interest in how the Internet is and is to be managed/governed i.e.
all of those impacted by the Internet which by now includes most everyone in
the world. It was only incidentally meant for those, including those most
active on this (and other IG related) lists, for whom no argument that
presents critical analyses or questions concerning this drive towards MSism
apparently can be countenanced.
What I said was:
It seems quite explicit that the IETF and ISOC, two of the major pillars of
multistakeholderism which is so vehemently being promoted by the US
Government and its followers in the tech and civil society communities as a
replacement for democratic governance of the Internet, have long histories
of accepting payments from Comcast a major US corporation which is widely
understood as being among the least ethical and possibly most active in
undermining US policy and regulatory processes in support of its own narrow
economic self-interests (increasingly encompassing the Internet).
So far no one has questioned the truth of this statement.
"We" and here I mean all of those in the larger audience I'm referring to
above are being asked to accept this state of affairs unquestioningly.
Earlier I noted some highly questionable experiences with the MS process as
currently being operationalized through 1Net and elsewhere. I received no
useful explanation or response.
Additionally I introduced a series of questions with respect to how various
"risks" associated with MSism might be handled given the significance that
is being given to MSism as the preferred mechanism for Internet (and other?)
governance arrangements. I received no explanation or response.
In this current interaction I noted what appeared to be at least the
potential for a significant conflict of interest in two of the primary
current mechanisms for MSism which as we know is being explicitly described
as a post-democratic governance mechanism for the Internet. You have seen
the quality and content of the responses to my questions and comments in
I have made no accusations either explicit or implicit concerning the IETF
or ISOC. I don't know enough about either of them to have any opinion in
However, those who do know rather more about the role that Comcast is
playing in the current communications policy and regulatory activities in
the US are raising warning flags to such an extent that one has little
alternative but to question the role that Comcast may be playing in the
quite parallel global Internet "governance" mechanisms as per the IETF and
ISOC. If nothing else there is the appearance of a conflict of interest and
given the other risks already pointed to with respect to MSism and Global
Internet Governance one surely must add this to the list i.e. is it safe to
proceed to a governance framework where there are no evident or explicit
boundaries between private sector activities and interests and the public
Of course, as I believe is the case for many on this list, there is no
belief that the Internet should be managed or governed in the public
interest (rather than as a concatenation of, or "consensus" among private
interests) then this question has no meaning. However, one hopes that if
nothing else, the NetMundial meeting will clearly affirm that the
overwhelming priority of the peoples of the world is to have the Internet
governed in the public interest and with the principles for Internet
governance being based on this fundamental value.
From: Stephen Farrell [mailto:stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie]
Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014 1:01 PM
To: michael gurstein; 'McTim'
Cc: bestbits; '1Net List'; governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?
I think you're very far off base there, if you're suggesting that the IETF
are somehow corrupted by this sponsorship. If you're not suggesting that,
then making that clear would be helpful I think.
The IETF's funding is pretty transparent I think. Between this kind of new
multi-year deal and meeting sponsorships, I think it mostly does come from
large IT/networking companies. (But a substantial chunk comes from meeting
participants via meeting
It seems to me that no large company has even been a saint. But so what?
That has afaik no influence on what the IETF does other than individual
people thank the sponsors now and then.
Also, I don't recall the IETF ever proposing that our way of handling rough
consensus would, could or should be used in any other context. Maybe some
people have said or think that but the IETF hasn't said any such thing that
I recall. So you're also conflating entirely separate things I think, and in
an unfair manner.
Anyway, sponsoring the IETF doesn't get anyone any favourable treatment that
I've seen in the last nearly 19 years of being involved with the IETF. You
can believe me or not on that, and either way you can audit all the mailing
lists and (since the datatracker tool was developed) all the IESG comments
on drafts as they become RFCs. I don't believe you will find even a dubious
correlation, but I'd be interested if you did.
IMO you are just barking up the wrong tree.
On 03/22/2014 05:00 PM, michael gurstein wrote:
> I'm not sure why it might be a "snide insinuation".
> It seems quite explicit that the IETF and ISOC, two of the major
> pillars of multistakeholderism which is so vehemently being promoted
> by the US Government and its followers in the tech and civil society
> communities as a replacement for democratic governance of the
> Internet, have long histories of accepting payments from Comcast a
> major US corporation which is widely understood as being among the
> least ethical and possibly most active in undermining US policy and
> regulatory processes in support of its own narrow economic self-interests
(increasingly encompassing the Internet).
> InfoWorld Home < <http://www.infoworld.com/> http://www.infoworld.com/> /
Notes from the Field
> < <http://www.infoworld.com/blogs/robert-x.-cringely>
http://www.infoworld.com/blogs/robert-x.-cringely> / Corruption,
> distortion, control: Comcast's...
> < <http://www.infoworld.com/blogs/robert-x-cringely>
http://www.infoworld.com/blogs/robert-x-cringely> Robert X. Cringely
> March 21, 2014
> Corruption, distortion, control: Comcast's real-life 'House of Cards'
> The frenzy over the proposed Time Warner merger hides damning details
> of Comcast's power-hungry moves
> By Robert X. Cringely
> < <http://www.infoworld.com/author-bios/robert-x-cringely>
http://www.infoworld.com/author-bios/robert-x-cringely> | InfoWorld
> < <http://www.infoworld.com/> http://www.infoworld.com/>
> Let's talk about Comcast, he said, hands trembling and the big vein in
> his forehead throbbing like a jungle drum. I hit the FCC's Net
> neutrality delusion
> air-access-237815> in a previous post, where FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler
> interpreted the Supreme Court's Net neutering decision as giving the
> FCC even broader powers of control over the big Internet providers
> instead of the steel-toed kick to his crotch it really is. Complete
> double-talk seems to the standard for the Internet provider business these
> Comcast is a perfect example of a we-don't-care, double-talking,
> slavering, rampaging telecom/cable monstrosity that's using this
> consumer-crippling legislation to topple our competitive choices like
> Godzilla strolling through Tokyo. It's only going to get worse. Sure,
> there are tinfoil hats preaching ridiculous Comcast conspiracies, but
> maybe the wingnuts are on to something, even if they're starting out from
> The deal that's been in the news the most recently is Comcast's move
> to devour Time Warner Cable. You'd think Time Warner might not be
> superhappy about this deal, but its CEO, Rob Marcus, got up at the
> Deutsche Bank Media, Internet and Telecom Conference held earlier this
> month in the highly industrious locale of Palm Beach, Fla., and
> enthused that the $45 billion merger will put all of us in happy-happy
> Newsflash: It won't. Rather, get ready to be dumped into
> hugely-screwed-douche-broom land. The deal means that Comcast is set
> to service about two-thirds of the American population with both
> Internet and entertainment. How many of those folks are going to have
> an actual, practical choice?
> Comcast spreads it tentacles
> Tellingly Marcus has been Time Warner's CEO for only about two months,
> and recently leaked information on his compensation package shows that
> he stands to make robber baron money if the merger goes through -- to
> the tune of about $80 million
> < <http://bgr.com/2014/03/20/comcast-twc-merger-news-ceo-marcus/>
http://bgr.com/2014/03/20/comcast-twc-merger-news-ceo-marcus/> . How
> could he possibly be biased? I know I'm a cynical old fart, but is it
> loony to suspect that Comgraft may have had a hand in getting this guy
> a key to the executive bathroom? If there was any justice, he'd have
> to write a resignation letter right this minute with ink made from
> rectal blood and salty tears.
> The fate of U.S. Internet pipes isn't all that's on the block. With
> Net laws castrated as they currently are, Comcast can also opt to
> bully content providers and control what you can and can't access on
> what amounts to its Internet. In a recent blog post, Netflix CEO Reed
> Hastings sounds like he's complaining about this trend -- never mind he's
already validated it.
> Netflix complained of degraded throughput to its customers about a
> month ago, then paid Com-lie an exorbitant extortion fee, and presto!
> Its service quality was magically restored. Hastings and Comcast paint
> this as a big win for consumers, but they're actually saying we're as
> dumb as a bag of hammers.
> Doesn't seem very snide or insinuatory to me.
> And yes, most non-corrupted public policy processes are publicly
> funded with appropriate degrees of transparency and accountability and
> with clear boundaries between public interests and private interests
> guarded with varying degrees of ferocity by laws governing conflicts
> of interest and suborning of public officials and public policy
> processes. What isn't made clear in the overwhelming forces and
> banshee howling of support for MSism is that at its heart it is an
> attempt to foist the generally acknowledged as corrupted US telecom
> policy and regulatory system on the Internet and on the world.
> And a question for you and all the other multistakeholderists-is this
> what you want for Global Internet Governance?
> From: <mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org> discuss-bounces at 1net.org [
<mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org> mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On
> Behalf Of McTim
> Sent: Saturday, March 22, 2014 7:07 AM
> To: Michel Gauthier
> Cc: 1Net List
> Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?
> On Sat, Mar 22, 2014 at 9:12 AM, Michel Gauthier <
<mailto:mg at telepresse.com> mg at telepresse.com> wrote:
> At 02:45 22/03/2014, McTim wrote:
> If you are trying to make an argument by quoting rfc3869 and then
> quoting a page from the ISOC website I think you will have to do
> better than that, as one is related to research and the Comcast
> partnership is about IETF meetings and other activities. ISOC itself
> doesn't do research in the way that DNS-OARC or CAIDA or others do it.
> ISOC does surveys mainly and recently economic effects of IXPs, etc.
> If you would prefer public funding for IETF activities, then please
> state that, otherwise, one can't tell what your argument is all about.
> I only do my collection, analysis and reporting job after sorting
> real, tricky, naive and noisy inputs, on this and other equivalent
> lists or fora where real infuencing strategies are observable.
> So far, you are not even speculating that there is an 'influencing
> strategy", you are merely posting random factoids seemingly in support
> of the other MGs snide insinuations.
> To my knowledge DNS-OARC is a private club
> This has nothing to do with what I pointed out about them, that they
> do research of the kind that you suggested that the IETF does.
> of which the interest in users support is characterized by its
https://www.dns-oarc.net/oarc/services/dnsentropy page which states:
> "On August 7, 2008, Dan Kaminsky
> < <http://www.ioactive.com/kaminsky.html>
http://www.ioactive.com/kaminsky.html> will release additional details
about these poisoning attacks. "
> another tangental red-herring.
> CAIDA membership is beyond financial access to FLOSS IUsers and
> corporations interested in their market, what is my focussed area.
> This doesn't mask the fact that they do research on 'future Internet
> My question to you still stands.
> How would you like the IETF to be funded??
> discuss mailing list
> <mailto:discuss at 1net.org> discuss at 1net.org
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