[discuss] Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Mar 23 09:26:15 UTC 2014


It is difficult for me to discuss this issue with you when you so 
seamlessly conflate 'public' with undemocratic governments. This to me 
betrays a complete lack of belief in politics and democracy - for 
anything that governs will be governments, and they are bad as per you. 
The only alternative being that market logic governs all aspects of 
social relationships  - including what was traditionally outside market 
framework, for instance, governance. The ideology of extension of market 
logic to more or less all social affairs goes by the name of neoliberalism.

In addition, your reading of what civil society does or stands for is 
quite erroneous. Dont be guided with some elements of IG civil society 
that seems rather comfortable in company of big business. BTW the 
following wikipedia of World Social Forum may explicate what I am trying 
to say

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Avoid_weasel_words>/] consider 
the World Social Forum to be a physical manifestation of global civil 
society <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_society>, as it brings 
together non governmental organizations 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non_governmental_organizations>, advocacy 
campaigns as well as formal and informal social movements 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_movements> seeking international 
solidarity <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solidarity>. The World Social 
Forum prefers to define itself as "an opened space -- plural, diverse, 
non-governmental and non-partisan -- that stimulates the decentralized 
debate, reflection, proposals building, experiences exchange and 
alliances among movements and organizations engaged in concrete actions 
towards a more solidarity, democratic and fair world....a permanent 
space and process to build alternatives to neoliberalism 
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Social_Forum#cite_note-1> "

See the part on building alternatives to neoliberalism, which in respect 
to governance refers to corporate dominance over governance processes. 
Believe me, these guys believe thoroughly in democratic governance and 
governments. Even for undemocratic governments they advocate making them 
democratic and inculcate participatory democracy. I havent heard them 
ever speak of multistakeholderism, especially IG style.

Still, to continue an effort for a dialogue, I can try and ask you a 
specific question to clarify what exactly is at the heart of 
thediscussionon public financing of governance functions .

Would you accept it if Mexican governmental committees dealing with key 
policy functions are financed by corporations?

Following from your answer to this question we can further discuss the 
public financing issue.


On Sunday 23 March 2014 12:52 PM, Alejandro Pisanty wrote:
> Parminder,
> this statement puts in a nutshell what never ceases to amaze me: civil 
> society has gained the most among all sectors from the 
> multistakeholder component of governance, be it Internet, finance, or 
> the environment. We from civil society have broken silos and gained a 
> global voice and unparallelled global influence, often paired with 
> influence inside our countries.
> Yet the position you present reverts power to governments only - e.g. 
> through the demand of public funding and the exclusion of private 
> funding; the same governments most civil society is at odds with 
> (admittedly in very different ways and levels.)
> I continue to find it incredibly paradoxal to have civil society 
> leading the effort to braid the rope with which governments would 
> gladly hang us.
> Another perplexing element of this discourse is calling the effective, 
> open, evolvable, broadly participatory and open multistakeholder 
> processes undemocratic and the multilateral and governmental 
> "democratic", when maybe two thirds of the world population do not 
> consider their condition democratic.
> The remedy to the thick suspicionism of yours and colleagues - after 
> stating lack of knowledge of the organizations and matters beign 
> spoken of - is not doing away with the multistakeholder component in 
> favor of the governmental or multilateral, but optimizing the combined 
> contributions they can make. ICANN-as-a-laboratory provides a lot of 
> learning in this respect, wasted by not being studied enough. And the 
> whole framework is vital for the NTIA functional substitution problem 
> to hand, which these discussions have long drifted away from.
> Alejandro Pisanty
> On Sun, Mar 23, 2014 at 12:59 AM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net 
> <mailto:parminder at itforchange.net>> wrote:
>     This is what IETF's own RFC 3869 says
>     "The principal thesis of this document is that if commercial funding   is the main source of funding for future Internet research, the    future of the Internet infrastructure could be in trouble.
>       In    addition to issues about which projects are funded, the funding source can also affect the content of the research, for example,   towards or against the development of open standards, or taking
>         varying degrees of care about the effect of the developed protocols   on the other traffic on the Internet."
>     It is important to recognise that research is not a monopoly
>     function, but governance definitionally is. So, if commercial
>     funding can distort Internet research, it is but obviously that it
>     has to be an absolute no no for governance functions (standards
>     making for something as socially important today as the Internet,
>     in absence of any further neutral public oversight constitutes a
>     governance function).
>     parminder
>     On Sunday 23 March 2014 07:04 AM, Stephen Farrell wrote:
>>     Hash: SHA1
>>     Michael,
>>     On 03/23/2014 01:23 AM, michael gurstein wrote:
>>>     I personally have no idea whether what you folks and your compadres
>>>     do/come up with is as pure as todays snowfall up on Grouse
>>>     Mountain--or not. But the absence of a recognition of what is
>>>     expected of you in terms of (at least formal) accountability and
>>>     transparency and what those expectations imply is, as I said to
>>>     John, I think a rather significant problem.
>>     Actually you said you didn't know how the IETF works.
>>     And I said that the sponsorship stuff is public. And
>>     all the mailing list traffic is public and open to all.
>>     I really think you're in the arena of FUD in terms of
>>     how your concern absolutely does not apply in the IETF
>>     context.
>>     But yet again - if you or someone is concerned go look
>>     at the facts in the public record and then come back.
>>     I am entirely sure that if something interesting were
>>     found there the IETF would discuss it to death in the
>>     same manner we do with almost everything. But I'm also
>>     pretty confident that such an examination of the IETF
>>     if done fairly would actually not show up such a problem.
>>     So the situation is that you don't know how the IETF works.
>>     And the IETF does (I claim, knowing something about it, but
>>     anyone can verify) act transparently with accountability.
>>     The problem it seems to me is with the first sentence in
>>     this paragraph.
>>     S.
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> -- 
> - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
>      Dr. Alejandro Pisanty
> Facultad de Química UNAM
> Av. Universidad 3000, 04510 Mexico DF Mexico
> +52-1-5541444475 FROM ABROAD
> +525541444475 DESDE MÉXICO SMS +525541444475
> Blog: http://pisanty.blogspot.com
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> Twitter: http://twitter.com/apisanty
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> .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

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