[discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Mar 23 15:16:52 UTC 2014


As I  said before I am not sufficiently familiar with the IETF to comment on
its internal processes.  

However, the IETF is presented (and most of those involved appear to
enthusiastically welcome its role) as a significant element in, and even
exemplar of multistakeholderism where MSism is the preferred modality for
public policy making in an Internet Governance context.  

Issues of conflict of interest, lobbyist registration/transparency,
suborning of processes etc. would thus need to apply with the IETF equally
as elsewhere unless of course traditional concerns for ensuring that the
public interest is foremost in public policy making is seen as no longer
relevant in the midst of MSist "enhanced democracy". 

How precisely this could/should be done in the overall context of MSism and
specifically the IETF (or whatever) would seem to me to be a rather basic
element in any useful plan for the implementation of MSism which goes beyond
memes and slogans. This BTW is something whose presentation I have been
waiting on with considerable anticipation for a very long time.


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Farrell [mailto:stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie] 
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 7:41 AM
To: michael gurstein; 'S Moonesamy'; discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?


>From the IETF perspective you can rest fairly easy thanks to the long
existing level of transparency. Again, go look at the mail archives and see
if you can find any interesting correlations between sponsorships and IETF
decision making. If you do, I'm sure that those would be treated as great
input for how to improve our processes.

And no, I'm not claiming perfection. Anyone with money can pay a consultant
to work on their behalf and that is not always transparent. That has come up
in the IETF in IPR discussions and we've landed where we are in terms of
requiring IPR disclosures to be made in some circumstances. (I don't recall
all the arguments as they apply in consultant cases to be honest but you can
'em.) I also don't recall if anyone has suggested extending that kind of
disclosure requirement to more than IPR, but if you or someone wants to
suggest that go right ahead if you're willing to do the work. (And there is
work involved in figuring out a sensible proposal for that kind of thing out
and plenty more work in getting rough consensus for your proposal.)

But *please* don't bother to try take the tack of suggesting licensing, or
registration or requiring government permission before one can contribute to
the IETF. That would a) not fly and b) would be plain dumb:-)


On 03/23/2014 02:16 PM, michael gurstein wrote:
> Many countries now have laws governing the behavior of lobbyists and 
> requiring them  to register if they are going to act as lobbyists in 
> attempting to influence public policy. The intent is specifically to 
> ensure that there are controls and some imposed transparency on the 
> attempts by lobbyists to influence public policy in support of the 
> interests of their corporate clients.
> One issue that obviously arises with respect to multistakeholderism is 
> the lack of such laws and such registration. (In response to your 
> question such transparency might be useful even in a forum such as 
> this one for example, so we know who is being paid to express certain 
> opinions and whose opinions represent which corporate interests.)
> M
> -----Original Message-----
> From: S Moonesamy [mailto:sm+1net at elandsys.com]
> Sent: Friday, March 21, 2014 12:01 PM
> To: michael gurstein; discuss at 1net.org
> Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?
> Hi Mike,
> At 11:22 21-03-2014, michael gurstein wrote:
>> Great to see Comcast supporting the public good err. it's stakeholder 
>> interests. err. "multistakeholderism" and "our" institutions for 
>> supporting "enhanced democracy" err "multistakeholderism" blithely 
>> accepting such sponsorship.
> There is a cost to my participation.  If I cannot afford to do that I can:
>    (a) Stop participating
>    (b) Accept financial sponsorship from Comcast (I used Comcast as an
> example)
> Is it acceptable for me to do (b), assuming I will disclose the 
> financial sponsorship?
> Regards,
> S. Moonesamy
> _______________________________________________
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> discuss at 1net.org
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