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

Stephen Farrell stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie
Sun Mar 23 15:40:30 UTC 2014

On 03/23/2014 03:16 PM, michael gurstein wrote:
> Stephen,
> As I  said before I am not sufficiently familiar with the IETF to comment on
> its internal processes.  

But you have commented on those. And negatively. You are very
clearly contradicting yourself here IMO.

> 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. 

If you had said:

"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 a multistakeholder model in operation."

...then I'd agree. The IETF is significant and a good example of that
kind of setup.

But I think the "MSism" term you used is laden with all sorts of
baggage of which I'm unaware so I don't actually get what you meant
and hence neither agree nor disagree with you.


> 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.
> M
> -----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!?
> Michael,
> 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
> find
> '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:-)
> S.
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> discuss mailing list
>> discuss at 1net.org
>> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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