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

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Sun Mar 23 17:07:43 UTC 2014

I think this thread is wearing out its welcome but just one final comment

I'm at a bit of a loss as to your comment below re: my post which clearly
refers to Comcast and its expectations (and the Inforworld article on its
methods of exerting influence) and makes no comment on internal IETF
processes. What I do of course suggest is that Comcast at least, believes
(its renewing funding for another 9 years after all) that it is getting
value for money (and who am I took question the savviness of Comcast's


-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Farrell [mailto:stephen.farrell at cs.tcd.ie] 
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:43 AM
To: michael gurstein; discuss at 1net.org; S Moonesamy
Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

[MG>] snip

Really? Well, sure then. Your 2nd mail in this thread says:

"Ah yes, and Comcast that exemplar of virtue and support for the democratic
process will, contrary  to all expectations, not, as the one paying the
piper expecting to call the tune... (and of course, we are expected to build
our hopes for a "democratic" governance of the Internet on such

Maybe you meant something else but I read that as you saying you think or
insinuate that the IETF will do what comcast want because of the sponsorship
agreement. Feel free to clarify that you are in fact happy that the IETF
will not be subverted by this. (Which is the case in fact.)

>> 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.
> [MG>] okay
> 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.
> [MG>] The issue of who has laden the terminology/practices of MSism 
> with "baggage" is an interesting one.

Well, very slightly; in actual fact I find it pretty boring;-)

Its more interesting to wonder how different uses of the term (which is not
one I'd use) really differ.

> Are you for example, seriously suggesting that the Multistakeholder 
> processes which the USG is referring to in 
> http://www.state.gov/e/eb/rls/prsrl/2014/221946.htm only have to do 
> with what you and your IETF colleagues are doing in your various 
> internal processes.

It is IMO entirely valid to wonder how well IETF processes might generalise.
Claiming that that's impossible and terrible (as you seem to be) seems like
nonsense to me. Equally, claiming that they will obviously work just fine
when applied to anything is also nonsense.


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