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

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Mon Mar 24 05:26:06 UTC 2014


-----Original Message-----
From: David Cake [mailto:dave at difference.com.au] 
Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:14 PM
To: michael gurstein
Cc: 1Net List
Subject: Re: [discuss] FW: Comcast undertakes 9 year IETF cosponsorship!?

On 23 Mar 2014, at 10:16 pm, michael gurstein <gurstein at gmail.com> 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.

	So... your problem with multi-stakeholderism is that it is too open,
that it is too easy for people to get involved, and you want to erect
barriers to participation? Generally multi-stakeholder processes tend to
feel that problems are best served by adding more stakeholders, not removing

[MG>] Huh???... asking for accountability and assurance that processes are
undertaken in the public interest has, I would think, absolutely nothing to
do with any opinions I might or might not have on "participation" but I look
forward with considerable anticipation to your explanation of what I might
have missed...

> One issue that obviously arises with respect to multistakeholderism is 
> the lack of such laws and such registration.

	Generally there is *significant* transparency in mutli-stakeholder
organisations such as ICANN, with officer holders lodging public statements
of interest. I'm not sure whether you are simply ignorant of such
transparency mechanisms, or you are specifically concerned that they are
mandated only by operating procedures and by-laws, rather than specific
national law. 

	In general, I'm continually surprised by the insinuations that
multi-stakeholderism involves a lack of transparency, when SOIs are public,
meetings are public (and often with transcriptions and recordings publicly
available, sometimes with translations), and documents produced are
generally public by default. ICANN is very transparent compared to the
operation of government. 

	(I say this as someone who still believes ICANNs transparency could
do with a little improvement, but most of the remaining transparency issues
are to do with documents produced by/for staff, not with community

[MG>] glad to hear but I'm not sure that transparency is sufficient.  Some
sort of formalization of rules concerning the internal governance of
processes  may be of equal or greater importance.  There is an obvious need
to ensure that these processes are being conducted so as to ensure the
public interest rather than private interests in one or another guise.
Unfortunately it is likely the case that the more "open" the process the
more there needs to be a concern that those processes are not subverted,
undermined or misdirected.

> (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.)

	As an example of such existing transparency mechanisms, it is worth
noting that many ICANN functions (including board member, SO/AC council
member, AoC review team member, etc) involve lodging a Statement of
Interest. For example, all of the GNSO council members have their SOI linked
from the council web page, including mine
	(mine is, I admit, out of date regarding which GNSO working groups I
am currently a member of, but other particulars are correct)

[MG>] good stuff

> 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
> http://1net-mail.1net.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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