[discuss] [bestbits] [governance] Internet Social Forum-->Jeremy's Jeremiad and Philip's Phillipic

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Wed Jan 28 16:00:52 UTC 2015

McTim (or should I say (Sen.) McCarthy…


I’m hoping that folks are wise enough not to think that if a lie is repeated often enough and loudly enough and particularly if it can be referenced to a blogpost with a reference to a (slightly deranged err over the top) blogpost that provides significantly distorted and selective references to a further set of documents then somehow it has a reality beyond simply self-interested commentary (sigh, but such is the Internet… 


And now to:


Jeremy’s Jeremiad <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeremiad>  and Phillip’s Philippic <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippic> 


As they say the worst insult is to be ignored, and no publicity is bad publicity… so thanks folks for spreading the word about the JNC and the ISF.


That Philip got it wrong following Jeremy’s wild distortions and misrepresentations shouldn’t be too surprising.  I’ll leave a detailed cross referencing between reality and what Jeremy has oozed out to others with a more Talmudic bent but just to say that I’m expecting a libel action to be forthcoming from my PM Stephen Harper at the possibility that he might be funding my contributions to the JNC or the ISF (I would expect similar rumblings from various of the other “state actors” to which he might so circuitously and ponderously be referring).


But just to note—it is only in the minds of the profoundly anti-democratic (and historically illiterate) that statements to the effect that “The right to make Internet-related public policies lies exclusively with those who legitimately and directly represent people” is (mis) represented as calling for governance solely by and through existing governmental (or inter-governmental) structures or more specifically existing and very often undemocratic and unrepresentative governments and state structures/actors (whoever they may be).  








From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of McTim
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 9:02 AM
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; Jean-Christophe NOTHIAS I The Global Journal
Cc: parminder; bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; discuss at 1net.org >> 1Net List
Subject: Re: [bestbits] [governance] Internet Social Forum


Quoting a CircleID piece by Philip Corwin:


"The author is not familiar with most of the groups constituting ISF. As always, a good rule for understanding true intent is "follow the money". We'd find it illuminating to know where they get their funding and whether any state actors are involved (and a colleague more familiar with the global IG scene advises that at least several are indeed closely linked to their national governments, and are unsurprisingly more favorable toward the government-led multilateral approach on IG than the private sector oriented MSM). So there is some question as to whether ISF is a genuine grassroots Netizen movement — or a convergence of government-dominated organizations pairing with "useful idiot <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot> ” entities to pursue a broader and more pernicious agenda of undermining the MSM and replacing it with a UN-led, government-dominated one. "


On Sat, Jan 24, 2015 at 1:23 AM, Jean-Christophe NOTHIAS I The Global Journal <jc.nothias at theglobaljournal.net> wrote:

Quoted a Register piece written by Kieren McCarthy

Hibernating NetMundial continues to rattle internet governance world  <http://t.co/0D2vSUtqqf> reg.cx/2dZG


As to NetMundial's three-month consultation period, that will seemingly be led by respected internet governance academic and ICANN Board member Wolfgang Kleinwachter. The NetMundial organizers did not reveal how much they will pay Kleinwachter to lend the initiative his credibility, but his first attempt to make the internet community learn to love the idea came in the form of a  <http://www.circleid.com/posts/20150103_internet_governance_outlook_2015_2_processes_many_venues_4_baskets/> blog post at the start of the year.



Le 24 janv. 2015 à 00:21, parminder a écrit :


On Friday 23 January 2015 11:31 PM, "Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" wrote:

Hi Parminder,


how the ISF is linked to the IGF?

Hi Wolfgang

One is a civil society forum, the other a multistakeholder one. One develops people's and civil society's positions on the key issue of the global Internet, the other is a place where such positions can enter into dialogue with holders of political and economic power - the governments and the corporate actors.

Unless now the whole idea and concept of civil society - and along with those of people's movements, grassroots, activism, and so on - has been fully coopted in some people's mind with that of multistakeholderism (whatever one actually means by it, something that has remained notoriously unclear), the connection or link that you inquire about is extremely clear to me.

Internet is not the first thing for which there has been felt a need for 'independently' forming a people's conception and set of hopes, expectations and demands - away from conclaves of power. There have been scores of others, and newer ones continue to arise. Accordingly if people's and civil society forums etc have been meaningful and needed in these areas, it is incumbent upon *those* who think they are *not needed* in the Internet space to explain why it is so, then the other way around.

To put is somewhat flippantly, ISF is also a reaction of people who are fed up with an ongoing IG charade where for instance Fadi Chehade can with a straight face call the WEF's Net Mundial Initiative as the 'mother of all bottom -up processes' - even jokes require some plausibility limits!

To take the example of one of the latest international global forums on a key global governance issue, the Lima meeting on climate change, you will perhaps know that parallel to it a people's meeting was held. Internet and its governance also needs such meetings, that is the simple logic of the Internet Social Forum. If you think that in the Internet's case, such meetings and forums are not needed, I would of course be curious to hear your case.

I am happy to engage further with you on this issue, and answer your questions.

Lastly, let me invite you to join the ISF process. We work under the World Social Forum (WSF) process and principles - whereby its meetings are open to all civil society participants subject to very inimum conditions that are listed on their website.

Further, if the discussion is to now turn to the WSF, its meaning, relevance, etc, I am as happy to engage with you on that subject.

Regards, parminder






-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----

Von: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org im Auftrag von parminder

Gesendet: Do 22.01.2015 17:01

An: governance at lists.igcaucus.org

Betreff: Re: [governance] Internet Social Forum

 Enclosed Spanish version... parminder



On Thursday 22 January 2015 07:06 PM, Norbert Bollow wrote:

Global Civil Society launches the Internet Social Forum

- With a call to occupy the Internet


PRESS RELEASE. Geneva, Switzerland, 22st January, 2015.


A group of civil society organisations from around the world has

announced the Internet Social Forum, to bring together and articulate

bottom-up perspectives on the 'Internet we want'. Taking inspiration

from the World Social Forum, and its clarion call, 'Another World is

possible', the group seeks to draw urgent attention to the increasing

centralization of the Internet for extraction of monopoly rents and for

socio-political control, asserting that 'Another Internet is possible'!


The Internet Social Forum will inter alia offer an alternative to the

recently-launched World Economic Forum's 'Net Mundial Initiative' on

global Internet governance. While the World Economic Forum (WEF) and

the 'Net Mundial Initiative' convene global elites, the Internet Social

Forum will be a participatory and bottom-up space for all those who

believe that the global Internet must evolve in the public interest; a

direct parallel to the launch of the World Social Forum in 2001 as a

counter initiative to the WEF.


The Internet Social Forum will reach out to grassroots groups and

social movements across the world, catalysing a groundswell that

challenges the entrenched elite interests that currently control how

the Internet is managed. The Internet Social Forum's preparatory

process will kick off during the World Social Forum to take place in

Tunis, March 24th to 28th, 2015. The Internet Social Forum itself is

planned to be held either late 2015 or early 2016.


"While the world's biggest companies have every right to debate the

future of the Internet, we are concerned that their perspectives should

not drown out those of ordinary people who have no access to the

privileged terrain WEF occupies - in the end it is this wider public

interest that must be paramount in governing the Internet. We are

organising the Internet Social Forum to make sure their voices can't be

ignored in the corridors of power," said Norbert Bollow, Co-Convenor of

the Just Net Coalition, which is one of the groups involved in the



The Internet Social Forum, and its preparatory process, is intended as

a space to vision and build the 'Internet we want'. It will be

underpinned by values of democracy, human rights and social justice. It

will stand for participatory policy making and promote community media.

It will seek an Internet that is truly decentralized in its

architecture and based on people's full rights to data, information,

knowledge and other 'commons' that the Internet has enabled the world

community to generate and share.


Somewhat similar to Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee's call for a 'Magna

Carta for the Internet', the Internet Social Forum proposes to develop

a People's Internet Manifesto, through a bottom-up process involving

all concerned social groups and movements, in different areas, from

techies and ICT-for-development actors to media reform groups,

democracy movements and social justice activists.


This year will also see the 10 year high-level review of the World

Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), to be held in New York in

December. As a full-scale review of a major UN summit, this will be a

critical global political event. Since the WSIS, held in 2003 and 2005,

the Internet, and what it means socially, has undergone a paradigm

shift. The WSIS witnessed active engagement of civil society and

technical groups as well as of business. However, currently, there

seems to be an deliberate attempt to sideline this UN-led initiative on

governance issues of the information society and Internet in favour of

private, big-business-dominated initiatives like the WEF's Net Mundial

Initiative. The Internet Social Forum, while remaining primarily a

people's forum, will also seek to channel global civil society's

engagement towards the WSIS +10 review.


The following organisations form the initial group that is proposing

the Internet Social Forum, and many more are expected to join in the

immediate future. This is an open call to progressive groups from all

over the world to join this initiative, and participate in developing a

People's Internet Manifesto.


Just Net Coalition, Global

P2P Foundation, Global

Transnational Institute, Global

Forum on Communication for Integration of our America, Regional (Latin

America) Arab NGO Network for Development, Regional

Agencia Latinoamericana de Información, Regional

Alternative Informatics Association, Turkey

Knowledge Commons, India

Open-Root/EUROLINC, France

SLFC.in, India

CODE-IP Trust, Kenya

GodlyGlobal.org, Switzerland

Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training,

Canada IT for Change, India

Association for Proper Internet Governance, Switzerland

Computer Professionals Union, Philippines

Free Press, USA

Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, Philippines

Other News, Italy

Free Software Movement of India

Global_Geneva, Switzerland

Solidarius (Solidarity Economy Network), Italy

All India Peoples Science Network, India

Institute for Local Self-Reliance - Community Broadband Networks, USA


Please contact us at secretariat at InternetSocialForum.net for further

information or clarification.


Or the following regional contacts:


Africa:        Alex Gakaru <AlexG at InternetSocialForum.net>

Asia:          Rishab Bailey <RishabB at InternetSocialForum.net>

Europe:        Norbert Bollow <NorbertB at InternetSocialForum.net>

North America: Micheal Gurstein <MichealG at InternetSocialForum.net>

South America: Sally Burch <SallyB at InternetSocialForum.net>



This press release is also available online, e.g. at






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