WSIS+10 workshop?, was Re: [bestbits] Next steps on principles (was Re: Coordination...)

Kevin Bankston kbankston at
Sun Dec 9 16:49:50 EST 2012

Who might be the best person to reach out to UNESCO for the group? My few relationships there are somewhat new and tenuous.  Perhaps Jeremy?

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On Dec 9, 2012, at 3:36 PM, Anriette Esterhuysen <anriette at> wrote:

> Good idea to do a workshop, and we should try to have a meeting beforehand.  I like the idea of "developing a positive civil society agenda on internet governance" as a theme although making it concrete could be difficult.  One way of doing this would be to do a 'stock-taking of where things have moved since they were highlighted in the WGIG documents, as Pranesh suggests. 
> I suggest that someone from Best Bits writes to Unesco to say we need a bit more time. As long as we tell them tomorrow that we want a workshop they are likely to give us more time to finalise a proposal.
> For everyone's information, APC is planning to submit a few workshop proposals, including one that will look at the WSIS civil society declaration from 2003. We will present initial research outcome of a survey we have been doing to get a sense of civil society perceptions on progress/lack of progress in meeting these goals.
> Anriette
> On 09/12/2012 21:06, Kevin Bankston wrote:
>> Hello everyone:
>> Watching this very interesting discussing, and looking at the impending deadline 
>> for workshop proposals for the WSIS+10 review meeting Feb 25-27 in Paris 
>> ( <>)--proposals are due 
>> tomorrow, Monday the 10th, form attached--we at CDT were wondering whether it 
>> might make sense for some of the Best Bits participants to collaborate on a 
>> workshop proposal on the positive agenda issue.  Perhaps a "developing a 
>> positive civil society agenda on internet governance" type of workshop if the 
>> meeting format would tolerate a civil society-dominated workshop, or perhaps a 
>> more broadly constituted panel focusing on "If not the ITU, then what? Positive 
>> visions for the future of internet governance".  (I suggest the former simply 
>> because it would be the easiest to put together on such short notice, since most 
>> if not all of the best potential panelists are already on this list, and indeed, 
>> are perhaps already on this thread).
>> Matthew Shears will be attending the WSIS meeting for CDT; it's not clear yet 
>> whether I and/or Emma would join him, but either way, one of us would be happy 
>> to be on such a panel if folks think it's worthwhile.  I'm also happy to work to 
>> get this proposal out the door tomorrow but would love to hear feedback on 
>> whether it is a good idea, and whether we need to make it a diverse panel or 
>> could focus on civil society's role.  Also curious to hear what if anything 
>> others on the list are planning in terms of workshops for this meeting (speaking 
>> generally we're happy to participate and help out wherever we can).
>> I suppose we also should start discussing whether we'd like to attempt to 
>> reconvene the Best Bits group in Paris prior to the WSIS+10 meeting and the MAG 
>> meeting.
>> ____________________________________
>> Kevin S. Bankston
>> Senior Counsel and Free Expression Director
>> Center for Democracy & Technology
>> 1634 I St NW, Suite 1100
>> Washington, DC 20006
>> 202.407.8834 direct
>> 202.637.0968 fax
>> kbankston at <mailto:kbankston at>
>> Follow CDT on Twitter at @cendemtech
>> On Dec 6, 2012, at 9:58 AM, Pranesh Prakash wrote:
>> > Jeremy Malcolm [2012-12-06 15:15]:
>> >> On 04/12/2012, at 12:01 AM, Norbert Bollow <nb at 
>> >> <mailto:nb at>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> Anriette Esterhuysen <anriette at <mailto:anriette at>> wrote:
>> >>>
>> >>>> This does bring us back to our 'Best Bits' goal about developing and
>> >>>> proposing principles for internet governance. Should we not begin to
>> >>>> plan our next steps?
>> >>>
>> >>> Absolutely.
>> >>>
>> >>> How can things realistically be moved forward in a positive,
>> >>> constructive way?
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> I worry that the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" meme with which most are 
>> >> approaching WCIT will solidify into a general opposition to any global 
>> >> norm-setting outside of the Internet technical community's institutions, and 
>> >> that Internet policy development will thereby be confined to the national 
>> >> level.  This is not helped by the US government's predisposition to avoid 
>> >> taking on international obligations (the Disabilities Treaty being the latest 
>> >> example, besides the Law of the Sea, the International Criminal Court, the 
>> >> Cybercrime Convention, the Treaty for the Visually Impaired, etc) - except of 
>> >> course through multilateral trade agreements!  I think we need to work on 
>> >> addressing that perception, and point out that:
>> >>
>> >> 1. Multi-stakeholder Internet governance will be soft law, guidance rather 
>> >> than compulsion.
>> >> 2. Even the US is promulgating global Internet norms through fora that suit 
>> >> it (OECD, APEC, and the "free flow of information" provisions in the TPP).
>> >> 3. So we need to move this into multi-stakeholder global fora, at a higher 
>> >> level that does not bind anyone, and need not restrict national policy space.
>> >> 4. There are various non-technical Internet policy issues that have no 
>> >> appropriate global home (nor should the ITU become their home).
>> >> 5. For example, a potential core competency is connecting Internet governance 
>> >> with human rights, as a framework to guide the development of national and 
>> >> multilateral norms for IP enforcement.
>> >> 6. Let's propose an IGF-based multi-stakeholder enhanced cooperation 
>> >> mechanism that would be an acceptable way to deal with such issues.
>> >
>> > This is a most excellent summation and suggestions.
>> >
>> >> We all hate hierarchy, but sometimes a little bit of structure is necessary 
>> >> to provide firm enough guidance to policymakers (look at the failure of IPv6 
>> >> adoption).  The existing loose network of Internet governance institutions, 
>> >> even if their "cooperation" is "enhanced", isn't structured enough to provide 
>> >> such guidance in a way that will satisfy the stakeholders (governmental and 
>> >> non-governmental) who are seeking more from the enhanced cooperation process.
>> >>
>> >> At Best Bits a few options were described, though we ran out of time to 
>> >> debate them.  As I see it, there is a UN-linked option (which in turn divides 
>> >> into an IGF-based option or an IGF-independent option), or there is a 
>> >> UN-independent option (the Enhanced Cooperation Task Force, ECTF).  So far, 
>> >> almost none of us have been serious about pursuing any of these.  But the 
>> >> status quo is not going to hold.  One way or another, Internet governance is 
>> >> going to evolve, and it will do so with us or without us.  We've spoken 
>> >> loudly enough about what we don't want - the ITU.  So, what do we want?
>> >
>> > I think a stock-taking of where things have moved on the issues highlighted in 
>> > the WGIG documents then would be helpful.
>> >
>> > I've some notes from conversations I was having with different people at Best 
>> > Bits in terms of a 'positive agenda', that I hope to type up and elaborate on, 
>> > and send to the list.
>> >
>> >
>> > -- 
>> > Pranesh Prakash
>> > Policy Director
>> > Centre for Internet and Society
>> > T: +91 80 40926283 | W:
>> > PGP ID: 0x1D5C5F07 | Twitter: @pranesh_prakash
>> >
> -- 
> ------------------------------------------------------
> anriette esterhuysen anriette at
> executive director, association for progressive communications
> po box 29755, melville 2109
> south africa
> tel/fax +27 11 726 1692
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