Summary of ways to participate in Best Bits

parminder parminder at
Tue Oct 16 22:55:26 EDT 2012

Hi Bill,

On Tuesday 16 October 2012 06:02 PM, William Drake wrote:
> Hi Parminder
> Greetings from ICANN Toronto, where some of us are trying to push the 
> inclusion of human rights in actual governance processes.

Great. Would be good to know what exactly is it about.

About the matters below.

I have no doubt that any ITU statement at this juncture should address 
core issues of ITR amendments.

My comments were wholly addressed to the track two activity. I am not 
sure what is the sudden hurry to pull out from a hat some process 
principles for IG in this compressed time, when the issue is rather 
contentious and requires to be given all the time and attention it 
needs. Also, I genuinely believed that we were talking about substantive 
principles for the Internet/IG, since for instance, the IRP declaration 
was talked about among other statements of substantive principle. I am 
not sure what is the name of workshop now, but the note Ihave calls it 
"a strategic gathering of NGOs around Internet governance and /*Internet 

But if you really want to go ahead, by all means do give it a try. Just 
dont sweep aside issues like the democratic versus multistakeholderism 
discussion we recently had in the IGC list... and other issues like 
funding of public participation bodies, structural provisions for 
representing the voice of the under-represented, conflict of interest 
and public policy making, role of big business in global Internet policy 
making ( Obama's famous 'will do away with revolving doors between 
business and politics ' agenda that people cheered so 
much)................. We cant selectively chose some principles that 
buttress certain governance orders and not other kinds. We will need to 
go really deep, and go the whole hog.

I dont think the CoE / APC's code of good practices is the right 
document to start with. In any case, principles are different from code 
of practices. And going back to the substantive/ process issue, I see 
the shift from focus on substantive to process and from principles to 
practices itself a /substantive/ issue of far reaching implication vis a 
vis directions that politics and governance is taking. (Yes, this is a 
critique of relatively recent neolib tendencies in this regard.) In 
politics what is not done can be just as important as what is done. 
Therefore the logic of 'formal processes and codes have been easy to 
agree on' needs to be examined more deepy and thoroughly for its 
implication to public interest, especially the interest of those who are 
marginalised. I am seeking such deeper and thorough examinations in the 
proposed workshop, and these pre-workshop discussions. I dont want it 
reduced to 'we have more or less a ready template based on an imagined 
considerable existing meeting of minds', and lets just polish and finish 
it. My reading of the initially posted primary purpose of the workshop 
does not match such an approach.

Best regards,


> On Oct 16, 2012, at 6:46 AM, parminder wrote:
>> On the other hand, if we just want to give a list of preachments to 
>> the ITU on how should be conduct its business, I am game for it. That 
>> is much more doable.
> I certainly hope this is not what we'll do in the WCIT statement. 
>  Statements critiquing the ITU's MO proved useful earlier in the 
> process, e.g. by pressing governments to agree to the landmark, 
> watershed, historic (quoting the press office) release of a document 
> that had already been leaked and widely accessed.  If you know the 
> zeitgeist in tower, this was news.  And more generally, those 
> statements made senior staff who'd previously declared they'd be 
> unaffected by any muttering among the riff raff launch an 
> unprecedented counter-offensive perception management gambit, complete 
> with a Twitter "storm" (tee hee) and website telling critics that 
> their concerns are all myths.  So all good.
> What's needed now though is something different—less meta, more 
> focused on specific aspects of Dubai.  There's a proposal that the 
> conference chair declare some sessions open to the public.  One 
> imagines there will be push back from the usual suspects; it'd be good 
> to briefly make the case.  Beyond this, I'd hope we can focus on the 
> concrete proposals that could be problematic for the Internet and 
> offer substantive counterpoints.  Ideally, these should acknowledge 
> that in some cases governments may have real legitimate concerns, but 
> point out the downsides of overreach and that there are other, more 
> effective ways to deal with them than via a multilateral treaty on 
> telecom. In other words, be positive in tone and content.  If we do 
> that, at least some delegations might have a look before tossing the 
> responses to the ITU's public comment call into the trash, and that 
> would establish another reference point for delegates carrying similar 
> messages.  BTW, such a statement could also feed into the CIR main 
> session in Baku, which will discuss WCIT issues.
> As to the other statement, I don't believe that focusing on the 
> procedural elements would be unproductive and of less value than a 
> more substantive statement, which I suspect would prove a bit 
> difficult to break new and consensual ground on.  Your dislike of 
> multistakeholderism is duly noted, but among the wider community of IG 
> mavens the procedural aspects have consistently proven easier to reach 
> consensus on, not only within CS, but with other stakeholders as well. 
>  This was demonstrated throughout WSIS and the IGF's early years.  And 
> the good work done by APC and partners on this has not been fully 
> amplified and leveraged, and there's never been more of a need to be 
> saying such things.  One need look no further than the WCIT and the 
> London Process to see why.  Such a statement can feed in directly to 
> the Taking Stock and Way Forward main session.  So I'd go with the 
> model this group has worked out through collaboration facilitated by 
> Jeremy, rather than toss it aside.
> Best,
> Bill

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