[bestbits] Civil Society Letter on IANA Transition

Pranesh Prakash pranesh at cis-india.org
Fri May 27 17:35:21 EDT 2016

Dear Niels, Carolina, and all,

Niels ten Oever <lists at digitaldissidents.org> [2016-05-25 17:03:53 +0200]:
> So I would have thought that Pranesh would support efforts to ensure the
> work of civil society in ICANN in general and the work of CIS in
> specific, would make it's way through.

I beg to disagree: I don't feel the main concerns that CIS has raised 
over the course of the transition have made any difference whatsoever in 
the process.

> There is a significant chance that the transition might not go through,
> and then the situation would be worse than what we have now, I hope you
> all agree with me on that.

I don't.  While I strongly desire a transition; a transition that 
doesn't change the status quo of US power over ICANN is going to 
increase legitimacy without actually changing the status quo in terms of 
power dynamics and the 'control' that the USG exercises over ICANN and 
the global DNS.

> So indeed the process wasn't very clean, but a proper process would not
> have delivered the letter in time for the hearing, which would have
> defeated it's purpose. This is a way of getting more sign on from
> people, as well as discussion.


Carolina Rossini <carolina.rossini at gmail.com> [2016-05-25 11:14:22 -0400]:
> I do not feel this went against the procedures. We just fail to write an
> email to the BB in a timely matter (when folks in Asia are awaking and we
> here are going to bed).

Just to be clear: my problem wasn't really procedural.  My problem was 
substantive.  CIS has done work on showing how the IANA transition 
process has been highly skewed in terms of participation, and I shared 
some of our research towards that end in my initial e-mail to the group 
on this.  (As to how this affects substantive outcomes: Many other 
organizations and persons from India and elsewhere (Rishabh Dara, JNC, 
CIS, CCG, Govt of India, DSCI, etc.) raised the issue of jurisdiction as 
being problematic u/ WS1 in their submissions to the ICG.  However none 
of those comments found appropriate reflection in the ICG report.)

However the drafters of this letter have suggested otherwise: "... that 
the process to develop the transition proposal has been a successful 
expression of multistakeholder approaches to Internet decision-making". 
  I believe the points countering Rubio, Heritage Foundation, et al., 
could have been done without including lines like that, which some of us 
following the IANA transition believe was not the case.

Now, quite obviously, if I or CIS disagree with that, we needn't sign 
it.  I raised it on this list to make the drafters and signatories aware 
that I *on substance* disagree with the contents of that letter.  Had 
the letter been discussed on the list (for which there wasn't any time) 
I would have raise that disagreement here.

> As you probably all have noticed it has been terribly silent on the
> BestBits list recently, so I hope that some positive action is also
> appreciated.

I posted this, asking for feedback from the BestBits list, and was 
hoping for fruitful dialogue and a way forward collectively, but 
received only one response (from Guru Acharya):


I'm just as disappointed by the quiet as you are, Niels.

Pranesh Prakash
Policy Director, Centre for Internet and Society
http://cis-india.org | tel:+91 80 40926283
sip:pranesh at ostel.co | xmpp:pranesh at cis-india.org

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