[bestbits] Civil Society Letter on IANA Transition

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sat May 28 00:40:41 EDT 2016

On Saturday 28 May 2016 03:05 AM, Pranesh Prakash wrote:
> 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.

In the run up to the IANA transition, there were 3-4 meetings held in
India on this issue - most of them organised by groups quite sympathetic
to ICANN and involved with it (this included the dept of IT, Indian
gov). In all these meetings, without fail, the two key issues that came
out, and on which by far most people present agreed, were (1) external
oversight (meaning some kind of oversight of ICANN  processes from
outside the groups closely involved in its policy processes)) and (2)
jurisdiction of ICANN. Both these issues have been disregarded.

India has one sixth of the global population. I have no doubt that
similar concerns would have been foremost in almost all developing
countries, and also most non US developed countries.

Now when the process concludes claiming some kind of consensus, and
openness and inclusiveness of all views, one would obviously wonder what
to make of it. Who decides that most key views were included, and the
process was open. It was always some kind of a self fulfilling prophecy,
an article of incontrovertible faith - that ICANN is open and inclusive,
and it will considered open and inclusive no matter what it does and
what comes out of the process. This is a new kind of tyranny, woven
strangely from the fabric of a so-called 'openness'. No doubt a
fantastic achievement in a way.


>> 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):
> http://lists.bestbits.net/arc/bestbits/2016-04/msg00050.html
> I'm just as disappointed by the quiet as you are, Niels.
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