AW: [governance] Burr & Cade: proposal for introducing multi-lateral oversight of the root

Mawaki Chango ki_chango at
Fri Jul 21 15:30:55 EDT 2006

--- Avri Doria <avri at> wrote:

> <personal opinion>
> anyone who participates in the ietf participates as a peer.
> as a counter-example this one does not work.  there are very active
> government participants.

I guess you mean peer individuals that happen to be govt officials in
their day job (as I understand it), and not participants mandated by,
thus accountable to, their govt for their participation -? 

> i also don't think much of the argument of 'the segment (govt, ps, 
> cs) is better at x gets to rule x'  this is a argument meant to  
> maintain a status quo as those in control always appear to know
> best  
> and it is one that ignores the importance of stakeholders.  i think
> that it not about who is best at oversight, it is rather who is a  
> stakeholder and therefore has an equal right of participation in
> any  
> necessary oversight.
> then again i, as many of the CS participants, was never comfortable
> with the WSIS/WGIG determination of 'participation of each
> according  
> to their proper role'.  this sort of reasoning is meant to keep  
> people in their place and i see no reason why CS should accept the 
> place it has been given by governments.  and i repeat, i see no  
> reason to ever accept government (uni or multilateral) primacy in
> the  
> Internet.

I know you understood, but to avoid possible misinterpretation by any
one, I haven't argued for govt primacy in the internet. But I've
found reasonable and acceptable the proposal that they may have a
leading role on some issues while the other stakeholders may have a
leading role in some others (both necessarily go together). 

Your views are fine by me, but I see the tradeoff of the above option
as a necessary transition, and not as a definite situation. What
you're saying may work fine for the USA, Canada, most of the EU and
many other countries that are pro- market, private sector and
individual particiaption. There are many other countries where
infrastructures such as the telecom networks, the power grid, etc.
are public and/or where the govt budget relies substantially on their
operation. Given the dramatic change that internet brings about, e.g.
for the telecom industry, and the broader and structural consequences
for those govts, it will be very hard to make them understand that
_as govts_, they don't have a significant say (and that only peer
individual participation will be considered.) The champion of the
market and supposedly/presumably, of the individual freedom and
participation, the USG, has had problem admitting that premise with
all its consequences. Why would you expect China or Togo to accept
that without serious resistance (especially after they have been
given all the good arguments for the USG to retain political
oversight all these years)? I'm not implying that those govts are
only looking for the same type of control, or that they will use it
as "wisely" as the N=1 country in control. But you can't force people
for a whole cultural shift; you can only "force" them to a compromise
and make sure to watch the keeper and get him used to the new keys.


> a.

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