[governance] IGP Workshop proposal on Public Policy

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sat Jun 30 23:49:55 EDT 2007

Continuing the "parade of the workshop proposals," I present you with the "Public Policy" multi-stakeholder marching band, absent Sergeant Pepper, with Bernard Benhamou and Ayesha Hassan twirling the batons, Michael Leibrandt playing the tuba, Milton Mueller blowing his horn, Parminder Singh beating his drum, Ian Peter on fife, Paul Twomey and a supporting cast of GAC members dancing around the issues...


”Public Policy” for the Internet: What is it? Who should make it? Do we need principles?

1.	Provide a concise formulation for the proposed workshop theme.  

This workshop deals with three closely related themes:
a. What is "public policy" on the Internet? Can we reliably identify when Internet governance issues become "public policy" issues, and can these be isolated and extracted from “day-to-day technical and operational matters? 
b. When do we need global as opposed to national policies for the Internet? Is the claim that states have a “sovereign right” to make policy for the Internet compatible with the global scope of the Internet and the generally non-territorial reach of networked computers? Do national states adequately represent all aspects of the public interest at the global level? 
c. What was intended by the Tunis Agenda's call for the "development of globally-applicable principles on public policy issues associated with the coordination and management of critical Internet resources”? What kind of “globally applicable principles” could be applied to the Internet resources? How would such principles improve and guide Internet governance? In what venue would such principles be developed and adopted?  

2.	Provide the Name of the Organizer(s) of the workshop and their Affiliation to various stakeholder groups. Describe how you will take steps to adhere to the multi-stakeholder principle, including geographical diversity. 
Internet Governance Project (civil society/academic); France (tbc, governmental. Due to the recent change in Presidential administration in France, co-sponsorship needs to be confirmed); Ian Peter (private sector); Afilias (private sector)

3.	Why do you think the proposed theme is important? 
The problem of what constitutes a “public policy issue” and which stakeholder group should be pre-eminent in the definition of public policy for the internet has been a source of debate and contention for five years, and is mentioned repeatedly in the Tunis Agenda. This Workshop provides a platform for encouraging broader understanding of the contested notion of “Public Policy” and “Public Policy Principles” for the Internet and how they are related to technical coordination and administration. 

4.	Describe the workshop’s conformity with the Tunis Agenda in terms of substance and the mandate of the IGF. 
The Tunis Agenda distinguished between "technical" and "public policy" issues, and between “public policy” and "day-to-day technical and operational matters." (35, 69) The Tunis Agenda claimed that “policy authority for Internet-related public policy issues is the sovereign right of States” (35a) and recognizes "the need for development of public policy by governments in consultation with all stakeholders." The Tunis Agenda also called for "the development of globally-applicable principles on public policy issues associated with the coordination and management of critical Internet resources.” (70) Within this conceptual framework, Paragraph 72 of the Tunis Agenda, which deals specifically with the IGF, mandates the IGF to “discuss public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance.” 

5.	Provide the Name and Affiliation of the panelists you are planning to invite. 
Bernard Benhamou, Government of France (government)
Ian Peter, Ian Peter and Associates Pty Ltd (private sector)
Dr. Milton Mueller, Internet Governance Project (civil society/academic)
Ayesha Hassan, International Chamber of Commerce (private sector)
Michael Leibrandt, former representative of Germany in ICANN-GAC
Parminder Jeet Singh, IT for Change and co-coordinator, Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus
KIM Jong-ho, South Korean Ministry of Information and Communications (government)
ICANN Board member or CEO (international organization)

6.	Describe the main actors in the field. Have you approached them and asked whether they would be willing to participate in proposed workshop? 

France and other European governments have supported the idea of developing globally applicable public policy principles. We have approached European governmental representatives.

Many times ICANN has been accused of making public policy despite not being a government. ICANN often claims to only do technical coordination, not policy. We have contacted and invited an ICANN representative.

Civil society actors have often contested the claim that governments should be exclusively in charge of public policy for the Internet. We have asked two prominent civil society persons to participate.

Private sector actors have tended to view the call for public policy with concern, fearing more governmental regulation and intervention. We have invited two speakers from the private sector.

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