[governance] Muti-stakeholder Group structure (some ideas)

Parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sun Jun 10 05:24:39 EDT 2007

> I am not sure I correctly interpret what you said in that sentence
> above. If you meant to say that in this case public disclosure is more
> important than respecting the chatham house rule, then I would like to
> object.

Two things before I answer the real question " what you said in that
sentence > above". One, as Jeremy says Guru is not subject to Chatham house
rules, as someone who gets access to documents whose disclosure has
important  public interests implications, and after making sure that they
are genuine shares them with all. This is more of a journalist/ public
activist role which is at very heart of democracy. Think of where we would
if our journalists did not give us access to a good amount of official
correspondences in governments over which a complete 'industry' of
accountability extraction is build. Think of how our governments and
bureaucrats will work if they had complete assurance (and some draconian law
backing such assurance) that what they wrote in official correspondences in
their routine activities (except a few cases, where because of some strong
and clear reasons, some exceptions may be recognized), which are generally
not public domain documents as such, will always be protected from the
public gaze. 

I did forward the example of the expose of the Condoleezza's Rice' letter to
EU ministers (incidentally the expose is made by Kieren McCarthy and he
(rightly) proudly declares that " This is the first time the full text of
that letter has been published") and how widely it was circulated. Why such
expose from governments are greatly appreciated, but if they have to do with
some "CS friendly" bodies that need to be treated with velvet gloves, one
needs to be so defensive about them. Let's stay CS, not try to be bunch of
bureaucrats citing rules for such simple matters of transparency.... The
Rice letter could also have come out only through some bureaucrat (bond with
similar informal, and perhaps formal rules of non-disclosure as well). Why
one thing is so good and other is bad... can anyone tell me that? 

Second thing is that I did not in my email expect anyone to break the
chatham house rules.... However, Meryem has given an excellent explanation
of these rules, and I do not want to duplicate it here. Wonder, why when
Bill queried about Willie's email, and said he hasn't heard about the
'threat' no MAG member came in to explain, even keeping within chatham house
rules. In any case, the exchange was important enough that it should have
been mentioned even before Willie referred to it. 

It is a good question Meryem asks - where are the MAG rules. And also if I
remember right IGC nominations for MAG carried some conditions about keeping
in touch with IGC on vital matters etc and reporting information. Chatham
rules are devised as an excellent way information can be reported. 

I will respond to the query about the text of my email which led Jeanette to
defend chatham rules in another email. 


Parminder Jeet Singh
IT for Change, Bangalore
Bridging Development Realities and Technological Possibilities 
Tel: (+91-80) 2665 4134, 2653 6890
Fax: (+91-80) 4146 1055

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeanette Hofmann [mailto:jeanette at wzb.eu]
> Sent: Saturday, June 09, 2007 12:33 AM
> To: governance at lists.cpsr.org; Parminder
> Cc: 'Lee McKnight'; guru at itforchange.net
> Subject: Re: [governance] Muti-stakeholder Group structure (some ideas)
> > Well, I, like Guru, have had access to these emails for a few days now,
> > since they have been discussed in some e-groups.  But I wasn't sure what
> to
> > do with them because I know there are people who hurry to a 'conspiracy
> > against ICANN' kind of alarm very easily (even when other disclosures of
> > official docs like the Condeleezza Rice's letter to European governments
> on
> > WSIS stand vis a vis IG are considered important in public interest. See
> > http://i-
> policy.typepad.com/informationpolicy/2005/12/read_the_letter.html
> > ). And as IGC co-coordinator even informal rules of closed interactions
> > seemed more important than they need to against imperatives of public
> > interest disclosures, which in the present case I think are
> overwhelming...
> I am not sure I correctly interpret what you said in that sentence
> above. If you meant to say that in this case public disclosure is more
> important than respecting the chatham house rule, then I would like to
> object. Personally I wantb to know if I say something on a private list
> or in a public, archived space. If I cannot be sure that I speak on a
> private list, I will behave as if I speak in a public place. It is
> perfectly ok to object to or boycott private conversations on public
> matters, I don't find ok at all to selectively broadcast compromising
> emails.
> For me the main difference between a public and a private discussion
> space is the tolerance I can expect when I say something stupid. I think
> twice before I express my opinion in this list here as I know I have to
> expect criticism or something worse. A private list is supposed to be
> protected space where ideas can be tested and where I don't expect
> people using things against me. I didn't like Chris' email either but he
> does deserve a fair treatment that would allow him, for example, to
> change his mind.
> jeanette
> >
> > Looks like Guru thought it necessary to come in, in reference to 'ICANN
> > threats' in Willie's and Bill's emails and share these mails in this
> list.
> >
> > Parminder
> >

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