[governance] Article on Internet Principles
mariliamaciel at gmail.com
Sun Jul 31 14:25:42 EDT 2011
Thanks for sharing this relevant reference. You provided very interesting
insights and you bring back to our memories important chapters of the IG
novel. However, there are few points in which I don't totally agree with
you and I would like to express my thoughts.
The conclusion of your article would lead us to understand that the scenario
we live today comes down to:
Regulation through softlaw, in a multistakeholder fashion, fostered by the
initiatives from developed countries you mentioned *versus* Regulation
through treaties, in an intergovernmental fashion, fostered by developing
But, in real life, there are much more options in between. Despite the fact
soft law is a valuable approach to many issues, it is not an adequate way to
address all public policy issues. Treaties and soft law should be
complementary mechanisms in international relations, and both can be very
important, if used wisely and appropriately.
Secondly, you do not talk about the “quality” of the multistakeholder
participation. The principle of multi-stakeholder participation is not a
procedural idea devoid of content. Its political strength and legitimacy
comes from including a diversity of voices that have a stake in the process
and would be excluded otherwise.
Currently, multistakeholder participation has not equally included all
stakeholders (see for instance my last e-mail about the barriers for CS
participation in CSTD, if compared to other stakeholders), and it has not
equally included non-governmental representatives from developed and
developing countries. One just needs to take a look at the composition of
the CSTD WG on IGF improvements to have an idea of how great the unbalance
is. So, unless something is said about the “quality” of multistakeholder
participation, I find it inappropriate for CS to endorse a blank check.
Lastly, I think it is politically wrong to establish a division between
developed countries X developing countries, when it comes to issue of
multistakeholder participation, enhanced cooperation or even their
inclination to be constructive.
There are cleavages between developed countries (eg. Is Sarkozy’s France and
Berlusconi’s Italy equal to Germany and Switzerland?). And there are
cleavages between developing countries as well. Brazil and India are
certainly not equal to China and Saudi Arabia, as you implied.
Maybe it is useful to remember that Brazil was one of the first to propose a
debate about principles in IGF, it has created a multistakeholder body
coordinate internet governance in Brazil, it has developed a bottom-up
regulation for the internet with multistakeholder participation (Brazilian
Civil Rights Framework for the Internet), and it has been the only country
to stand up for more CS participation on CSTD in May to redress the current
unequal conditions if compared to other stakeholders.
Maybe it is useful to remember that India was one of the most proactive
countries in the CSTD WG and have advanced several concrete suggestions for
IGF improvement, including strengthening CS participation on the MAG.
And maybe it is useful to remember that US was firstly against the
continuation of the working group on IGF improvement, as per their letter of
an important political fact not mentioned in your article. They only changed
their position on the last days of CSTD, because they were not joined by the
Europeans. I think we all know that the absence of improvement threatens the
existence of the IGF as a relevant body.
Just a few initial points. I hope we can continue the debate further.
2011/7/31 "Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" <
wolfgang.kleinwaechter at medienkomm.uni-halle.de>
> http://news.dot-nxt.com/2011/07/27/internet-principle-hype <
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Centro de Tecnologia e Sociedade
FGV Direito Rio
Center for Technology and Society
Getulio Vargas Foundation
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil
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