[governance] Report IGF Improvment

"Kleinwächter, Wolfgang" wolfgang.kleinwaechter at medienkomm.uni-halle.de
Sat Mar 3 07:10:40 EST 2012

Hi everybody
the draft of the Report of the UNCSTD IGF Improvement Working Group is now nearly ready. Time to summarize some experiences, reflections and conclusions from inside:
1. The WG was another good exersice that multistakeholder collaboration works in reality. If you remember the beginning: it was first designed as a "governmental only" WG. Then, after protest and pressure, 15 non-governmental individuals, including five from civil society, were included but it was uncelar whether they will have only "secondary status". Furthermore, the two first meetings were overshadowed by intergovernmental conflicts which prevented the achievement of consensus recommendation for the UNCSTD meeting in May 2011. After ECOSOC extended the mandate - and the UNGA disconnected the discussion around "enhanced cooperation" from "IGF Improvment" - the climate in the group changed from mistrust to constructive collaboration. Non-governmental participants, including civil society, were treated as "equals" by the chair and nobody protested. In contrary, the contributions of those NGO-individuals enriched substantially the debate and allowed the chair and the group as a whole to move towards a better understanding and, at the end, to rough consensus over a number of key issues. It is worth to mention, that the "equal treatment" continued also in the drafting process when the chair was looking for "language". Text proposed by civil society made its way directly into the final document and it was very welcomed by the other stakeholders, including governments. This could not be expected  in the beginning.
2. With regard to substance one has to be fair: The report is a good step in the right direction, but it is not a "big step". But who expected a "revolution" for an evolutionary process which is still in its early stage? The debate reached a moment where we discussed whether the WG is for "IGF change" or "IGF Improvement"? Right, there was an expectation that the WG will propose "IGF change". But what this would have mean in this concrete case? Back to an intergovernmentel body? The WG was wise enough to avoid radical changes and to prefer the step-by-step approach, strenthening the multistakeholder model by taking into account that the "respective roles" of the involved stakeholders has to be further developed. With other words, it would make sense to establish another IGF Improvment WG in 2015 to evaluate what has been achieved. Such a ongoing process could work similar to ICANNs review mechanism, where multistakeholder review teams work on recommendations for ICANN improvment in concrete fields. 
3. There are a number of recommendations in the report which will drive the IGF beyond its present format to make it more effective, more professionell, more inclusive, more democratic, more balanced. The report is not "IGF is good, keep going", it says IGF is good but could be done better or "have to be better". With other words, the report produces pressure to move forward. No big jumps but small steps.  
4. Key new (or enhanced) elements are
a. call for more tangible outputs, including "messages that map out converging and diverging opinions on given questions";
b. call for an improved preparatory process (content, logistics, timetable), for an improved MAG (a key element here is the proposed selection procedure for the MAG, which gives the main authority into the hands of the stakeholder groups themselves and their own election/selection mechanisms, keeping the role of the UN Secretary General as the final decision maker) and an improved secretairat (calling for filling as early as possible the vacany of the Special Adviser and the Ex Secretary). 
c. call for a better funding (the problem here was that the fear to become dependent from donors - private or governments or UN regular budget - blocked a little bit broader consensus, however the recommendations allow the development of a creative mixed funding mechanism which will be one of the tasks of the new Ex Secretary. An important element here is transparency and accountability, which was strengthened and will (hopefully) help to encourage donnors) 
d. call for broader participation and capacity building (This section was mainly driven by the proposals from civil society and is aimed to bring more developing, LDC and other underprivilged groups closer to the IGF process. The recommendations are very specific - from low bandwith connections to enhanced remote participation capabilities to innovative funding schemes to enable F2F participation to capacity building measures (IGF Academy?) and data/research collection (IGF Obervatory?)
e. call for a better linked IGF both within the world politics ecosystem (from G8 to UN to other groups) as well as the Internet Governance Ecosystem (ICANN, IETF, RIRs) plus the own emerging IGF Ecosystem with local and regional IGFs around the globe. What is needed here is also a more proferssional communication and marketing strategy and this depends also from the people who will lead the process. Insofar the pressure to fill the vacancies of the two open positions is growing.
Summarizing the outcome one can say that after a complicated start the group was able to deliver something. The outcome of then work of the group are realistic recommendations, no dreams. Now it is up to the UNCSTD, later to the ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly, to translate this into clear guideliens for the IGF in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 
As said above, one reason why a constructive outcome was possible is that the controversy over "enhanced cooperation" was de-coupled from IGF Improvement. There will be a one day workshop on enhanced cooperation within the UNCSTD meeting in May 2012 in Geneva. I would be surprised if this workshop would end in harmony.One option could be that at the end of this day, when the smog fills the room, somebody could propose to establish a "UNCSTD Working Group on the Improvment of Enhanced Cooperation (WGIEC). If this would be the case the last two years with the existing WG could be a good source of inspiration. 
A final word to civil society involvement and the role of the IGC. IGC was diretly represented by its present chair (and two former chairs). The fact that CS had the three IBSA countries in the team, was very useful. When Marillia, Anriette or Parminder took the floor, people were listening. Well done. CS demonstrated that they can work in a team with other stakeholders, sticking to their principles, fighting for their very concrete objectives by having also the flexibility to respect the role of other stakeholders and entering into a rough consensus, where needed. Sometimes it was like in the good old WSIS times ten years ago!! 
Bets wishes
b. call for a more visible commujnication (and marketing) strategy to place ther IGF   


Fra: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org på vegne af Riaz K Tayob
Sendt: fr 02-03-2012 23:40
Til: Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro; governance at lists.igcaucus.org
Emne: Re: [governance] WikiLeaks: Stratfor leak shows US's covert plan to prosecute Assange

Yes it would be very good if a General Comment could be worked on in relevant HR committees, this is essential to getting some of the challenges related to the medium (these would have to be a sufficient level of generality). Perhaps it should anticipate changes as user needs change. I suppose it will also involve some responsibilities on the part of users too. But general contracting principles, like fair contracting terms, may be a useful guide.

The trouble is imperial actions and/or pretensions do bread paranoid politics in developing countries. And we need to be cognisant of the fact that some of the vested interests strengthened by their influence on government positions in the rich countries for developing countries tend to "blowback" to the developed world.


On 2012/03/02 10:48 PM, Salanieta T. Tamanikaiwaimaro wrote: 

	Dear Riaz, 

	Thank you for this and these are some thoughts. This is really interesting. If we look at the case of:-

	 China [alleged imtimidation of Ai Wei Wei for threats against  Odre Public/Public Order];
	 US [alleged intention to prosecute Assange for threats to "national security"];
	Pakistan [RFPs for filtering for threats against Public Order];
	 India [New Delhi - where Court said that ISPs have to block content for threats against Public Order/Moral];
	 Europe [where ECJ held that the danger of blocking lawful content was a far greater risk in terms of filtering attempts]

	then we have a deeper appreciation of the need to see what are legitimate exceptions. 


	On Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 8:31 PM, Riaz K Tayob <riaz.tayob at gmail.com> wrote:

		WikiLeaks: Stratfor leak shows US's covert plan to prosecute Assange

		Wednesday, February 29, 2012 
		Julian Assange. 

		WikiLeaks released the statement <http://wikileaks.org/Stratfor-Emails-US-Has-Issued.html>  below on February 28.

		* * *

		Confidential emails obtained from the US private intelligence firm Stratfor show that the United States government has had a secret indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for more than 12 months.

		Fred Burton, Stratfor's Vice-President for Counterterrorism and Corporate Security, is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State's (DoS) counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

		In early 2011, Burton revealed in internal Stratfor correspondence that a secret Grand Jury had already issued a sealed indictment for Assange: "Not for Pub - We have a sealed indictment on Assange. Pls protect." (375123) According to Burton: "Assange is going to make a nice bride in prison. Screw the terrorist. He'll be eating cat food forever." (1056988) A few weeks earlier, following Julian Assange's release from a London jail, where he had been remanded as a result of a Swedish prosecutor's arrest warrant, Fred Burton told SkyNews: "extradition [to the US is] more and more likely". (373862).

		Emails from Fred Burton reveal that the US government employs the same counterterrorism strategy against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as against Al Qaeda: "Take down the money. Go after his infrastructure. The tools we are using to nail and de-construct Wiki are the same tools used to dismantle and track aQ [Al Qaeda]. Thank Cheney & 43 [former US President George W. Bush]. Big Brother owns his liberal terrorist arse." (1067796)

		Ten days after the CIA reportedly assassinated Osama bin Laden, Burton writes in an email sent to Stratfor's "Secure" mailing list that he "can get access to the materials seized from the OBL [Osama bin Laden] safe house." (1660854)

		Burton states: "Ferreting out [Julian Assange's] confederates is also key. Find out what other disgruntled rogues inside the tent or outside [sic]. Pile on. Move him from country to country to face various charges for the next 25 years. But, seize everything he and his family own, to include every person linked to Wiki." (1056763)

		Along with the FBI, the Diplomatic Security Service and the Department of Defense (DoD) form a multi-agency US Government outfit seeking to criminally indict and prosecute WikiLeaks and Julian Assange. According to the Department of State, the DSS handles the investigation of all leads that involve the DoS and assists the DoD in forensic analysis of hard drives seized by the US government in its ongoing criminal investigation.

		Burton also says he "would pursue [c]onspiracy and [p]olitical [t]errorism charges and declassify the death of a source someone which [he] could link to Wiki" (1074383). Burton's strategy is to: "[b]ankrupt the arsehole first," Burton states, "ruin his life. Give him 7-12 yrs for conspiracy." (1057220)

		WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said: "For over a year now, the US Attorny General Eric Holder has been conducting a "secret" Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks. This neo-McCarthyist witch hunt against WikiLeaks may be Mr Holder's defining legacy. Any student of American history knows that secret justice is no justice at all. Justice must be seen to be done. Legitimate authority arises out of the informed consent of the governed, not Eric Holder's press secretary.

		"Secret Grand Juries with secret indictments are apparently Eric Holder's preferred method of dealing with publishers who hold his administration to account. Eric Holder has betrayed the legacy of Madison and Jefferson. He should drop the case or resign. Should he continue, however, the Obama administration may not - Democrats and Republicans alike believe in the right to tell the truth."

		As early as June 2010, after the release of the Collateral Murder video but prior to the Afghan War Diaries release, the emails talk of a sealed indictment. In an email conversation between Shane Harris, a National Security journalist, and Burton, Harris is surprised that Assange was reporteded to be attending a Las Vegas Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) conference. Burton remarks: "As a foreign national, we could revoke [Julian Assange's] travel status and deport. Could also be taken into custody as a material witness. We COULD have a sealed indictment and lock him up. Depends upon how far along the military case is" (391504). Julian Assange cancelled his appearance at the IRE conference due to security concerns.

		In another email to Stephen Feldhaus, Stratfor legal counsel, about Ronald Kessler, a "pro-FBI journalist", Burton remarks: "I look forward to Manning and Assange facing a bajillion-thousand counts [of espionage]." (1035283)

		In July 2010 alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning was moved from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait to the Quantico Brig in the Military District of Washington at the request of Maj. Gen. Terry Wolff, then Commanding General of the 1st Armored Division/US Division - Center in Iraq.

		Wolff requested Manning's move, the Pentagon reported, "due to a potentially lengthy pre-trial confinement because of the complexity of the charges and an ongoing investigation." Three days before Manning arrived at Quantico Brig, Burton wrote to George Friedman, Stratfor CEO and founder:

		"We probably asked the ASIS [Australian Secret Intelligence Service] to monitor Wiki coms and email, after the soldier from Potomac was nabbed. So, it's reasonable to assume we probably already know who has done it. The delay could be figuring out how to declassify and use the Aussie intel on Wiki... The owner [Julian Assange] is a peacenik. He needs his head dunked in a full toilet bowl at Gitmo." (402168)

		The GI Files: http://wikileaks.org/the-gifiles.html

		Please donate: http://shop.wikileaks.org/donate

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	Salanieta Tamanikaiwaimaro aka Sala

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