[governance] [bestbits] Call for making the IGF permanent

Suresh Ramasubramanian suresh at hserus.net
Mon Sep 1 21:57:04 EDT 2014

I am sorry to contradict you on this, especially because I do like the work of both the persons below

Susan Crawford is an activist, with her own political viewpoint, and a tendency to shrillness and disparaging "the opposition" (including use of memes in her regular blog posts on the subject such as extortion, eavesdropping and such) that are very little conducive to actual engagement. 

She is on one extreme with say Richard Bennett on the other.  I see little or no middle path or nuance there.

The new FCC CTO Scott Jordan, formerly of UC Irvine, is one of the very few in this field who has so far combined neutrality (in the academic as well as the network sense of the word) with academic rigor.  http://www.ics.uci.edu/~sjordan/research/net%20neutrality.html

--srs (iPad)

> On 02-Sep-2014, at 4:10, Jean-Christophe Nothias <jeanchristophe.nothias at gmail.com> wrote:
> Most surprisingly to me George, you have a very narrow view about going from A (current state of IGF - dead-end) to B (a reinvented IGF).
> Instead of trying putting into everyone's mind doubt and fear (my god, the UN budget!!) about the weak points of the UN, (we all see weak points in the US as well and thanks to people like Suzan Crawford and Jaron lanier to be the honest observers of what's going wrong in the telecommunication and Internet world), instead of making your statement on the assumption that the UN is not being compatible with an undefined MS model that has failed as has the IGF itself, instead of all that and more, I would encourage you to allow us some room for a refreshing thinking.  And allow innovation. As I wrote in my first email today, the UN system offers more innovative space and room for imagination than any other governing space. For a young institution created during the second world war, I find this encouraging.
> A few examples:
> Interpeace is a great peacebuilding NGO that was created from within the UN ; the GAVI alliance was created thanks to the UN and not just because of its weak points, the R20 was launched by a UN senior executive at UNDP, I could bring dozens of examples of how the UN successfully gave birth to many different kind of "birds".
> These spin-offs and institutional start-ups have their freedom, still having a strong link to the UN, and part of its DNA, some of it isn't that bad after all in terms of universal declaration of human rights to name a few. There are not intergovernmental bodies per say. But they have some UN blood. You don't necessarily need a UN budget to achieve all of that.  We have plenty other options, and indeed Parminder is right, ICANN can put into its bylaws that part of its revenues goes to that future body as a recognition of IGF making better recommendation for public policy and interest. ICANN one day says this is not its business, the next day explains us that it does because no one else does it. Amusing.
> The IGF is as we know it today a dead machine. Unless CS unites and suggests (not even request) a way forward. Not necessarily a dream land, but at least something that capitalizes over the failures, the vacuums, the ideas (some clearly written in the NetMundial different statements (remember the opening speech, all the contributions, the final statement, the comments). So yes we need the UN at this stage, because IG has a BIG problem of legitimacy, a problem that the MS model has only but enlarged, taking us all to an amazing point of distrust. Anyway we can not do as if the IGF wasn't a child of the UN.
> So if there is a way forward, let's take what we can from the UN to incorporate some legitimacy, democracy and trust (desire for democracy) in these discussions.
> This is what I would recognized  - from people like you George  - as a fantastic achievement. 
> Remember that the UN was made in a in time-breaking fashion by a club of willing over a few months during the war. 10 years of the current IGF have done what? So yes it is time for a change. A BIG on. Stop guarding the gate, open it. Then you'll be surprised by the incredible advancement of things.
> JC
>> Le 1 sept. 2014 à 23:52, George Sadowsky a écrit :
>> There are other rigidities in the UN system that may not be compatible with the overall aims of the IGF.  My Taiwan illustration was just that.   And, by the way, to get a new activity into the UN regular budget is enormously difficult; the UN relies on so-called extra-budgetary funds for many of its initiatives, and that represents insecure funding. 
>> In response to a previous post, I don't think that Carlos is suggesting that no funding come from the UN.  I note that the Internet Society has just initiated a call for funding the IGF on a more permanent basis.  In the past, ICANN has provided major funding, and so have some governments.   
>> I see nothing wrong with accepting funding from all sectors, provided that the funding is used in a fair and responsible manner and is not used to promote the special interests of the sector.  This has in part been the case so far, and is a reasonable model to promote.  You may wish to add some  caveats, but the principle stands.  All sectors do have their own interests, but none are pure evil.  All sectors have something to gain from the IGF or they would not contribute.
>> I wish that we could have discussions like this in a more cooperative mode rather than an environment of suspicion.
>> George
>>> On Sep 1, 2014, at 5:38 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net> wrote:
>>> If not the UN then there is this tantalising offer from the WEF, maybe that. It has either to be public funding or corporate funding, one can make one's choice which is     better. Because, even an organised public dialogue, much less the more complex things that the IGF is being prepared for, cannot be undertaken 'on the street' by 'people' without resources and some holding organisation. If you have any doubt about this assertion, please note that no one has proposed the World Social Forum to hold the global IG process together, as the WEF is being proposed, if yet somewhat cautiously. 
>>> It is certainly strange how a special case of Taiwan is being offered to show problems with the UN system, but one does not see what is wrong with ICANN's US-hood or WEF's big business nature. 
>>> parminder 
>>>> On Tuesday 02 September 2014 02:12 AM, Vanda Scartezini wrote:
>>>> I agree with Sadovsky. This idea goes into the direction of having IGF
>>>> totally controlled by government, than to promote enlarge participation on
>>>> IGF.  
>>>> Any body inside UN shall obviously be under UN rules and this means also
>>>> long  time to take decisions due to consultations to any government,
>>>> besides all other bureaucracy anyone used to deal with UN can easily
>>>> report.
>>>> Better not to go through this path.
>>>> Vanda Scartezini
>>>> Polo Consultores Associados
>>>> Av. Paulista 1159, cj 1004
>>>> 01311-200- Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
>>>> Land Line: +55 11 3266.6253
>>>> Mobile: + 55 11 98181.1464
>>>> On 9/1/14, 11:54, "George Sadowsky" <george.sadowsky at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> All,
>>>>> There is an issue that has not been mentioned in this thread.  The UN is
>>>>> not totally representative of the world's population, and decisions
>>>>> regarding who is a members state and who is not are political decisions
>>>>> made by the UN General Assembly.
>>>>> Case in point: no one from Taiwan is allowed to participate, even as a
>>>>> non-speaking participant, in the IGF.  There was a rumor in Athens (2006)
>>>>> that a Taiwanese was planning to come, and those of us on the MAG at the
>>>>> time who were working the event were told to let management know if he
>>>>> showed up so that he could be denied admission.
>>>>> Another case, in the opposite direction, is that of Palestine.  It was
>>>>> finally allowed UN status in the 1990s only when Israel was unable to
>>>>> further block its entry, and then it was given 'observer status.'  This
>>>>> delayed providing it with a country code, and therefore a country code
>>>>> TLD to be used in the territory and to be included in the DNS root zone.
>>>>> I speak from personal involvement in both of those events.  There are
>>>>> probably others which are similar and which I am not aware of.
>>>>> So any move to unite the IGF and the UN can have consequences that are
>>>>> not foreseen, and and may well not be in the interests of democratic,
>>>>> bottom up, participatory activity.  Please, in your enthusiasm, do not
>>>>> increase -- and decrease if possible  --  your reliance upon UN
>>>>> administration/control/funding of future IGFs.
>>>>> George 
>>>>> On Sep 1, 2014, at 10:00 AM, Carlos A. Afonso <ca at cafonso.ca> wrote:
>>>>>> If it has to become a formal body, I would not like to see it becoming
>>>>>> a sort of UN agency. If it is not a UN agency, funding should come from
>>>>>> other sources.
>>>>>> --c.a.
>>>>>> On 09/01/2014 09:27 AM, parminder wrote:
>>>>>>> I support the call.
>>>>>>> It should be accompanied with the UN providing permanent institutional
>>>>>>> funding for it.  Nothing can be permanent and stable without clear and
>>>>>>> stable source of funding.
>>>>>>> BTW, the IGF is right now a 'project' of UNDESA, and projects normally
>>>>>>> are not permanent. For being permanent it has to be an incorporated
>>>>>>> body
>>>>>>> with institutional funding.
>>>>>>> Anne, in the CSTD WG on IGF improvements,  IT for Change and some
>>>>>>> developing country asked for a part of domain names tax collected by
>>>>>>> ICANN to be dedicated to IGF funding. This has to be done in a
>>>>>>> statutory/ constitutional manner and not as ad hoc, upto ICANN,
>>>>>>> measure.
>>>>>>> parminder
>>>>>>> On Monday 01 September 2014 02:13 PM, Anne Jellema wrote:
>>>>>>>> Actually the point about stable and predictable funding - and I would
>>>>>>>> add to that, transparent and accountable financial management - seems
>>>>>>>> just as important as (and closely linked to) the permanent mandate.
>>>>>>>> WF continues to advocate that a % of gTLD revenues be set aside for
>>>>>>>> this purpose, as well as for other public benefit purposes, but if it
>>>>>>>> is considered unwise to mix ICANN issues with IGF issues then perhaps
>>>>>>>> it's enough just to reference the need for expanded, predictable
>>>>>>>> funding that is transparently accounted for.
>>>>>>>> cheers
>>>>>>>> Anne
>>>>>>>> On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 10:00 AM, Eduardo Bertoni
>>>>>>>> <ebertoni at alumni.gwu.edu <mailto:ebertoni at alumni.gwu.edu>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>    I support Joana´s idea re taking into account what the NetMundial
>>>>>>>>    final declaration says. I would only add that the "next" IGF
>>>>>>>>    should do better in linking its agenda and wok with the regional
>>>>>>>>    IGFs.
>>>>>>>>    e
>>>>>>>>    Eduardo
>>>>>>>>    On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 10:53 AM, Joana Varon
>>>>>>>>    <joana at varonferraz.com <mailto:joana at varonferraz.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>        Agree.
>>>>>>>>        At NETMundial final statement, this is what we have on IGF:
>>>>>>>>        "There is a need for a strengthened Internet Governance Forum
>>>>>>>>        (IGF). Important recommendations to that end were made by the
>>>>>>>>        UN CSTD working group on IGF improvements. It is suggested
>>>>>>>>        that these recommendations will be
>>>>>>>>        implemented by the end of 2015. Improvements should include
>>>>>>>>        inter-alia:
>>>>>>>>        a.Improved outcomes: Improvements can be implemented including
>>>>>>>>        creative
>>>>>>>>        ways of providing outcomes/recommendations and the analysis of
>>>>>>>>        policy options;
>>>>>>>>        b.Extending the IGF mandate beyond five-year terms;
>>>>>>>>        c. Ensuring guaranteed stable and predictable funding for the
>>>>>>>>        IGF, including
>>>>>>>>        through a broadened donor base, is essential;
>>>>>>>>        d. The IGF should adopt mechanisms to promote worldwide
>>>>>>>>        discussions
>>>>>>>>        between meetings through intersessional dialogues.
>>>>>>>>        A strengthened IGF could better serve as a platform for
>>>>>>>>        discussing both long
>>>>>>>>        standing and emerging issues with a view to contributing to
>>>>>>>>        the identification of
>>>>>>>>        possible ways to address them."
>>>>>>>>        We could departure from that and add "ask the UN to make the
>>>>>>>>        IGF a permanent body instead of renewing its mandate for
>>>>>>>>        another limited term of 5 or 10 years."
>>>>>>>>        1Net could also be a platform to facilitate this.
>>>>>>>>        best
>>>>>>>>        joana
>>>>>>>>        On Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:48 AM, João Carlos R. Caribé
>>>>>>>>        <joao.caribe at me.com <mailto:joao.caribe at me.com>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>            Unfortunately I missed that meeting, so I full support
>>>>>>>>            this idea count me on to support as I can.
>>>>>>>>            _
>>>>>>>>            João Carlos Caribé
>>>>>>>>            (021) 8761 1967
>>>>>>>>            (021) 4042 7727
>>>>>>>>            Skype joaocaribe
>>>>>>>>            Enviado via iPad
>>>>>>>>            > Em 01/09/2014, às 11:33, Jeanette Hofmann
>>>>>>>>            <jeanette at wzb.eu <mailto:jeanette at wzb.eu>> escreveu:
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>>            > Hi all,
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>>            > at the BB meeting yesterday we discussed the idea of a
>>>>>>>>            BB statement that would ask the UN to make the IGF a
>>>>>>>>            permanent body instead of renewing its mandate for another
>>>>>>>>            limited term of 5 or 10 years.
>>>>>>>>            > This idea found broad support among the attendees of the
>>>>>>>>            BB meeting.
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>>            > Later on I discussed the content of such a statement
>>>>>>>>            with other stakeholders at the IGF and I got the
>>>>>>>>            impression that we might be able to draft a
>>>>>>>>            cross-stakeholder statement together with the technical
>>>>>>>>            community and the private sector. (Individual governments
>>>>>>>>            support such a statement too but I am not sure it would be
>>>>>>>>            possible within the few days available to coordiante
>>>>>>>>            enough signatures by governments to make this an all
>>>>>>>>            inclusive statement.)
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>>            > Right now, a multi-stakeholder statement coming out of
>>>>>>>>            this IGF is only an idea that needs further exploration
>>>>>>>>            within the respective groups. So, with this email to the
>>>>>>>>            bb list and the IGC list I am asking for your opinions to
>>>>>>>>            find out if such a cross-stakeholder statement would find
>>>>>>>>            support in civil society.
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>>            > jeanette
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>>            > P.S. Lately, I have been unable to post to the IGC list.
>>>>>>>>            If this email does not appear on the IGC list, would
>>>>>>>>            someone be so kind to forward it?
>>>>>>>>            >
>>>>>>>> ____________________________________________________________
>>>>>>>>            > You received this message as a subscriber on the list:
>>>>>>>>            > bestbits at lists.bestbits.net
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