[governance] [bestbits] Remarks of Lawrence E. Strickling Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Internet2 Global Summit

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Apr 30 10:37:05 EDT 2015

A lot of stuff about 'multistakeholder model of IG' is based on a
deliberate obfuscation about whether one is talking about a subsidiary
set of governance functions that relate to technical management of the
Internet  or about making policy about the Internet. It is this
obfuscation that  for instance allows the US to run with the hares at
the same time as it hunts with the hounds. This obfuscation is quite
evident in this statement by Strickling as well.

The early part of the statement says

"New challenges to the Internet emerge every day, whether they are
related to cybersecurity, privacy, or the free flow of information
across borders.  As we confront these challenges, we continue to debate
a key question that has dominated international discussions over the
last decade or so, specifically who should govern the Internet?  Who
should make the decisions that determine what the Internet of tomorrow
will look like?"

Evidently, since some highest level public policy issues are mentioned
here, and so one would take that is the level of IG that the statement
is addressing.

The statement goes on to recommend to "make these decisions through what
is known as the multistakeholder model of Internet governance".

Participation and consensus decision making are given as the two key
elements of the multistakeholder (MS) model of IG. Right! Now, if this
is about actual public policy matters, one does note that the recent net
neutrality decision was not made by consensus even within the FCC, to
say nothing about the views of the telco sector and the Republicans.  
One would therefore really like to know what US means by 'making all IG
decisions by consensus'. But of course they are not going to tell us,
since it is all a spiel for the gullible and nothing more!

After making grand announcements about their support for the MS model
overall in the IG area, the moment they have to talk about details one
notices that it is all about technical management - they speak of IETF,
ICANN and so on. Why do they not then clearly tell us that MS model is
for the technical management area, while public policy issues like net
neutrality this will be done in the traditional democratic ways, as was
done for the recent net neutrality decision in the US. This is what we
really see them doing.

One sentence in the speech especially is a major give away. 

"The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
adopted a set of principles for Internet policymaking in 2011 that
strongly endorse multistakeholder cooperation.  The OECD principles
state, “multistakeholder processes have been shown to provide the
flexibility and global scalability required to address Internet policy

Let them describe how OECD adopted its Internet policy making
principles, which they claim strongly endorsed MS cooperation. Is the
method employed by the OECD for policy development what they would call
a MS model of policy development? If so, lets all adopt it. I am fine
with it. But that is no way any kind of an equal footing model - govs
make the draft, they take inputs from other stakeholders, sometimes they
informally share the final draft with other stakeholders to seek wide
acceptance, but whether there is acceptance by all or not, it is the
governments which decide and sign on the final policy document. Would
this be described as the MS model of policy devleopment? If indeed so, I
dont see where is any dis agreement among any groups here at all.

And if this is not a MS model of policy development, those here who
profess MS models of policy development should speak up and so say, and
also tell us what would they think would be right MS model of policy
development. There is no point in writing vague theoretical things about
MSism .... One needs to come out and tell whether a specific case is MS
or not, and if not, what would be the corresponding MS model. That would
be some intellectual and political honesty.

It is clear that the US government believes in developing public
policies (including Internet related) in the traditional democratic/
governmental way, both at the national level (ex., the net neutrality
decision) and the international level (ex., OECD's Internet policy
principles). Equal footing MS policy devleopment model is just a facade
or rather a make-believe to keep at bay any attempt to challenge their
unipolar dominance over the global Internet.  Unfortunately, the US has
been quite successful at this strategy.

Why do we then not simply call their bluff, declare the emperor naked,
rather than playing the mute complicit courtiers! I find it a terrible
insult to common people's intelligence and political standing that US
can keep making such statements, in the smug knowledge that they have a
huge cultivated global constituency whereby no one is going to ask them
the questions that are so simple and obvious to ask. 


On Thursday 30 April 2015 02:19 AM, Michael Gurstein wrote:
> I think so that it is clear that we are all talking about the same
> thing, perhaps we could hear from any of the “civil society”
> proponents of multistakeholderism on this list whether they see any
> distance between how Secretary Strickling formulates the concept(s)
> and their own position/formulation.
> Â 
> Jeremy, Avri, Jeanette, Wolfgang, Adam, Bill, Anriette, Milton, anyone?
> Â 
> M
> Â 
> *From:*bestbits-request at lists.bestbits.net
> [mailto:bestbits-request at lists.bestbits.net] *On Behalf Of *Carolina
> Rossini
> *Sent:* April 29, 2015 5:17 AM
> *To:* <bestbits at lists.bestbits.net> bestbits at lists.bestbits.net&gt
> *Subject:* [bestbits] Remarks of Lawrence E. Strickling Assistant
> Secretary for Communications and Information Internet2 Global Summit
> Â 
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From:Â *Joelle Tessler*Â <JTessler at ntia.doc.gov
> <mailto:JTessler at ntia.doc.gov>>
> Date: Tue, Apr 28, 2015 at 5:06 PM
> Subject: Remarks of Assistant Secretary Strickling at Internet2 Global
> Summit
> To: Joelle Tessler <JTessler at ntia.doc.gov <mailto:JTessler at ntia.doc.gov>>
>   Remarks of Assistant Secretary Strickling at Internet2 Global Summit
> Â 
> *Remarks of Lawrence E. Strickling**
> *Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information*
> *Internet2 Global Summit*
> *Washington, D.C.*
> *April 28, 2015**
> http://www.ntia.doc.gov/speechtestimony/2015/remarks-assistant-secretary-strickling-internet2-global-summit
> *--As Prepared for Delivery--*
> I am honored to be here to speak at Internet 2’s Global Summit. 
> Internet2 has been a strong partner with NTIA as a recipient of a $62
> million Recovery Act broadband grant.  With this grant, Internet2 has
> lit or upgraded over 18,000 miles of a national fiber backbone
> network.  This 100 gigabit per second backbone is accessible to more
> than 93,000 community anchor institutions through Internet 2’s
> partnership with regional research and education networks.  Several
> of these networks also received NTIA grants so we know that in
> Michigan, North Carolina and numerous other states, the good work of
> Internet 2 and the research and education community is driving higher
> speeds and lower cost broadband for schools and other institutions of
> learning.
> However, I did not come here today to talk about broadband.  My topic
> today is Internet governance.  This is an important and timely issue
> for everyone who relies on the Internet but particularly for the
> members of Internet2.  As your website states, “the commercial
> Internet we know today was shaped by the vision and work of the people
> and organizations in the Internet2 community.”  Indeed, we only
> enjoy the Internet today due to the engagement of the academic
> community decades ago. 
> The first four nodes on ARPANET, the experimental network from which
> the Internet evolved, were universities:Â  UCLA, Stanford, the
> University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of
> Utah.  The first message ever sent was between UCLA and Stanford. 
> We know from history that this first attempt to login crashed the
> system but the problem was quickly fixed and the rest is history. 
> New challenges to the Internet emerge every day, whether they are
> related to cybersecurity, privacy, or the free flow of information
> across borders.  As we confront these challenges, we continue to
> debate a key question that has dominated international discussions
> over the last decade or so, specifically who should govern the
> Internet?  Who should make the decisions that determine what the
> Internet of tomorrow will look like?  How can we ensure that the
> decisions made today will enable the Internet to continue to thrive as
> the amazing engine of economic growth and innovation we enjoy today?
> The debate has focused on two very different choices.  One choice is
> that governments alone should make the key decisions on the governance
> of the Internet.  This is the choice favored by authoritarian
> governments that want to restrict the information available to their
> citizens.  The other choice is to rely on all stakeholders to make
> these decisions through what is known as the multistakeholder model of
> Internet governance.
> What do we mean by the multistakeholder model?  One expert defines
> the multistakeholder model as different interest groups coming
> together on an equal footing to “identify problems, define
> solutions, and agree on roles and responsibilities for policy
> development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.^[1]
> <http://www.ntia.doc.gov/print/speechtestimony/2015/remarks-assistant-secretary-strickling-internet2-global-summit#_ftn1>” 
> From that description, there are two key attributes to emphasize:Â 
> participation and consensus decision-making.
> Let me start with participation.  Internet policy issues draw a much
> larger range of stakeholders than traditional telecommunications
> issues.  One key benefit of multistakeholder processes is that they
> can include and engage all interested parties.  Such parties can
> include industry, civil society, government, technical and academic
> experts and even the general public.  The Internet is a diverse,
> multi-layered system that thrives only through the cooperation of many
> different parties.  Solving, or even meaningfully discussing, policy
> issues in this space, requires engaging these different parties. 
> Indeed, by encouraging the participation of all interested parties,
> multistakeholder processes can encourage broader and more creative
> problem solving.
> The second key attribute is consensus decision-making.  It is
> important that stakeholders come together on an equal footing.  The
> best way to ensure that all parties are treated equally is to make
> decisions on a consensus basis.  Final decisions need to reflect the
> views of all stakeholders as opposed to just the views of only one of
> the stakeholder communities involved. 
> Multistakeholder organizations such as the Internet Engineering Task
> Force and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
> (ICANN) have played a major role in the design and operation of the
> Internet and are directly responsible for its success.  Within the
> Obama Administration, we believe that maintaining and extending this
> model is important to ensure the continued growth and innovation of
> the Internet.
> There is bipartisan support for the multistakeholder model of Internet
> governance.  Both Republican and Democratic administrations have
> consistently emphasized that the multistakeholder process is the best
> mechanism for making decisions about how the Internet should be
> managed.  Congress agrees.  Earlier this spring, the Senate
> unanimously passed Senate Resolution 71, which states that the
> “United States remains committed to the multistakeholder model of
> Internet governance in which the private sector works in collaboration
> with civil society, governments, and technical experts in a
> consensus fashion.” 
> Today, the Internet is at a critical juncture.  We are continuing to
> oppose efforts by authoritarian regimes to replace multistakeholder
> decision making with a process limited only to governments.  This
> debate came to a head in 2012 at the International
> Telecommunication Union’s World Conference on International
> Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.  At this meeting, governments
> split over whether the ITU, a United Nations organization in which
> only nations have a vote, should have more control over the
> Internet.  A majority of countries there supported greater
> governmental control. 
> However, since that conference, we have seen a growing acceptance of
> the multistakeholder model around the world, but particularly in
> developing countries.  Democracies in the developed world have long
> supported the multistakeholder model of Internet policymaking.  The
> Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) adopted a
> set of principles for Internet policymaking in 2011 that strongly
> endorse multistakeholder cooperation.  The OECD principles state,
> “multistakeholder processes have been shown to provide the
> flexibility and global scalability required to address Internet
> policy challenges.”
> What is now emerging is greater acceptance of the model in developing
> countries.  A year ago, Brazil hosted the successful NetMundial
> conference, which brought together a wide range of stakeholders
> including technical experts, civil society groups, industry
> representatives and government officials, all on an equal footing with
> each other.  At this meeting not only did participants agree that
> Internet governance should be built on democratic multistakeholder
> processes, the entire meeting was a demonstration of the open,
> participative, and consensus-driven governance that has allowed the
> Internet to develop as an unparalleled engine of economic growth and
> innovation.
> Most recently, at the ITU’s 2014 Plenipotentiary conference in
> Busan, Korea late last year, we saw the fruits of all our work to
> preserve multistakeholder Internet governance.  The United States
> achieved all of its objectives in Busan, including keeping the ITU’s
> work focused on its current mandate and not expanding its role into
> Internet and cybersecurity issues. 
> This validation of the multistakeholder model comes at a critical
> time.  Last year, NTIA announced its intention to complete the
> privatization of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS). Key to the
> operation of the DNS is the performance of important technical
> functions known as the IANA functions, the most well known of which is
> the maintenance of the authoritative root zone file, the telephone
> book for the Internet that supports the routing of all traffic to
> websites. 
> The process of privatization of the DNS began in 1998, when NTIA
> entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ICANN to
> transition technical DNS coordination and management functions to the
> private sector.  A year ago in March, NTIA asked ICANN to convene a
> multistakeholder process to develop a proposal to take the final step
> to complete the transition of the U.S. stewardship over the IANA
> functions to the international community.  We did this to ensure that
> the multistakeholder model for DNS coordination continues.  Some
> governments have long bristled at the historical role the U.S.
> government has played in the DNS and have used our continued
> stewardship of the DNS as an excuse to argue for greater government
> control over how the Internet is governed.
> When we announced this transition, we outlined some specific
> conditions that must be addressed before this transition takes
> place.  First, the proposal must support and enhance the
> multistakeholder model of Internet governance, in that it should be
> developed by the multistakeholder community and have broad community
> support.  More specifically, we will not accept a transition proposal
> that replaces the NTIA role with a government-led or intergovernmental
> organization solution.  Second, the proposal must maintain the
> security, stability, and resiliency of the domain name system. 
> Third, it must meet the needs and expectations of the global customers
> and partners of the IANA services.  And finally, it must maintain the
> openness of the Internet.
> We are pleased that the community has responded enthusiastically to
> our call to develop a transition plan that will ensure the stability,
> security and openness of the Internet.  The community is in the
> process of developing proposals related to the specific IANA functions
> as well as examining how to ensure ICANN remains accountable to the
> global Internet community. 
> I am confident that engaging the global Internet community to work out
> these important issues will strengthen the multistakeholder process
> and will result in ICANN’s becoming even more directly accountable
> to the customers of the IANA functions and to the broader Internet
> community. 
> Some of you here today are likely participating in the stakeholder
> discussions to design the transition plan.  Others of you are no
> doubt wondering why you should care about this transition and what is
> at stake for you.  The members of Internet2, such as universities and
> research institutions, depend on the free flow of information. 
> Completing the privatization of the Domain Name System is an important
> step to ensure that the Internet remains a global platform for the
> free exchange of ideas, commerce and social progress.
> Failing to complete the transition, as we promised 17 years ago, risks
> breaking trust in the United States and in the underlying system that
> has enabled the Internet to work seamlessly for consumers and
> businesses.  Introducing this uncertainty could have a significant
> impact on American companies that depend on the Internet to do
> business if other countries respond by erecting barriers to the free
> flow of information or worst case, abandoning the long-held belief in
> the power of a single Internet root. 
> The transition plan is being developed by the Internet’s
> stakeholders and must be a proposal that generates consensus support
> from the multistakeholder community.  All of you can play a role to
> ensure a good outcome.  First, I encourage you to participate in the
> transition planning process.  You are an important constituency and
> those crafting this plan must hear from you as this transition
> progresses.  Second, stay informed on the progress of the
> transition.  When the community completes its consensus plan, let
> your voice be heard in support of completing the transition.  We all
> have a stake in this transition and in ensuring the Internet remains
> an open, dynamic platform for economic and social progress. Decades
> ago, the academic community played a central role in the development
> of the Internet; now we need you to play an active role in its future.
> Thank you for listening.
> Â 
> Â 
> Joelle Tessler
> Manager of Stakeholder Relations and Outreach
> National Telecommunications and Information Administration
> U.S. Department of Commerce
> jtessler at ntia.doc.gov <mailto:jtessler at ntia.doc.gov>
> Â 
> Â 
> --Â 
> Â 
> --Â 
> /Carolina Rossini /
> /Vice President, International Policy and Strategy /
> *Public Knowledge*
> _http://www.publicknowledge.org/_
> + 1 6176979389 |Â skype: carolrossini |Â @carolinarossini
> Â 
> -- 
> Â 
> /Carolina Rossini /
> /Vice President, International Policy/
> *Public Knowledge*
> _http://www.publicknowledge.org/_
> + 1 6176979389 |Â skype: carolrossini |Â @carolinarossini
> Â 
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