[Governance] 170 orgs send an open letter to UN SG to stop plans for a new High Level Multistakeholder Body

Mueller, Milton L milton at gatech.edu
Fri Apr 2 18:25:42 EDT 2021

Wow, Parminder, you're getting wordier and wordier and I am not sure I have time to continue this, but let me provide some parting shots before we agree to disagree and go our separate ways...

Again, agree that this discussion is very important. I would invite others closely involved with the proposal for the new MS body for digital cooperation to please also get involved - Such important matters need to go through the test and fire of discursive democracy.

Yep. Yay, discursive democracy! That's what we're doing here, folks.

> buckets.

Buckets. Not a very cyber metaphor. Packets? Photons? Anyway....

>therefore you really do not approve of [OECD] You could be clearer and more upfront about such

> disapproval, here

And why do I need to do that, here? I see no point in denouncing them on public mailing lists. As I said, I approve of their research, it's often useful, good economists and policy analysts live there. But I did stop participating. These advisory committees to IGOs have very little voice or power in these organizations. Essentially you're a worker for no pay. I choose to voluntarily donate my time elsewhere.

>when pushed into an argumentative corner,

That, sir, is an excellent description of your tactics on these email lists. But I can't complain, I do the same thing.

>Here I will request others who actively work with the OECD model to let us know their views on

>that model, clearly and upfront.

Parminder, this is a mailing list of a diverse civil society coalition, not the monthly meeting of a Trotskyite advocacy collective. Nobody has to make their views known, "clearly and upfront," to pass your loyalty test.

Let's go back to what this disagreement was fundamentally about. You want the internet to be controlled by sovereign states, and I want it to be self-governing and independent of sovereign states, insofar as that's possible. Those are two distinct paths for internet governance. I will fight for its autonomy, you will fight for its subordination to nation-states. We meet in this space because that is the space that was set up to have those debates.

2 The appropriate model for global digital policy making, as per you: You have earlier made a clear distinction between CIR governance (ICANN etc) and governance of other Internet/ digital issues, and rightly so. I understand that in the latter category we can include platform governance, data governance, AI governance etc. Right. I now understand, though once again you state is very mutely, that you would like to see global governance of platforms, data, AI, and other digital issues undertaken in the same way as ICANN is governed Right? You need to be clear and upfront about what is the model you propose for global governance of these non-CIR digital issues -- because that is what is at the centre of this discussion.

Here you make a good point, I do need to be clear about that, as a matter of practical reality if not logical consistency. So I stated this "very mutely," did I? LOL! OK, I will speak louder. Undertaken the same way as ICANN? Depends on what you mean. You mean, organize it under ICANN? or start with the US government and then privatize it? No. ICANN was a governance experiment that can never be repeated. To deal with these other problems we will have to come up with something new. But, like ICANN, it should try to be global and rooted in private law rather than in national institutions. So in my view, that means we have to keep national governments at bay to buy time for organic institutions to evolve.

Milton, are you really saying we should be dealing with various non-CIR digital public policy issues in the same manner? Where private sector sits at the same or higher level as governments?

Definitely. We need a coalition of governments, private sector and civil society to work together in nonhierarchical forms of cooperation, and we need to have governments refrain from militarizing, territorializing, surveilling, censoring and restricting cyberspace for enough time for peaceful forms of cooperation to remain possible.

Well, I repeat, it is scandalous...

Parminder, scandalizing you is what I live for. It's the only reason I'm on this list.
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