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

sivasubramanian muthusamy 6.internet at gmail.com
Sun May 2 10:06:28 EDT 2021

I am wondering how appropriate it is to subject the Secretary General's
initiative to constitute a high level body, at as high a level as the
Secretary General might conceive. This is the well within the scope and
expectations of the highest functionary of the UN. Subjecting the Secretary
General's functions to an objection or a public criticism process in a
mailing list somewhat exceeds the limits of the Civil Society MS processes.
Inputs and comments are pertinent when programs are announced by the high
level body that is not yet constituted, when called for, and where

It ought to be well within the powers of the Secretary General to name
individuals and Organisations as it pleases the Secretary General and so
constitute the high level body as conceived for the good of the world.

Sivasubramanian M

On Mon, Apr 12, 2021, 12:10 suresh via Governance <
governance at lists.igcaucus.org> wrote:

> An interesting tirade I must say
> No point replying as Milton has replied to these to the extent that is
> necessary
> Repeating the same thing with minor rewording doesn’t exactly make it true
> you know
> --srs
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Governance <governance-bounces at lists.igcaucus.org> on behalf of
> parminder via Governance <governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
> *Sent:* Monday, April 12, 2021 12:06 PM
> *To:* governance at listsigcaucus.org
> *Subject:* Re: [Governance] 170 orgs send an open letter to UN SG to stop
> plans for a new High Level Multistakeholder Body
> https://www.bbc.com/news/business-56701765
> Jack Ma's Alibaba gets heavily fined for abusing its marker dominance for
> many years. Bill Gates's Microsoft earned most of its money from its
> monopoly OS and office applications, employing blatantly anti-competitive
> practices in the 1990's and 2000's ...
> Great that It is for Jack Ma and Mrs Gates to give us the roadmap for
> global digital cooperation and (non) regulation , as they did through the
> "Digital Cooperation' initiative .... It is quick shocking that the irony
> of it is entirely lost on most 'civil society' here. Not sure what is
> happening.
> Under the new 'Digital Cooperation' rubric, being built right now, we
> would of course soon have Facebook and Twitter leading policy work on
> social media, and Google and Baidu  on data governance.
> Already Microsoft plays the biggest part in developing outcomes from the
> IGF's best Practices Forum on data and new technologies ... The new Digital
> Cooperation rubric is explicitly supposed to carry forward work from
> industry dominated activities in best practices forums to global digital
> policy stage, stamped with the legitimacy of a 'bottom up process' and now
> the authority of the new High Level Multistakeholder Body that is being set
> up.
> Let the people here, and those actively involved in building and
> supporting this new global digital policy architecture, not deny the
> responsibility when the fully grown Frankenstein is up and active among us
> ....
> ON OECD's digital policy making;
> This is an announcement today
> https://www.oecd.org/digital/trusted-government-access-personal-data-private-sector.htm
> It says " The OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy, which has long
> been at the forefront of global data governance policy work,"
> So, well people can still keep denying that OECD's CDEP does 'policy work'
> and further that it does 'global policy work' , and in a fully colonial way
> keep working with and supporting the OECD digital policy work, even as they
> oppose similar possibilities at the global level.
> It further says, that the purpose is to "examine the possibility of
> developing, as a matter of priority, an instrument setting out high-level
> principles or policy guidance for trusted government access to personal
> data held by the private sector."
> Not policy work, right!
> The " Committee agreed to convene a drafting group comprised of nominated
> government representatives and experts, including from law enforcement and
> national security agencies", for the purpose if developing a draft
> instrument.
> All drafting group members are gov representatives or otherwise gov
> nominated ... And this is just the drafting group, the final decision
> making body, the Committee itself, is of course also fully governmental .
> But sure, people can keep calling OECD's digital policy work as
> multistakholder, and call the same model at the UN level as multi--lateral
> and gov capture of digital governance.
> parminder
> On 03/04/21 12:31 pm, parminder wrote:
> This part in addressed to others and not Milton.
> While I request your engagement with this debate, especially of those who
> have involved themselves with the new 'digital cooperation' governance
> models, I must clarify one thing. My use of personally targeted language,
> if any, against Milton had only and exceptionally to do with, and was only
> in response to, his habitual way of saying things like, as he did this
> time, that the other person is totally ignorant, and that signing
> organisations are some fringe inconsequential organisations, doing
> ideological name-calling, and so on .. Take this as a kind of 'private
> thing' between Milton and me, even as we do productively discuss very
> important issues, concepts and ideas.....
> Let this bilateral idiosyncrasy of ours not deter you, others, from  your
> public duty to engage in this very important debate, and, as and if
> required, respond to important issues and questions that have been raised
> here.
> If the global CS Internet Governance Caucus were not to be discussing
> global digital governance models at this critical juncture when one such
> model is close to being installed, I do not know what the IGC is doing at
> all.
> parminder
> On 03/04/21 12:28 pm, parminder wrote:
> On 03/04/21 3:55 am, Mueller, Milton L wrote:
> 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…
> Dear Milton, I wont wow! you .... Words are definitionally the body of
> discursive democracy. If more were needed in this case that is for reasons
> that you may at least equally be responsible for. This discussion is about
> what mode of global governance is appropriate for (non CIR or non tech)
> digital issues. It is but in order that key interlocutors let know what
> kind of model they support and advocate in this regard. You spent a few
> emails to reach there, but yes now from your last email I get a good idea -
> though still quite vague. I quote from your email.
> "To deal with these other problems (meaning, non CIR or non-tech digital
> issues) 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."
> Very interesting! You want global digital governance to be based on
> private law, or, I understand, institutions built on private law. That is a
> quite clear, and also an extra-ordinarily bold, assertion.   Entirely your
> choice to take forward or not this important discussion on appropriate
> institutional models for global digital governance, but can you please help
> us understand this more. (Please do not ask me to read your book :) ) Maybe
> provide us the outline of how such a thing would look in practice. It you
> have written about it somewhere pl give us a link (again, pl not a whole
> book though.) That would be an extremely valuable contribution to the
> debate, and to the very cause of appropriate global digital governance.
> You may please provide one clarification -- what or whose private law
> should these institutions for global digital governance be based on? US?
> Some other country? Or you have some conception of global private law?
> I also understand from the above that such a private law based global
> digital governance is in your mind an interim arrangement to 'buy time for
> organise institutions to evolve'. I find this even more interesting, and
> genuinely so... Again your choice to expound further what you have put
> across somewhat cryptically, but can you tell us a little more about what
> kind of organic institutions you have in mind even as a future possibility?
> Are these too also be based on private law? Or, is this something going
> towards directly elected global parliament kind of things? I am very
> interesting in any and all such democratic yearnings and projects, and we
> may indeed find common ground here.
> You have ridiculed my asking for clear respective positions on global
> governance models.... Well, I do not know whether you know much about this
> area or not but such mutual accountabilities and answer-abilities are at
> core of global and infra-global civil society working and networking. IT
> for Change, for instance has a 'your right to know' button on our website,
> and we promise to respond to any question about us within 2 weeks... This
> is because we use public money on public trust, and cannot refuse to answer
> public questions about ourselves. It is in the same spirit that I ask
> questions from you and others in this space.
> regards, parminder
> 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.
> --
> Governance mailing list
> Governance at lists.igcaucus.org
> https://lists.igcaucus.org/mailman/listinfo/governance
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