[Governance] Seeking roll back of IGF Leadership Panel

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sat Nov 27 08:22:17 EST 2021


>From the below I understand that you are greatly bothered about the huge
number of global digital policy issues that need urgent policy action. I
fully agree with you. But you dont tell us how, as per your thinking,
policy action will take place on them. This is especially ironical for
someone who asks others to provide their precise alternative/ model.

 I understand that your email is basically in support of the IGF
Leadership Panel. But your 3 para email nowhere tells us what you think
the LP should and would do, and how that solves the the key policy
challenges you describe... Isnt that important to tell,  if you support
the LP.

The language that comes the nearest in your email is.... "if the IGF
continues being a talk shop with no actual results or even suggestions
coming out of it that can be picked up using a well thought out process,
in a multistakeholder manner..."

So, you think the LP will pick up actual results or suggestions coming
out the IGF?

Very fine... I had asked Wolfgang on the ISOC list to illustrate this
with an example or two, how the process actually works. He did not do
it, would you please .. Moment you begin to actually fill in detail into
this good-sounding message-conveying thing, youd realise the immense
problems with it and/ or non plausibility of it .. This being a serious
discussions on the future of IG ecosystem, lets get done to its real
processes and implications ...

Sentences like "I am not saying whether an IGF Leadership Panel is a
good or a bad thing" -- are completely unhelpful..... That is what we
are facing right now, and we need to decide if it is a good idea or a
bad one. Funny, that hardly anyone is ready to say outright that LP is a
good idea.... I mean, it must be a really really bad idea, whereby even
those criticizing the criticism of LP are not ready to vouchsafe for it.

Later you say, ". If you want the Internet of the future to reflect
consensus between all parties, that is the way to do it."

What is the way? Setting up an LP ? Interesting, Can you help us
understand how the LP will create / help consensus between all parties.

This seem to be different from relaying messages ... I did not read it
as a function of LP to create/ help consensus, but you seem to think it



On 27/11/21 4:06 pm, Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond wrote:
> Dear Milton,
> thank you for your kind response and thanks for the suggestions you
> make in improving the IGF, which I'll let others comment on, if need be.
> To the question "the current status quo is no fit for purpose", the
> current IGF mandate was pretty much a result of policies stemming from
> a state of the Internet in 2005. We are in 2021, 16 years later. The
> world is a different place and the Internet is a very different animal
> than what it was back in 2005. Let's stop kidding ourselves that we
> live in 2005 and open our eyes to 2021 and its geopolitical, societal
> and technical challenges. We still live in a world where there is a
> huge gap between the Internet haves and the have nots, and that gap is
> widening, and might be set to widen further as new technologies like
> 5G and the ubiquitous IoT get rolled out in richer parts of the world.
> We have a climate emergency on our hands and a significant part of it
> is caused by the very network that we love and use daily. We have a
> handful of companies with a budget larger than a small country that
> have no checks and balances in place regarding the privacy of data and
> whose business model is based on tracking you and me and everyone
> else. We have a world where if you are not online, you are nothing,
> which means that some complete cultures are bound to disappear
> altogether if they do not have an online presence. I know it's a mixed
> bag of slushy stuff that strictly speaking you could say has nothing
> to do with the Internet, but these issues are real and the Internet's
> impact is core to many of these issues.
> In my opinion, the current status quo of having a discussion forum and
> nothing else around it to action the discussions is no longer fit for
> purpose - it's a lot of money spent to write more books and papers,
> but if there is no clear path on how to action the discussions, it is
> money wasted for the happy few that benefit from publishing these
> papers, at the expense of the wider world. I am not saying whether an
> IGF Leadership Panel is a good or a bad thing, but if you don't like
> the proposal, then propose something else because one thing is sure:
> if the IGF continues being a talk shop with no actual results or even
> suggestions coming out of it that can be picked up using a well
> thought out process, in a multistakeholder manner, for further study
> or action, some major players in the multistakeholder model will walk
> away and turn to other fora, perhaps multilateral fora, letting the
> multistakeholder model of governance be a pipe dream of civil society
> that will remain by itself in the IGF.
> As for the "purpose", I interpret it as the "Internet Governance
> Forum", where civil society, governments, the private sector, the
> technical community and any other actors come together to discuss
> Internet Governance issues, leading to a well thought out future of
> the Internet that includes input from all players and not only a
> single actor. If you want the Internet of the future to reflect
> consensus between all parties, that is the way to do it. If you'd
> rather engage in poltical wars and arguments between stakeholder
> groups, then let the talking continue and leave the development to
> government and the private sector: together I am sure they have a
> great plan for all of us.
> Kindest regards,
> Olivier
> On 26/11/2021 19:28, Mueller, Milton L wrote:
>> Olivier:
>> I don't agree with the premise that because the UN SG's office
>> proposed something that I need to have an alternative proposal. I
>> think the more fundamental issue we are debating is whether the IGF
>> serves a useful function, under its current parameters (nonbinding,
>> open, ms discussion forum). My answer is yes, and my most basic
>> alternative is to stop trying to turn it into something else, via
>> "high-levelism."
>> The next question is what can be done to strengthen it? Here is a
>> simple program
>>  1. Confine discussions to actual global internet governance issues.
>>     Sorry, folks, climate change is important but it's not IG
>>  2. Start doing something meaningful with IGF main sessions. Instead
>>     of gigantic panels full of anodyne, inoffensive statements, have
>>     focused debates in which real policy alternatives are debated by
>>     people who have real standing, and make them interact
>>     meaningfully with the broader set of participants
>>  3. Don't shy away from geopolitical debates involving state actors.
>> That would be a good start.
>> Now when you say, "the current status quo is not fit for purpose"
>> please tell me what purpose you have in mind.
>> --MM
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> *From:* Governance <governance-bounces at lists.igcaucus.org> on behalf
>> of Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond via Governance
>> <governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
>> *Sent:* Friday, November 26, 2021 7:01 AM
>> *To:* parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>;
>> governance at lists.igcaucus.org <governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
>> *Subject:* Re: [Governance] Seeking roll back of IGF Leadership Panel
>> Dear Parminder,
>> I understand from your letter with Milton that you are *against* the
>> creation of an IGF Leadership Panel. What I'd like to hear is what
>> you and Milton propose instead. It is easy to be against all sorts of
>> things, but the world isn't static and from the IGF conultations, it
>> is clear that the current status quo is no longer fit for purpose.
>> There needs to be evolution.
>> So what next?
>> Thanks,
>> Olivier Crépin-Leblond
>> (speaking on my own behalf)
>> On 24/11/2021 15:32, parminder via Governance wrote:
>>> Dear All,
>>> Please find enclosed a letter addressed to the UN Secretary General
>>> appealing to him to roll back the decision for an IGF Leadership Panel.
>>> The letter is co-signed by Dr Milton Mueller, on behalf  of the
>>> Internet Governance Project, Georgia Institute of Technology School
>>> of Public Policy, and Parmider Jeet Singh, for IT for Change, and
>>> the Just Net Coalition.
>>> The letter is cc-ed to representatives of civil society and
>>> technical community groups requesting them to refrain from sending
>>> nominations for the IGF Leadership Panel, and thus legitimizing it.
>>> The letter argues how the IGF Leadership Panel militates against the
>>> basic idea, objectives and structure of the IGF, and will weaken it.
>>> Best, parminder
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