[IRP] [governance] Follow-up on principles, pre-event, ECTF, WG: need for focus by IGC

Dixie Hawtin Dixie
Wed Jul 4 16:49:32 EEST 2012

Hi all,

Being one of the co-chairs of the IRP I'm very interested in this discussion!

Alejandro - Is your opinion that human rights only have relevance at the content layer? And can you elaborate further why you think this is - because the values can't be infringed at other levels or don't have anything useful to say to governance matters at other levels?

I agree that it is difficult to apply the Charter or the 10 IRPs at present because they are very much statements of principle. One idea which has been around since the beginning is to produce an accompanying document which would translate what these principles mean for different communities (e.g. social networking platforms, ISPs etc). Another interesting idea I read recently in a report by Ben Wagner (http://eui.academia.edu/BenWagner/Papers/1747689/After_the_Arab_Spring_New_Paths_for_Human_Rights_and_the_Internet_in_European_Foreign_Policy Page 24) is to seek to define what a "Human Rights Based Communications Infrastructure" would look like, including desirable internet infrastructure and desirable communications governance. Would be really interested to hear peoples thoughts?

In terms of signing on to the Charter or 10 IRPs - this is something which has been discussed in the past, however it was felt that there was a risk that only the academic communities and civil society communities would be sign on to it, even though - as Wolfgang mentioned - other communities were involved in the drafting process. This is however a discussion that can be reopened.

We are still deciding exactly how to use our IRP DC meeting this year - we do have a few ideas on the table but we could use it as a space to bring different initiatives together and have this type of discussion if there is genuine interest? My understanding that the Quo Vadis workshop is more focussed on IGF improvement?

Finally, our main IRP website is down - it was hacked and we are having problems getting it up again. We are in the process of finding out if we can save it or if we will have to move permanently to the IRP Charter site. The mailing list is still working.

Very best,

From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of Dr. Alejandro Pisanty Baruch
Sent: 03 July 2012 08:08
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; Benedek, Wolfgang (wolfgang.benedek at uni-graz.at); Jeremy Malcolm
Subject: RE: [governance] Follow-up on principles, pre-event, ECTF, WG: need for focus by IGC


not that the WK/DC IRP/CoE declaration is without problems, right? Like, it would insert Internet governance straight into discussions on "right to life" with its numerous controversial connotations, and leaves unanswered a key question:

Can you codify "permanent beta"?

The more lots of us work on Internet principles, the more it becomes clear to me that we can only address... Internet principles. Human rights are still Layer 8. We must design, plan, build and operate the Internet respecting and even enhancing human rights as much as we can, but must continue to understand that the tools we use for human conduct - laws, regulations, norms, etiquette, what have you: governance - still has to be addressed in layers above the operation of the net.

The layer violations some of the declarations imply cannot be sustained.


Alejandro Pisanty

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Desde: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org> [governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] en nombre de Benedek, Wolfgang (wolfgang.benedek at uni-graz.at<mailto:wolfgang.benedek at uni-graz.at>) [wolfgang.benedek at uni-graz.at]
Enviado el: martes, 03 de julio de 2012 01:21
Hasta: governance at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>; Jeremy Malcolm
Asunto: Re: [governance] Follow-up on principles, pre-event, ECTF, WG: need for focus by IGC
I wonder whether it makes sense to elaborate a new declaration of principles after the good work which has been done in the DC IRP on Internet and Human Rights and the Council of Europe with the help of Wolfgang and others on Internet Governance principles, see http://www.irpcharter.org/images/IRPflyer.pdf and https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=1835773
Rather this material should be more actively used.

Wolfgang Benedek

Von: Jeremy Malcolm <jeremy at ciroap.org<mailto:jeremy at ciroap.org>>
Antworten an: "governance at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>" <governance at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>>, Jeremy Malcolm <jeremy at ciroap.org<mailto:jeremy at ciroap.org>>
An: "governance at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>" <governance at lists.igcaucus.org<mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>>
Betreff: [governance] Follow-up on principles, pre-event, ECTF, WG: need for focus by IGC

Following on from the post about the Declaration of Internet Freedom, this had me thinking that at least they have issued a declaration of principles (even if a sub-standard one), which is what the IGC has not done despite talking about doing it since last IGF.  So, I should give credit where credit is due.

But we need to make sure that we don't continue to allow the current Internet governance debates to be monopolised by such popular movements, which are well-intentioned but often rather uninformed and demographically narrow.  With all our criticisms about the IGF failing to deliver outputs, the IGC should practice what it preaches, and produce more concrete results of its own.  (This is no criticism of Izumi or Sala, who would emphasise that the IGC is member-led rather than coordinator-led.)

So it seems to me that there are at least two main areas in which we have long been talking about making a contribution, but are yet to actually get around to doing so.  These are:

 1.  the development of a civil society statement of principles on IG and a broader civil society network to subscribe to this; and
 2.  the development of one or two (for CIRs and non-CIR public policy issues) tangible models for enhanced cooperation or at least a working group to develop such.
In respect of the first of these, no progress that I know of has been made since last IGF, and meanwhile the ground is moving under the IGC's feet.  At least three other groups (Access, and two others I'm not sure if I can mention publicly) are trying to take leadership to link NGOs together for purposes of agreeing on principles (I know at least of an Asia-Pacific document) and/or mobilising against bad laws.  This is something that the IGC itself should be doing, and indeed had committed to do last year.

In respect of the second, we have at least four different approaches: Norbert's Enhanced Cooperation Task Force that would develop "Request for Action" documents, Wolfgang's multistakeholder expert group to look into enhanced cooperation mechanisms (much like what the CSTD could have formed but didn't) that he says "could" (but would it?) emerge from the IGF this year, Parminder's suggestion that civil society propose our own concrete models first, and the widely-supported suggestion that we hold a pre-event in Baku to discuss all this (or at least do so in the "Quo Vadis" workshop).

Can those with ownership of these suggestions please give us an update as to whether there is any progress to report?  If not, what is lacking (funding, support, time?), and how could others help?  Would the formation of small working groups with mailing lists on the IGC server assist to convert these ideas into action?  Let's not let another IGF go by without something to show for both of these important areas for action.


Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy Officer
Consumers International
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