[IRPCoalition] Diversity of civil society views (was Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITU Plenipot joint recommendations)

Richard Hill rhill at hill-a.ch
Wed Oct 22 13:13:44 EEST 2014

Dear Anne,

Thanks for this and please see embedded replies below.


>-----Original Message-----
>From: Anne Jellema [mailto:anne at webfoundation.org]
>Sent: mercredi, 22. octobre 2014 07:11
>To: rhill at hill-a.ch
>Cc: parminder; bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; governance at lists.igcaucus.org; forum at justnetcoalition.org; IRP
>Subject: Re: [JNC - Forum] [bestbits] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITU Plenipot joint recommendations
>Hi Richard,
>>On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 6:29 PM, Richard Hill <rhill at hill-a.ch> wrote:
>>perhaps you would consider collaborating to prepare a synthetic paper that
>> presents the differing points of view. That is, a paper of the form
>> "some say X, others say Y".
>That's a really interesting idea. It would be a *lot* of work to do it well, but
> could be very useful. Who were you thinking of as the audience for such a paper?
> I.e. would you see it as an internal exercise for the benefit of civil society,
> or an external product for policymakers? 

I was thinking in terms of a kind of public reference paper, that could be made available widely so that everybody can see where there is a common position, and where there are diverging views.

>>Regarding possible common ground, I would suggest a starting point: surely
>> we all believe that all human rights must be respected, and protected,
>> and that they are indivisible.  
>Yes. And I think it would not be hard to go further. 

Indeed, if you agree that human rights include democracy and economic and social justice, as I've tried to outline at:


>The Web We Want principles, for example, were one such effort to find
> common ground, phrased in positive terms. 
>When it comes to the negative stuff, i.e. the threats to a human rights-centred
> internet, I also find a great deal of agreement among civil society groups;
> and within that, I think that your concern about the growing power of industry
> is shared by many of us. The differences emerge when it comes to detailed analysis
> of the sources of industry power and the best strategies for tackling it. 

Correct.  You will find a synthesis of my views (and references to more detailed treatments) at:


Also, there is a new book by Dan Schiller of the University of Illinois that, I think, presents an excellent and timely analysis of the situation.  I've posted a review of that at:


>If the paper that you propose could help all of us to work through these types
> of strategic issues in a systematic way, I imagine it would be very good
> contribution to more effective civil society advocacy. 

That would be the idea.  How would you propose to proceed?

(It seems to me that this is a long-term goal, and that, for the ITU Plenipotentiary we need to all recognize that we have rather different views, so that it cannot be said that civil society has any sort of consensus regarding the role of ITU.  In particular, I still fully support Parminder's comments regarding the statement that kicked off this exchange.)

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