[IRPCoalition] [JNC - Forum] [bestbits] Time-sensitive: 24 hour sign on period for ITU Plenipot joint recommendations

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Wed Oct 22 20:19:42 EEST 2014

And if there indeed is real ignorance and people want to know what a 
neo-liberal model of global Internet governance looks like just read the 
below interview of the CEO of ICANN. He lays it all out rather well


It is this model that the Best Bits statement helps push forward. There 
can simply be no doubt in it.

And people will need to choose which side they would want to be at this 
crucial juncture - on the side of slow ( perhaps even painfully slow) 
evolving democratic governance of our collective global affairs 
including the Internet, or shifting over to neoliberal governance by the 
elite.. And if they side with this structural shift to neolib governance 
today, it will be for keeps. We are in a real danger of loosing our 
democratic traditions. At the very least, this requires deep thinking on 
the part of all of us.



On Wednesday 22 October 2014 07:17 PM, michael gurstein wrote:
> Further to Parminder’s comments below.
> I recently published a blogpost 
> <http://gurstein.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/democracy-or-multi-stakeholderism-competing-models-of-governance/> 
> (also please not the comments) where I argued that the democratic 
> model of “governance by and for the people” is in direct 
> conflict/competition with the multi-stakeholder model of “governance 
> by and for stakeholders”.
> I am fully aware that presenting these contrasting positions in such a 
> way is highly simplistic but I also think that there is a value in 
> simplicity particularly where it removes the obfuscation that often 
> masks fundamental positions and values.
> I think that the division within Civil Society and I would argue more 
> broadly in the larger world between those who believe in a democratic 
> approach to governance including in areas as central to our 
> experience, well-being and future as the Internet and those who would 
> give this governance over to decision making by those with specific 
> “interests/stakes” in the outcome (and where the broad public interest 
> if represented at all would be only one among many such competing 
> “stakes”) is a fundamental one.
> It is extremely disappointing to see such broad swathes of “civil 
> society” and others opting for a position that does not support 
> democracy and democratic governance however and in what manner that 
> might be achieved.
> M
> *From:*IRP [mailto:irp-bounces at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org] 
> *On Behalf Of *parminder
> *Sent:* Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:06 PM
> *To:* Anne Jellema; rhill at hill-a.ch
> *Cc:* bestbits at lists.bestbits.net; IRP; governance at lists.igcaucus.org; 
> forum at justnetcoalition.org
> *Subject:* Re: [IRPCoalition] [JNC - Forum] [bestbits] Time-sensitive: 
> 24 hour sign on period for ITU Plenipot joint recommendations
> On Tuesday 21 October 2014 09:28 PM, Anne Jellema wrote:
>     Thank you, Parminder for the thoughtful criticisms. We're aware
>     that different parts of civil society have well-founded reasons
>     for holding different opinions on the role of the ITU, and we
>     fully respect these. I was very pleased to see that JustNet has
>     expressed its point of view in its own proposals for the Plenipot,
>     which I found interesting and valuable.
>     In that spirit, I would like to respond to a couple of your
>     criticisms of our statement that I think don't reflect an entirely
>     accurate reading of its content:
>     - I think your claim that we are advocating unregulated free
>     markets is unfair, since we state twice: "Each country should
>     retain individual authority to regulate IP interconnection rates
>     where necessary and advisable in order to ensure universal service
>     and promote robust competition." The drafters include
>     organisations that have been on the forefront of the fight for
>     stronger net neutrality regulation at national and regional (EU)
>     level.
>     - I don't agree that our statement fails to identify who should
>     take responsibility for resolving key IG challenges; proposes the
>     "withdrawal of all internet policy related agenda from the global
>     governance stage"; or fails to acknowledge any important role for
>     the ITU. We repeatedly stress the need for coordination and
>     collaboration among UN agencies (including the ITU) and
>     multistakeholder bodies; and refer several times to what we think
>     are the ITU's critical roles in addressing the huge challenges ahead.
>     That said, we agree that the reference to "ITU mission creep" was
>     poorly judged, and the entire para should be deleted as proposed
>     by Jeanette.
> I sincerely hope that a respectful and informed exchange of views can 
> continue among CSOs, along with the equally important effort to find 
> the common ground between differing positions.
> Dear Anne
> Thanks for your response and engagement. I mean to further engage  on 
> this discussion. But my present email will only make one point, about 
> the mutual respectfulness  of any discussion, which your email 
> mentions. I am not saying that you meant it in that manner, but I do 
> often find a hyper sensitivity to political criticism in these circles 
> and personalisation of it, here I mean personalisation in receiving 
> political criticism. We must recognise that civil society work is a 
> work of strong conviction and submersion in that conviction... People 
> have a vision of the world they'd like to see, and there are forces 
> that block the realisation of that vision. Obviously therefore, for 
> anyone who really cares, the feelings involved are strong... And I 
> mean, on all sides of what could become a political divide. And such a 
> political divide is as possible, even likely, in the civil society 
> space, as in the conventional political space. However, for instance 
> in India, which has a rather high level of professional in traditional 
> political space, at least at the national level, political 
> personalities are able to be scathing and unsparing in terms of their 
> political positions and counter positions without it being taken as 
> being inappropriately uncivil or any such thing.
> I probably should  not be so defensive, but I say all this because 
> many people here are simply too touchy. (I know that you come from a 
> core political civil society background, and so I an really not 
> talking about you.) I also say it because I and people that I work 
> with feel that the present position that is being proposed on the 
> BestBits platform a major political statement that we find extremely 
> problematic and something that sets a solid tone for a neoliberal 
> paradigm for the emerging Internet-mediated society. In that respect 
> its impact on the world, especially in terms of democracy, equity and 
> social justice is going to be far reaching, and these are the corner 
> stone canons of our work.  And therefore we will strongly contest it, 
> with all means at our disposal.
> I will separately respond to some substantive points in your above email.
> best regards
> parminder
> Best
> Anne
> On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Richard Hill <rhill at hill-a.ch 
> <mailto:rhill at hill-a.ch>> wrote:
> I fully agree with Parminder's analysis and strongly support his comments.
> Best,
> Richard
>     -----Original Message-----
>     *From:* Forum [mailto:forum-bounces at justnetcoalition.org
>     <mailto:forum-bounces at justnetcoalition.org>]*On Behalf Of *parminder
>     *Sent:* mardi, 21. octobre 2014 12:47
>     *To:* bestbits at lists.bestbits.net
>     <mailto:bestbits at lists.bestbits.net>;
>     governance at lists.igcaucus.org
>     <mailto:governance at lists.igcaucus.org>; forum at justnetcoalition.org
>     <mailto:forum at justnetcoalition.org>; IRP
>     *Subject:* Re: [JNC - Forum] [bestbits] Time-sensitive: 24 hour
>     sign on period for ITU Plenipot joint recommendations
>     I have not had the chance to go into the long statement in detail.
>     However, what I see as its main refrain is bothersome. It says yes
>     there are many very important global Internet policy issues, and
>     then says that the ITU should not take them up, but tells us
>     nothing about who should take them up. This becomes a recipe for,
>     or at least, towards a political governance free world, the kind
>     one nowadays read about frequently in the documents of the World
>     Economic Forum (read for instance its Global Redesign Initiative).
>     I am agnostic about whether ITU takes up at least some important
>     Internet policy issues at the global level or some other
>     democratic global body takes them up. However, it is not tenable
>     that they be just left hanging out there, which only allows those
>     who have the greatest default power on the Internet, mostly the US
>     based economic and political establishment, to carry on
>     consolidating their power. This statement for me is simply an
>     expression of support for the Internet power status quo, and
>     therefore I strongly oppose it.
>     To take a few examples (a more detailed critique will follow);
>     Perhaps the most disturbing part of the statement, from developing
>     countries viewpoint, is tha which sanctifies unregulated global
>     market models for global Internet inter-connectivity.... This is a
>     major reversal from the stand of all developing countries and all
>     progressive civil society at the WSIS, where unfair global
>     interconnection regimes was one of the main 'development issues'.
>     This statement seems to close that issue by declaring that such
>     things be best left to free markets, with no regulatory framework,
>     or even a normative/ principles framework. In any case, it is not
>     clear how even working on the interconnection issue, an express
>     mandate for ITU from the WSIS is a 'mission creep' for the ITU. It
>     appears that there is not one thing that ITU can do in 2014 which
>     will not be called a mission creep. In the circumstances one
>     thinks that the proponents of the statement should be bold and
>     just ask for the closing down of the ITU.
>     Further, the statement says that the ITU should not work towards a
>     treaty on cyber- security, an issue that has shaken the world post
>     Snowden. Just today I read an interview with Snowden's colleague
>     Laura Poitras about how  little has really changed on the ground
>     as far as mass surveillance by the five eyes is concerned. What
>     other than a treaty that reigns in the conduct of the states in
>     this regard can be a solution? Or have we simply given up and are
>     ready to allow the powerful to do what they may? Alternatively, is
>     there any other solution being thought of? Civil society must
>     answer these questions.
>     The statement seems to suggest that the first committee of the UN
>     Gen Assembly should keep doing the work on cyber security. That is
>     quite surprising becuase by all means, the first committee’s work
>     is much less participative (of other stakeholders) than even of
>     the ITU. So, what is the rationale here, other than just to say
>     ITU should not do it (we will see when we have to stop even the
>     first committee from doing it, but right now the imperative is....
>     ). I am fine with the first committee doing it, but remember that
>     any effort towards a cyber security treaty will require the
>     expertise of ITU which is the agency that has hitherto dealt with
>     this issue. Such an simply obstructionist attitude to global
>     governance bespeaks of a movement towards a very unequal, unfair
>     and unjust world. Progressive civil society must take note rather
>     than blindly signing on this rather dangerous statement.
>     The statement says, we should not begin working on a cyber
>     security treaty because there is no consensus on basic concepts
>     and principles in the area.... Is there a greater consensus on the
>     area of climate change, and so many other areas. Do we just give
>     up in these areas? if not, why in the area of Internet governance?
>     Consensus on concepts and principles emerge as a part of a process
>     towards development of global principles and agreements and not a
>     as a pre condition of them. This is universally known. One can
>     understand why US wants to protect the status quo, but why civil
>     society?
>     Again, this is simply a statement for maintaining the Internet
>     power status quo... Dont do it at the ITU, but we wont tell you
>     where to do either.... Supporting this statement in my view will
>     simply be to support the global Internet status quo....
>     Yes, we need to reform the ITU, but seeking simple withdrawal of
>     all Internet policy related agenda from global governance stage is
>     very problematic. As this agenda is withdrawn from the global
>     stage, the dominant political and economic forces get a free
>     reign, and the little policy that needs to be made is made at
>     plurilateral forums like the OECD, or the Trans-Pacific
>     Partnership or TPP (see for instance, just the day before's news,
>     http://infojustice.org/archives/33428, on how TPP seeks to
>     regulate global IP TV transmissions).
>     Such statements as this one simply clear the way for such rule of
>     the economically and politically powerful...
>     parminder
>     On Tuesday 21 October 2014 02:08 AM, Anne Jellema wrote:
>         Dear colleagues
>         As you know, a fluid working group was formed after the IGF to
>         try to come up with joint recommendations for the ITU
>         Plenipot. We produced the open letter on transparency and
>         participation in the Plenipot process itself, which many of
>         you signed (thank you!). Our second and harder task was to
>         develop positions on some of the most important substantive
>         issues before the conference. The output of this second phase
>         of our work is a 7 page lobby document that is now available
>         for endorsement for the next 24 hours at:
>         *http://bestbits.net/itu-plenipot-notes*
>         The fluid working group struggled to obtain the conference
>         proposals on which to base our analysis and recommendations,
>         both because of the ITU's restrictions on document access and
>         because many Member States submitted their proposals quite
>         late in the day. As a result, our drafting process has taken
>         us hard up against the start of the Plenipot itself.
>         It is now very urgent to get this text in front of
>         delegations, so we are opening it for endorsements rather than
>         comment. If however someone has a red flag, "absolutely can't
>         live with it" issue that prevents them from signing on, they
>         should email me personally in the next 24 hours to propose an
>         edit(s) to resolve this issue, and I will consult the other
>         members of the ITU fluid working group on whether to accept
>         this edit.
>         Due to the lack of time for comment and consensus, we are not
>         presenting these recommendations in the name of Best Bits or
>         on behalf of civil society in general but only on behalf of
>         the specific organisations endorsing.
>         If you would like your organisation to be listed, please send
>         your logo to Carolina Rossini (crossini at publicknowledge.org
>         <mailto:crossini at publicknowledge.org>) by 22:30 CET (16:30
>         EST) tomorrow, 21 Oct.
>         Best wishes
>         Anne
>         -- 
>         Anne Jellema
>         CEO
>         +27 061 36 9352 (ZA)
>         +1 202 684 6885 (US)
>         @afjellema
>         *World Wide Web Foundation | 1110 Vermont Ave NW, Suite 500,
>         Washington DC, 20005, USA | www.webfoundation.org
>         <http://www.webfoundation.org/> | Twitter: @webfoundation*
>         ____________________________________________________________
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> -- 
> Anne Jellema
> +27 061 36 9352 (ZA)
> +1 202 684 6885 (US)
> @afjellema
> *World Wide Web Foundation | 1110 Vermont Ave NW, Suite 500, 
> Washington DC, 20005, USA | www.webfoundation.org 
> <http://www.webfoundation.org/> | Twitter: @webfoundation*
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