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[liberationtech] Critically Examining "What Would Happen" if the U.N. (or another international body) Administered the Internet?

Zack Brisson zack at thereboot.org
Tue Jul 16 15:32:09 PDT 2013


Bill,

Thank you for fast response. I may have framed my question incorrectly, so
I want to try and respond for clarifications in case others have
contributions.

>...at a greater degree of remove, whether any nationalistic form of
governance would, in the long run, preserve the end-to-end model.

Recognizing the U.N. or any multi-stakeholder international body has
nationalistic influences within it, can it be described as nationalistic
body itself? Moreso than ICANN? I might be missing something very obvious,
so thanks for clarifying.

>Most people believe that if governments were to gain control over Internet
governance, that they'd do what they do with everything else, and start
making national-scale divergences from the current global standards.


Again, I think this may reflect that I am starting from false assumptions,
but I'm suggesting to not give governments control, but instead vest a
multi-stakeholder body with administrative power. Governments would have
influence through some form of representation, but not outright control, or
at least control filtered through internal competition/checks and balances.

>It's very difficult to talk for very long about the abstract theory of all
this, before someone drags in the actual, more complicated, situation,
wherein the U.N. isn't just the U.N., but also the ITU, and the ITU isn't
just the ITU, but the ITU staff, and three camps of ITU member states that
are at odds with each other,..


Well understood, but isn't that internal 'at odds' part of the potential
positive benefits from a multi-stakeholder structure? Am I missing
something in my understanding of ICANN as only having one camp, the U.S.
government and commercial interests?

Thanks much for sharing Bill.

Cheers,
Zack

On Tuesday, July 16, 2013, Bill Woodcock wrote:

>
> On Jul 16, 2013, at 3:08 PM, Zack Brisson <zack at thereboot.org<javascript:;>>
> wrote:
> > Have there been nuanced and balanced explorations of how the U.N. (or
> another international organ) could serve as reasonably equitable hub for a
> multi-stakeholder Internet from actors others than those with a clear
> position biasing their analysis? Having worked closely with the U.N., I am
> under no illusions as its infallibility or consistent effectiveness. But is
> this "End of the Internet/Internet Freedom" truly an inevitable outcome for
> either technical or political reasons?
>
> It's not a question of the "end of the Internet," it's a question of
> whether the U.N. has any way to facilitate the continuance of bottom-up
> multistakeholder governance (since that's not how they operate, and none of
> their structures natively support non-governmental decision-making), and at
> a greater degree of remove, whether any nationalistic form of governance
> would, in the long run, preserve the end-to-end model.
>
> Most people believe that if governments were to gain control over Internet
> governance, that they'd do what they do with everything else, and start
> making national-scale divergences from the current global standards.
> They're strongly incentivized to do so, at the expense of global markets,
> and the global public, the vast majority of whom are not their
> constituents.  It's a potential tragedy of the commons, which is held in
> check by the fact that it's currently communally governed, rather than
> individually governed, so it's governed in the common good, rather than to
> the maximization of individual goods at the expense of the whole.
>
> It's very difficult to talk for very long about the abstract theory of all
> this, before someone drags in the actual, more complicated, situation,
> wherein the U.N. isn't just the U.N., but also the ITU, and the ITU isn't
> just the ITU, but the ITU staff, and three camps of ITU member states that
> are at odds with each other, and that whole mess is just a pawn in the
> larger WTO chess-match, etc., etc., etc.
>
>                                 -Bill
>
>
>
>
>
> --
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-- 
*ZACK BRISSON*
*Principal, Reboot*
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