Re: [IAB] IAB statement on the NETmundial Initiative

Seth Johnson <> Fri, 05 December 2014 16:07 UTC

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From: Seth Johnson <>
Date: Fri, 5 Dec 2014 11:07:03 -0500
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Subject: Re: [IAB] IAB statement on the NETmundial Initiative
To: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
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On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 8:29 AM, Phillip Hallam-Baker
<> wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 1:32 AM, Seth Johnson <>
> wrote:
>> On Fri, Dec 5, 2014 at 12:45 AM, Eliot Lear <> wrote:
>> > I think one key aspect will be that the
>> > activity has to cover ground that the other activities not only aren't
>> > covering, but can't easily expand to cover.
>> A lesson learned.  But for all of us, the good thing is at least that
>> now there's a new chance to proceed properly.  NMI had to discover
>> this piece of hubris for itself. (Of course it's not clear yet we will
>> proceed in a better way.)
> The core problems are representation and accountability.

"Accountability" understood properly.  "Checks and balances" aren't
grounded properly in the international arena.  And representation
isn't the rest of the story.  You want to do things in a stewardship
context as much like we've enjoyed as possible -- and how to get that
is the thing.  Eliot's not really getting it by offering the notion
that it's about sets of activities, and declaring that some can't
(easily) expand to cover others.  Not really.  We can certainly see
the problem with NMI as in part not building it properly in "MS terms"
or more full "democracy terms" (and getting that right is at the
center, as the appropriate practical and theoretical issue), but also
in the way of thinking of many operators in the international arena,
which ;ed the to think they could add things onto the "MS branding" of after the fact, with maybe a boost from WEF to help it along.
There are lessons to learn both by those who are accustomed to things
working a certain way in the international arena, and by those who are
presently just starting their attempts to step out there with the
Internet.  Sure, there's the aspect that once you start thinking about
governance issues, you're talking about things that have not been part
of the discussion in some places. But the "activities" can figure
things out, so long as they start thinking more clearly about what's
happening when you hand off to the international arena.  And the
problem is how to get it to work as much like it has worked as


> To understand
> whose interests any proposed body would represent have to understand who
> would appoint and dismiss them.
> The problem with communications governance is that the politicians are the
> principal party that the people need protection from. And not just in the
> third world either. Google 'Elm Guest House Monday Club' to see one example
> why.
> It is not widely known but the ITU has its origins in a cartel of telegraph
> companies who were anxious to stamp out the use of 'codes' to shorten
> messages in the days when you paid by the word. Not only has it never
> represented the interests of the users, it was set up for precisely the
> opposite reason.