Re: [IAB] IAB statement on the NETmundial Initiative

Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com> Fri, 05 December 2014 05:45 UTC

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Date: Fri, 05 Dec 2014 06:45:31 +0100
From: Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com>
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To: Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill@hallambaker.com>, IAB <iab@iab.org>, IETF <ietf@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: [IAB] IAB statement on the NETmundial Initiative
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Hi Phillip,

On 12/4/14, 9:07 PM, Phillip Hallam-Baker wrote:
> Just to be clear, what I am unclear about is the Netmundial Initiative
> and in particular the role of this proposed council.

First, it seems that the Netmundial Initiative (NMI) is evolving.  We on
the IAB don't have more information than what's on their web and their
public statements, but here is what I gather.

At its core, at least at the moment, it is an online platform for
discussion of issues relating to Internet governance.  One of the first
tasks they have set themselves is to map the space, in terms of who is
doing what where (what they call enablers).  The other is to provide
best practices for local Internet governance.  There are many aspects of
governance that help the Interne succeed, and CGI.br who are one of the
sponsors want to share their views and hear from others on that point. 
The World Economic Forum (WEF) believes there is value in expanding the
discussion beyond the tech sector, and they believe they can facilitate
that aspect.  Fostering dialog about these sorts of issues is a good
thing, because it leads to improved understanding by the participants.

So why the need for a council?  Well, obviously we the IAB don't believe
there is such a need.  It's quite heavy weight for an online platform,
but I believe at least one of the reasons they did it was to show high
level support for the activity.  *Some* lightweight approaches to
managing conversations that are driven by the community will probably be
needed to address what I call an impedance mismatch between the
different styles of communication that people from different communities
are used to, and to understand what the conclusion of a conversation
is.  We even have mechanisms like that for the IETF.  Determining rough
consensus is the primary one.  Thomas Narten's weekly Post'Ometer is
another.  Our sergeant-at-arms mechanism is yet a third.  Our experience
shows all of those mechanisms are best driven by the community/customers
of the service.

A few of us will monitor where this goes, if anywhere.  There have been
a number of attempts already at this sort of activity.  Some like the
Internet Governance Forum enjoy some success.  Others have fallen flat. 
To early to say about this one, really.  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.

Anyway, hope this helps.

Eliot

> On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 1:57 PM, Phillip Hallam-Baker
> <phill@hallambaker.com <mailto:phill@hallambaker.com>> wrote:
>
>     I am a little confused by this proposal.
>
>     The statement of principles seems relatively unobjectionable. But
>     there seems to be rather less information on specific objectives and
>     virtually none on how those objectives would be achieved.
>
>     There is a proposal for a council but no information on how the
>     members are to be appointed or what the source or scope of their
>     authority will be.
>
>     There are three questions of power: How did you get it? Whose
>     interests do you serve when you use it? and How do we get rid of you?
>     I don't see answers to any of those questions in the documents
>     provided.
>
>