Daring to Admit Rules of the Net are “U.S. Centered”

New America DC event starts with the truth
Jim Cicconi of AT&T, Tim Wu of Columbia, Susan Crawford of Harvard, and Rebecca MacKinnon lead a firstrate event at New America D.C. about “the relative merits of the current decentralized, U.S.-centered governance of the Internet, versus a more equitable, multinational (but possibly more restrictive) system.” Most of the world believes the U.S. runs the Internet, although “U.S. centered” is more accurate.

Brilliant propaganda has imprinted in many people’s minds an almost meaningless concept of “multi-stakeholder” governance, presumably international. Led by Larry Strickling, we framed the debate as “multi-stakeholder” versus government. Unfortunately, the meaning of multi-stakeholder was so ambiguous that ITU is not inaccurate proclaiming itself one of the best examples of a “multi-stakeholder” organization. A repressive Saudi Arabian proposal for WCIT is offered in the name of “multi-stakeholderism.” When you actually look what that means, you discover most of the participants are corporate, dominated by U.S. giants. Groups like ISOC and ICANN are under U.S. law, have mostly U.S./Western European leaders, and we control the DNS. As U.S. NTIA chief Larry Strickling notes “The NTIA has long been integral in the operation of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which regulates global domain name policy. While NTIA, on behalf of the US Department of Commerce, reached an agreement with ICANN in 2009 to transition the technical coordination of the DNS to a new setting in ICANN under conditions that protect the interests of global Internet users, NTIA represents the US government on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and it is still an influential force.”

Africa, India, Brazil, Russia and China feel they’re being left out and want change.
Personally, I think that’s fair but also fear a heavy hand of government. Cicconi of AT&T is a good choice to present the government opinion. Even FCC Commissioners have told me he runs the FCC and policy, although that’s not always true. Most of the other speakers are not part of the current DC hive mind of these topics and have a much deeper commitment to the net than the former telco lobbyists dominating State.

The corporate hand is strong at State.Ambassador Verveer is a former Bell lobbyist via CTIA. Ambassador Kramer is out of Verizon Wireless. Ambassador Gross is being paid by big companies, presumably including the Bells. I believe all are making a good faith effort to serve the public, not the corporate interest. But their worldview was shaped where Internet Freedom is not central.

Very strong program and important to bring the discussion closer to the truth.

New America DC event starts with the truth
Jim Cicconi of AT&T, Tim Wu of Columbia, Susan Crawford of Harvard, and Rebecca MacKinnon lead a firstrate event at New America D.C. about “the relative merits of the current decentralized, U.S.-centered governance of the Internet, versus a more equitable, multinational (but possibly more restrictive) system.” Most of the world believes the U.S. runs the Internet, although “U.S. centered” is more accurate.

Brilliant propaganda has imprinted in many people’s minds an almost meaningless concept of “multi-stakeholder” governance, presumably international. Led by Larry Strickling, we framed the debate as “multi-stakeholder” versus government. Unfortunately, the meaning of multi-stakeholder was so ambiguous that ITU is not inaccurate proclaiming itself one of the best examples of a “multi-stakeholder” organization. A repressive Saudi Arabian proposal for WCIT is offered in the name of “multi-stakehoderism.” When you actually look what that means, you discover most of the participants are corporate, dominated by U.S. giants. Groups like ISOC and ICANN are under U.S. law, have mostly U.S./Western European leaders, and we control the DNS. As U.S. NTIA chief Larry Strickling notes The NTIA has long been integral in the operation of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which regulates global domain name policy. While NTIA, on behalf of the US Department of Commerce, reached an agreement with ICANN in 2009 to transition the technical coordination of the DNS to a new setting in ICANN under conditions that protect the interests of global Internet users, NTIA represents the US government on ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee and it is still an influential force.”

Africa, India, Brazil, Russia and China feel they’re being left out and want change.
Personally, I think that’s fair but also fear a heavy hand of government. Cicconi of AT&T is a good choice to present the government opinion. Even FCC Commissioners have told me he runs the FCC and policy, although that’s not always true. Most of the other speakers are not part of the current DC hive mind of these topics and have a much deeper commitment to the net than the former telco lobbyists dominating State.

The corporate hand is strong at State. Ambassador Verveer is a former Bell lobbyist via CTIA. Ambassador Kramer is out of Verizon Wireless. Ambassador Gross is being paid by big companies, presumably including the Bells. I believe all are making a good faith effort to serve the public, not the corporate interest. But their worldview was shaped where Internet Freedom is not central.

Very strong program and important to bring the discussion closer to the truth.


http://futuretense.newamerica.net/events/2012/who_should_govern_the_internet

Who Should Govern the Internet? A Future Tense Event.

In December 2012, Dubai will host the World Conference on International Telecommunications

Photo by MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations has its eyes on the Internet. A summit next month could lead to a telecommunications treaty granting a U.N. agency jurisdiction, and control, over the online universe. The issue is being furiously debated and lobbied in advance of the summit. Companies, technologists, free speech advocates, and national governments must now consider the relative merits of the current decentralized, U.S.-centered governance of the Internet, versus a more equitable, multinational (but possibly more restrictive) system.
Haven’t heard much about this looming fight that could radically alter the character of the Internet? It’s not too late. Join Future Tense on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 9 a.m. at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website. If you can’t make it to Washington, follow the discussion with the hashtag #netgov and watch the event’s livestream.
Future Tense is a partnership of Arizona State University, the New America Foundation, andSlate.
Participants
Sunil Abraham (via Skype)—@sunil_abraham
Executive director, Centre for Internet and Society
Ellery Biddle—@ellerybiddle
Policy analyst, Center for Democracy and Technology
Jim Cicconi—@ATTPublicPolicy
Senior executive vice president for external and legislative affairs, AT&T
Derrick Cogburn—@derrickcogburn
Associate professor of international relations, American University
Jonathan Koppell—@ASU
Dean of College of Public Programs, Arizona State University
Author, World Rule: Accountability, Legitimacy, and the Design of Global Governance
Rebecca MacKinnon—@rmack
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation
Author, Consent of the Networked
Sascha Meinrath—@saschameinrath
Vice president and director, Open Technology Institute, New America Foundation
Milton Mueller—@miltonmueller
Professor and director, Telecommunications Network Management Program, Syracuse University School of Information Studies
David Post—@templelaw
Professor of law, Temple University
Author, In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace
Tim Wu—@superwuster
Future Tense fellow, New America Foundation
Author, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall Information Empires

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