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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    The Scope of WGIG's Mandate | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 1 comments | Search Discussion
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    Off the mark
    by Mueller ({mueller} {at} {syr.edu}) on Sunday August 08 2004, @07:24PM (#14052)
    User #2901 Info | http://istweb.syr.edu/~mueller/
    I am wondering what Bruce's real point is. We are presented with two rather indirect attacks on the legitimacy of the WSIS process. But is his purpose to defend the status quo? Is the legitimacy of the current system of Internet governance, conducted by WIPO, ICANN, WTO, US Department of Commerce, any better than what we see happening at WSIS and WGIG? Those of us who have watched this thing close up for the last seven years are way beyond scare talk about
    "gummint regulators," after seeing things like UDRP routinely used to attack web sites or domain names on the basis of their content. For the latest outrage, look up clearchannelsucks.com at the NAF website.

    Mr Levinson states: "The first doubts about openness and transparency are raised by the fact that there is no indication as to how stakeholders can be nominated to serve on the WGIG."

    Hogwash. Anyone can send a name they favor to Markus Kummer. Or even to Kofi Annan. Just as anyone could send a name to Jon Postel, Ira Magaziner, Roger Cochetti and Mike Nelson to nominate someone for the initial ICANN Board back in 1998. The process is almost identical in
    form. The public proposes, and an insider group disposes, based on the usual lobbying activity. The only difference is, this time it's a different set of folks making the decision, and it's probably a lot bigger and a more internationally representative crew. But we'll see what the results are.

    "Instead of having an open nomination process, the WGIG will be appointed by the UN Secretary-General assisted by the already existing Secretariat."

    Well, who else would a UN working group be appointed by, if not the UN Secretary-General? The Internet Society? A global electorate? At least the UN SG is accountable to his member-states, and can be voted out of office for his decision. How accountable were Becky Burr and Karen Rose?

    Levinson complains: "Thus, the UN appointed group will have, in essence, free reign to involve themselves in and make recommendations regarding virtually every aspect of the internet, including content."

    Actually the UN appointed group has no power whatsoever to "involve themselves" in any aspect of the Internet. They are going to write a report that defines Internet governance and the policy issues associated with it. Neither the United Nations nor WSIS have any power over the Internet unless governments choose to give it to them. That would take a convention or treaty, and a lot of debate.

    If Mr. Levinson doesn't think that the world's governments - including the USA - aren't already "involving themselves" in Internet regulation he's been asleep since 1997. So what's wrong with openly discussing and debating the wisdom of regulating the Internet? I for one am optimistic that when these issues are brought into the open and deliberated upon by a larger world community, that the freedom of the Internet might actually be enhanced.
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