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Re: <nettime> Arun Mehta: Unpacking Internet Governance
Danny Butt on Sun, 17 Apr 2005 06:07:27 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Arun Mehta: Unpacking Internet Governance


I know many on this list will be aware of the various technical and factual
inaccuracies in Mehta's piece (WiFi vs Bluetooth? a new one on me), even
outside of the techno-determinist rhetoric and unhelpful equation of
governance==government. Two alternative sources below that I think give a
excellent overview of the Internet Governance issues (Peake's is good for
the general reader, Drake for people who already have been following some of
the dialogue). The issues are *not* mostly about control by ITU - few of the
civil society folks most critical of ICANN want to see control handed over
to the ITU. Nevertheless the flaws in ICANN's governance are real and
significant, as others on nettime have pointed out, and it is *already*
implementing "law" in relation to trademark issues - it's just that the law
happens to only reflect that of the national government whose MoU
constitutes ICANN as a legal entity in the first place. ICANN continues to
pretend that developing countries' governance concerns (or even European
concerns, given the serious allegations over ICANN's awarding of the .net
contract to Verisign,) are mere rabble rousing and will eventually go away.
If they do "go away", it might be literally through the establishment of
alternative root server systems that will make for some *very* interesting
platform competition.

Of course, old-schoolers will say that the "end-to-end principle should not
be compromised", but with growing economic incentives for de-peering in
highly developed countries, national firewalls in many developing ones , and
ballooning Network Address Translation on eg the GPRS network I'm sending
this mail from, I think we should be mindful that there are no principles
that can't be thrown out the window if some people can make enough money
from doing so. It may not be long before we reflect on the "global" medium
of the Internet with the wistfulness that we might hold for the Geneva
Convention. 

Peake, Adam (2004) Internet governance and the  World Summit on the
Information  Society (WSIS), Report for Association of Progressive
Communications, http://rights.apc.org/documents/governance.pdf

"Reframing Internet Governance Discourse: Fifteen Baseline Propositions."
In, Don MacLean, ed. Internet Governance: A Grand Collaboration  New York:
United Nations Information and Communication Technology Taskforce, 2004, pp.
122-161 (book at http://www.unicttf.org/perl/documents.pl?id=1392).  Also
published as a working paper of the Social Science Research Council's
Research Network on IT and Governance, 2004.
http://www.ssrc.org/programs/itic/publications/Drake2.pdf

Cheers,

Danny

--
http://www.dannybutt.net
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adventures in cultural politics  - http://acp.dannybutt.net
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On 4/16/05 8:45 PM, "patrice {AT} xs4all.nl" <patrice {AT} xs4all.nl> wrote:

> A view from New Delhi. Original to the Asiasource mailing list. Fwded
> with the author's permission.
 <...>


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