LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  July 2006

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE July 2006

Subject:

United States cedes control of the internet - but what now?

From:

"S. E. Anderson" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 28 Jul 2006 12:33:29 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (149 lines)

United States cedes control of the internet - but what now?
By Kieren McCarthy

July 27, 2006, The Register

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/27/ntia_icann_meeting/

In a meeting that will go down in internet history, the United
States government last night conceded that it can no longer
expect to maintain its position as the ultimate authority over
the internet.

Having been the internet's instigator and, since 1998, its
voluntary taskmaster, the US government finally agreed to
transition its control over not-for-profit internet overseeing
organisation ICANN, making the organisation a more
international body.

However, assistant commerce secretary John Kneuer, the US
official in charge of such matters, also made clear that the
US was still determined to keep control of the net's root zone
file - at least in the medium-term.

"The historic role that we announced that we were going to
preserve is fairly clearly articulated: the technical
verification and authorisation of changes to the authoritative
root," Kneuer explained following an afternoon of explicit
statements from US-friendly organisations and individuals that
it was no longer viable for one government to retain such
power over the future of a global resource.

Despite the sentiments, however, it was apparent from the
carefully selected panel and audience members that the
internet - despite its global reach - remains an English-
speaking possession. Not one of the 11 panel members, nor any
of the 22 people that spoke during the meeting, had anything
but English as their first language.

While talk centered on the future of the internet and its
tremendous global influence, the people that sat there
discussing it represented only a tiny minority of those that
now use the internet every day. Reflections on the difficulty
of expanding the current internet governance mechanisms to
encompass the global audience inadvertently highlighted the
very parochialism of those that currently form the ICANN in-
crowd.

When historians come to review events in Washington on 26 July
2006, they will no doubt be reminded of discussions in
previous centuries over why individual citizens should be
given a vote. Or, perhaps, why landowners or the educated
classes shouldn't be given more votes than the masses.

There was talk of voting rights, or what the point was of
including more people in ICANN processes, and even how people
could be educated sufficiently before they were allowed to
interact with the existing processes.

Ironically, it was ICANN CEO Paul Twomey who most accurately
put his finger on what had to be done. One of the most
valuable realisations that ICANN has ever come to, he noted,
was that when it revamped itself last time, it recognised it
hadn't got it right. Even more importantly, Twomey noted, was
the fact the organisation recognised that "it would never get
it right. And so ICANN put a review mechanism into its
bylaws".

The reason Twomey's observations are particularly noteworthy
is that it is Paul Twomey himself who has consistently - and
deliberately - failed to open ICANN up, keeping meetings
secret, and refusing to release information about discussions
either before a meeting and, in some cases, after the meeting.

A stark warning came from the Canadian government - the only
government except for the US government invited to speak.
Recent arrival, but highly knowledgeable representative, Bill
Graham was extraordinarily clear. "It is time for ICANN to
recognise that it is in many ways a quasi-judicial body and it
must begin to behave that way," he said.

"The ICANN board needs to provide adequate minutes of all its
meetings. There needs to be a notice of what issues will be
considered, and the timeframe when a decision is made. A
written document needs to be posted setting out the background
and context of the issues. There needs to be an acknowledgment
and a summary of the positions put forward by various
interested parties; there needs to be an analysis of the
issues; there needs to be an explanation of the decisions and
the reasons for it; and ultimately there needs to be a
mechanism for the board to be held accountable by its
community."

Everyone recognised the meeting as an historic turning point
in the future of the internet, causing a strange amount of
one-upmanship among those taking part, most of it covering how
long they had been involved with ICANN. Paul Twomey referred
to the Berlin meeting (1999); an irregular ICANN contributor
(on the panel thanks to US governmental influence) spoke of
"being there before ICANN was even created". The swagger got
so bad that several well-informed contributors were forced to
apologise because they had only been to three ICANN meetings.

Ultimately, what came out of a gathering of the (English-
speaking) great and the good regarding the internet was two
things:

    1. That the US government recognises it has to transition
    its role if it wants to keep the internet in one piece (and
    it then has to sell that decision to a mindlessly patriotic
    electorate)
    2. That ICANN has to open up and allow more people to
    decide its course if it is going to be allowed to become
    the internet's main overseeing organisation

If you ignore the fact that the conversation only happened
within a tiny subset of the people that actually use the
internet, everyone can feel quite content in walking away
feeling that at least people now understand their point of
view.

As a rare non-US contributor, Emily Taylor, Nominet's lawyer,
UK citizen, and a member of the IGF Advisory Group told us she
felt that "the fact that the meeting took place was as
valuable as anything that was discussed".

That much is certainly true. The US has recognised that it can
no longer hope to control the internet. The next step is for
everyone invited into the party this time to recognise that
they too play only a small role in the global revolution that
is this jumble of interconnected computer networks. ® Related
stories

Future of the net to be decided tomorrow (25 July 2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/25/ntia_public_meeting/
US government urged again to end net role (21 July 2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/21/burr_cade_usg_paper/
US government told to take its hands off internet (15 July
2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/15/ntia_inquiry_results/
The internet needs YOU! (2 July 2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/07/02/ntia_icann_consultation/
Governments to decide future of net (28 June 2006)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/28/gac_icann_communique/

© Copyright 2006
S. E. Anderson
author- "The Black Holocaust For Beginners" a Writers and Readers
book

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
May 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager