Thursday, February 24, 2005

I Object! -- Comments of Y.J.Park

Y.J.Park, highly regarded for her balanced leadership in the DNSO Review Working Group, lashes out at ICANN promoters in the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus:

Subject: Background of my objection on final statement of Internet
Governance Caucus

Dear all,

I decided not to participate in this distorted Internet Governance forum in early 2004. While I attend PrepCom II of the second phase, I felt obligation to make intervention to bring another voice to this forum.

As I addressed my concerns at "Contents and Themes Group" meeting yesterday, the position presented by WSIS CS Internet Governance caucus should have not been adopted as WSIS CS position.

I am speaking here as co-founder of WSIS CS Internet Governance caucus back in Feb 2003 and also as someone who does come from Neither USA Nor Europe Nor Japan.

This caucus has historically been dominated by actors from USA, Europe and Japan especially those who have "INSIDE" connections with the current Internet Governance body, ICANN.

These actors has made their best efforts to distract this caucus to focus on some other issues like WIPO, WTO, other internatonal organizations and even changed the caucus name into Global ICT Governance.

When 2003 Summit declaration decideed to handle Internet Governance, the group dominated then Global ICT Governance caucus finally unwillingly started to deal with ICANN in a minimalist manner and changed its name again back to Internet Governance caucus in order to
support ICANN as much as possible.

Not surprisingly I have seen comments made by members of opinion leaders of this caucus publicly stated "CONSENSUS" of this caucus is to side with ICANN even though they are not happy with the current ICANN.

Internet Governance has historically referred to Internet address management and therefore governments have been focusing on ICANN at World Summit on Information Society. Interestingly, WSIS CS has been reluctant to make direct comments on ICANN.

The following statement presented by Internet Governance caucus shows exactly where the current Internet Governance caucus stands regarding ICANN issues

That statement generally promoted the following principles and it never specifically touched ICANN even though many people publicly expressed their concerns in ICANN in the list.

> 1. Multi-stakeholder
> 2. Human Rights (freedom of expression and privacy)
> 3. Civil Society participation in the WSIS process
> 4. This paragraph seems to describe the ICANN in principle.

ICANN in principle calims it includes decisions by individual users, it consists of a series of private agreements including its MoU US Department of Commerce. ICANN also claims it respects national policies, and it is indeed an international and transnational body in
appearance at least it could succeed in reaching out Europe.

> 5. General issues in Internet Governance.

Unilateral control of the root zone file and its effects for the name space

The crucial role of technical standards in the preservation of an interoperable global Internet

Two issues associated with ICANN were listed at Internet Governance caucus statement but interestingly those who drafted made not comments on whether the curent system is acceptable or not.

Instead, they asked WGIG to evaluate these two.

This argument has been around since 1999. So far "technical stability" logic always has won over "diversified technical management system". Those who drafted this statement must have already known this.

Those who listened to today's plenary on Internet Governance would understand this whole debate at World Summit on Information Society is "control" issue. "WHO CONTROLS the INTERNET?"

Since ICANN was set up back in 1998, the control has been exercised by "ONE Government" and that raises concerns from most parts of the world. Some governments at today's plenary were willing to take risk to stand up against the US government more diplomatically despite potential accusation of axis of evils. Some governments think they can endure the current system as long as they have agreeable dialogue with US Gov't.

If WSIS Civil Society is willing to contribute to this debate as substantial equal partners to other stakeholders as it has been advocating, CS should also have made comments on why CS has serious concerns in the current Root-server zone file management system, global ccTLD governance mechanism, and creation of multilingual top level domain names and asks
for more internationalized oversight function of Internet address management.

I could not see any of these issues cleary in the following statement and therefore I "objected" to this statement as Civil Society position. This position could have been recorded as a small group of clique who have some vested interests in this process. But it was unacceptable to recognize
this as civil society position.

Sorry for long-length post to explain why I objected to this statement at yesterday's CS Content and Themes Group.

I hope to see WSIS CS is engaged with this debate down this road as substantial stakeholders instead of being those who promote ICANN that expedites global standards among like-minded groups without enough consultation from those who don't belong to the like-minded group.

Thank you,


At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said YJ,

There is a critical balance to be noted here. Some call it Liberal vs. Conservative. Some, Socialism vs. Captalism. But any thinking mere human finds dichotomy betweenxed positions and hopefully reaches a compromise internally. YJ often seems too optimistic and idealistic. But why the heck not? In the net, while we may be obtaining some materialistic gain in the physical -$$$$, we are still dealing with a VR experience not a RW right so to speak.
She is no doubt right. These processes should be truly bottom up and open and transparent and not held captive to the same old bought constituencies we tire of, like the ICANN cadre.
As I help to pay in RW for the development of my own network (three 24-17 year old individuals and an newly immigrant wife) my dichotomy arises from supporting their dreams of Utopic Worldwide Governanance and my own desire for Peace through Laissez Faire(sp).
So I ask good people like YJ to bite down hard on the leash. Follow Danny's lead and remain in the game and work from within the existing framework. Help to shift momentum for it will steer the rudderless ship far closer to the correct heading than simply abandoning ship and rowing away.


At 11:40 AM, Blogger NoTONoEagles said...

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