Tuesday, March 15, 2005

WGIG Input Papers: Round Two

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William Drake writes:

I was going to briefly reply to Adam but decided it would be better to provide a more developed response to the broader community.

As you know, WGIG is now working on a second round of input papers. Unlike the first round, which addressed the vertical or nominally separable substantive issues (i.e. names and numbers, interconnection, security, etc), this round is focused on the horizontal or cross-cutting
institutional/procedural issues. That is, we are looking at the extent to which the current public and private sector governance mechanisms relevant to the vertical issues meet the WSIS DoP criteria:

"The international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic, with the full involvement of governments, the private sector, civil society and international organizations. It should ensure an equitable distribution of resources, facilitate access for all and ensure a stable and secure functioning of the Internet, taking into
account multilingualism."


I. To facilitate this evaluation, the vertical issues have been grouped into five clusters (well, four, the first of which has two parts). Drafting groups have been formed to assemble papers on each.

1. Issues relating to infrastructural issues and the management of critical Internet resources
(a) Physical and Secured Infrastructure Issues
· Telecommunications infrastructure, broadband access
· VoIP
· Peering and interconnection
· Spectrum policy
· Technical standards
Institutions: IEEE, IETF, ITU, W3C, Other private consortiums

(b) Logical Infrastructure Issues
· Administration of Internet names
· Administration of IP addresses
· Administration of root server system
· Administration of root zone files
· Multilingualization of Internet naming systems
Institutions: ICANN, IETF, ISO, ITU, RIRs, Root Server Operators, WIPO

2. Issues relating to the use of the Internet, including spam, network security, and cybercrime. While these issues are directly related to Internet Governance, the nature of global cooperation required is not well defined.
· Spam
· Cybersecurity, cybercrime
· Security of network and information systems
· Critical infrastructure protection
· Applicable jurisdiction, cross border coordination
· Exemption for ISPs of third party liabilities
· National policies & regulations
Institutions: APEC, Council of Europe, ITU, OECD

3. Issues which are relevant to the Internet, but with impact much wider than the Internet, where there are existing organisations responsible for these issues.
· Competition policy, liberalization, privatization, regulations
· Consumer, user protection, privacy
· Electronic authentication
· Unlawful content and practices
· Access protection
· Intellectual property rights
· Dispute resolution
· E-commerce and taxation of e-commerce
· E-Government and privacy
· Freedom of information and media
Institutions: APEC, CAHSI, Council of Europe, IETF, ITU, OECD, UN/CEFACT,
UNCITRAL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WIPO, WTO, Private consortiums

4. Issues relating to developmental aspects of Internet governance, in particular capacity building in developing countries, gender issues and other access concerns.
· Affordable & universal access
· Education, human capacity building
· Internet leased line costs
· National infrastructure development
· Cultural and linguistic diversity
· Social dimensions and inclusion
· Open-source and free software
· Content accessibility
Institutions: ITU, UN ICTTF, UNESCO, World Bank


II. The drafting groups' papers will assess the extent to which the abovementioned institutions/governance arrangements meet three kinds of DoP-based criteria:

1. Process Criteria (To what extent to the institution’s Internet-related governance mechanisms meet the following criteria, given what could be reasonably expected in light of the governance mechanism used?)
· Multilateral
· Transparent
· Democratic
· Full participation

2. Role and responsibility criteria (To what extent do the institution’s Internet-related governance mechanisms enable the different stakeholder groups to fulfill their roles and responsibilities as defined by WSIS? To what extent to the different stakeholder groups have the capacity to fulfill their roles and responsibilities?)
· Governments
· Private Sector
· Civil society
· Intergovernmental organizations
· Other international organizations

3. Outcome Criteria (How effectively to the institution’s Internet-related governance mechanisms contribute to achievement of the following goals?)
· Equitable distribution of resources
· Access for all
· Stable and secure functioning
· Multilingualism

The papers are also to consider the meta-question of coordination, i.e. how effectively is governance of a given issue coordinated with governance of other Internet-related issues; and to end with an overall assessment on the points that most need improvement in order to meet the WSIS criteria.

The two steps described above are drawn from WGIG documents. I just spoke with Markus and he has agreed to post these to the web soon.


III. Timeline.

The papers on governance mechanisms per issue-cluster are supposed to be finished and circulated for comment within WGIG during the next week. They are to be posted to the website for open assessment/comment at the end of the month. At the third WGIG meeting, April 18-20, the internal and external inputs will be considered, and the group will begin to organize itself around the drafting of the actual report.


IV. CS Participation.

There are two main ways CS could contribute to this stage of the work.

1. Between now and the third WGIG meeting, individuals, organizations, and caucuses/WGs could just go ahead and do their own evaluations of governance mechanisms of particular concern to them, preferably using the framework laid out above. Markus says the secretariat can create a space on the website where these inputs could be loaded.

2. Between April 1 and the third WGIG, individuals, organizations, and caucuses/WGs will be able to submit responses to the horizontal input papers on the WGIG website, per previous.

Obviously, this is a key stage in the process. The horizontal issues are likely to figure prominently in the final report, and there is a need for a coherent, progressive CS voice on such matters as transparency, participation, etc. Good interventions on these matters would strengthen the hand of the CS contingent within WSIS when the time comes to negotiate
how they will be treated in the report. One would also think that the horizontal/institutional issues lend themselves toward a greater degree of agreement within CS than has been evident with respect to many of the vertical/substantive issues. That is part of why the IG caucus
interventions to date generally have focused more on the former than the latter.

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