[arin-ppml] RIPE/ITU

Milton L Mueller mueller at syr.edu
Sat Feb 27 17:40:53 EST 2010

I don't advocate for the ITU. This kind of "spin," which attempts to polarize the debate, is not helpful. Those tactics just reinforce the conclusion that this whole thing is just a power struggle between two large institutions over turf. Which, at this point, it basically is: http://blog.internetgovernance.org/blog/_archives/2009/11/20/4385849.html  

There's a growing community of scholars and academic analysts who are beginning to look seriously at address policy and internet governance. These folks _will_ be interested in a debate over the role of national governments vs. private sector, transnational self-regulatory agencies; and they _will_be interested discussions of the role of markets and commons in address governance, conservation, aggregation and other policy principles. But the good and influential ones are _not_ going to be interested in being loyalists for your little organization or for the ITU. They're going to look at both ITU and the RIRs and ICANN critically and objectively as institutional players in the arena. If you're not used to that kind of scrutiny -- get used to it, more is coming.  

If what you have said in this thread is an indication of your strategy and tactics for the Geneva meeting, I'd respectfully suggest a trip back to the drawing board. Your plan, apparently, is to tell the ITU and its member states to come to _your_ meetings, to your home field, to participate in _your_ game. Good luck with that. Looks to me as if you're going to one of their meetings..... 

As I said earlier, in an attempt to be helpful, try to articulate and take a position on the real political and policy issues. Don't try to force policy analysts and critics into your own manichean worldview of a bipolar struggle with the ITU. Keep the focus on policies and the public interest. Try to articulate principles. Paul Wilson's intervention, which tells us that NIRs are OK if the RIRs create them but an abomination of the ITU does, is a perfect example of what NOT to do. 

ICANN, ARIN and the RIRs have all kinds of invitation-only meetings to discuss policy, and you know it. For example, RIPE holds invitation-only meetings wth governmental stakeholders and some with law enforcement agencies. 
Real decisions at RIRs are made by dues-paying members, which is the case also at ITU. 

That being said, I do think the ITU processes are less open than ICANN's and RIRs, and (like dozens of other civil society participants) have openly and repeatedly said so all throughout WSIS up to the present day. I have supported a nongovernmental model for critical internet resource governance in reams and reams of my writing. If you see me as an enemy in this particular debate I feel really sorry for you, for I wonder who your friends are and how many of them there are (who are not on the payrolls of the RIRs). 


From: John Curran [jcurran at arin.net]
Sent: Saturday, February 27, 2010 7:39 AM
To: Milton L Mueller
Cc: arin-ppml at arin.net
Subject: Re: [arin-ppml] RIPE/ITU

On Feb 26, 2010, at 11:33 PM, Milton L Mueller wrote:
> Stop fretting, John. I am not part of a vast ITU conspiracy. We have two docs on the table: one is the study proposal for CIRs prepared by prof. Ramadass, the other is the Terms of Reference McKay cites which clearly indicates that this is the direction some in Geneva would like to go. Ok, if you want to be picky we cannot say there is an "ITU proposal" yet, but its pretty clear what direction certain people there would like to move. I am suggesting that we engage in that discussion seriously.
> My study said that the ITU "could play a constructive role" by helping to work out a legal framework for TABLs. Aside from the fact that that does not seem to be the direction they want to move in, is it your implication that ITU has _no_ constructive role to play in this space?

Milton -

Given that there are already existing forums in each region which enjoy
participation from organizations of all types (including governments,
businesses, and civil society) one could certainly imagine that the ITU
could play a constructive role by participating in these open forums.

That would allow us to conduct global dialogue on the actual issues,
rather than forcing much of the community having to guess about "who"
would like to move in "what" direction and "why"...  Was having the
ITU participate in open, multi-stakeholder policy dialogue the type
of constructive role you were advocating for in the study, or were
you suggesting that their existing model for global dialogue (e.g.
the closed, invite-only IT IPv6 meeting in Geneva) be the appropriate
forum?  As you've advocated for their involvement, it would be good
for the community to understand why and in what form you feel this
involvement should take place.


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