[arin-ppml] RIPE/ITU

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Fri Mar 5 20:32:11 EST 2010

On Mar 6, 2010, at 8:42 AM, David Farmer wrote:

> Milton L Mueller wrote:
>> David:
>>> This made me realize that what we in the Internet community consider as
>>> an open participatory process, may not actually be open to everyone.  As
>>> technical people our organizations generally allow us a great deal of
>>> latitude to express our individual opinions.  This is generally not the
>>> case for government bureaucrats, especially in the realm of
>>> international diplomacy.  I'm not sure what to do about this, but we
>>> probably shouldn't just ignore it.
>> good observation. the light begins to dawn! I'm not sure what to do about it either, but I will say that ICANN's solution to this problem - the creation of a Govermental Advisory Committee with "special" powers over "public policy" - is NOT a good idea. this segregates governments into a silo and makes them advocates for governmental powers per se. In these discussions within ICANN, we have repeatedly pointed out that governmental representatives participate effectively in IETF, so a true bottom up model is feasible. But they are dealing with more technical issues than policy issues. for the bottom up model to work it takes a major cultural and institutional change in governments.
> I've been thinking about this for a couple days, I'm not necessarily sure big changes are required in government or in the way we do things either.  It may really only take some subtle changes, more in the way we each think about things, we need to help each other understand there is a roles for both parties to play here.  Then maybe some tweaks in our process could help too.
> I'll point out that our PDP is not unlike a notice-and-comment rulemaking process that is common in many governments.  But, our PDP has been turbo charged with Internet technologies like email and remote meeting participation over chat and video streaming, etc...  Rather than only using 19th century technologies like face-to-face meetings and letters.
> So maybe we need to work with governments to get them a little more comfortable using Internet technologies in the policy making processes.  Something somewhat related, many governments are being pushed by there citizenry into e-government projects, so maybe this could help them. And, then maybe we need to make a few more provisions for the use of 19th century technology in our processes.
I think some of this is already happening organically.  Many years ago, I participated
in a California PUC proceeding where the parties stipulated to receiving service
and notifications over e-mail rather than formal certified postal mail.

Combining such case-by-case incidents with some of the new "Gov2.0" initiatives
that are now all the rage, I think many governments, including even the united
States, are starting to move their processes forward in that direction.

> The tweaks in our process could be as simple as providing an opportunity for formal written comments to be submitted relating to Draft Policies that are up for adoption consideration at public policy meetings.  Such formal comments could maybe be included in the meeting materials, and maybe a summary provided as part of the presentation prior to the floor discussion of each Draft Policy.
I think, actually, making it clear to the government(s) that they can submit such
comments by emailing them to PPML and/or providing a web-based submission
portal for such comments to PPML is probably sufficient rather than needing
to accept them via snail-mail.  The snail-mail process would be error-prone
and add significant potential (unbounded) workload for staff.

> Then maybe a final opportunity for formal written comments again in the Last Call step of the process.
My approach would allow the government(s) to make as many comments as
they like at all steps of the process.

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