The Technical Community Role in Global Internet Governance
24 October 2013 - A Workshop on in Bali,Indonesia
The following is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the Eigth Meeting of the IGF, in Bali, Indonesia. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Can you hear me? My name is George Sadowsky, I'm associated with ICANN and I'm moderator for this workshop, Number 210, "The Technical Community Role in Internet Governance."
This topic came up as a result of the evolution or maturation of the way in which the various stakeholder groups we talk about choose selection procedures for people we send to outside organisations, extra stakeholder organisations such as UNCSTD Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, et cetera. The issue came up that the processes were not well-defined, at least in the Technical Community, or well-documented, and we thought it would be a good idea to work on that problem and at the same time there was a sense of, well, how much do we know about how we really ought to be interacting with other groups and the substantive issues involved in Internet Governance.
So this is the reason for the proposal of the workshop and although the initial description of it which appears on the Web and probably in other places gave a relatively narrow scope of the subject matter of the workshop, more recently we thought it's more important to gather all of the issues where the Technical Community does interact and say, well, what's appropriate? How should we interact? Where should the limits of our interaction be? Simply as community representatives as opposed to individuals. And on the other hand, where should we be actively involved? Maybe we're not right now.
So an examination of the interaction I think will help us as we examine issues to become more effective in the overall multi-stakeholder events related to Internet Governance.
We have a panel of five people plus myself, all of whom have been asked to examine their thoughts, ideas, about the Technical Community and its interaction. You'll hear from every one of them and after we go through that, then we'll turn to you and we'll ask you to contribute your thoughts. We'll respond to the extent responses are appropriate and I think we have the possibility of having a relatively spirited conversation given the fact the attitudes I've heard range from the very narrow to the very broad and the issue of where the bounds are for professional responsibility are I think fairly fluid right now at least in people's minds. That's the programme.
We have a remote moderator and if questions or comments come in from the outside, I'll ask them to signal us and relay them to us.
I'll introduce each of the panelists by name and then I'll ask them to describe their affiliation but in the spirit of Twitter they can do it in no more than 140 characters.
Let's start. Matthew Shears.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: 140 characters? How about CDT? Center for Democracy and Technology.
Thanks, George, for that clarification. Okay, even though I'm affiliated with the center, which is a Civil Society organisation I'm going to actually talk about my time in other stakeholder groups and particularly in the Technical Community as ISOC Director of Public Policy and give you a framework as to how I've seen the role of the Technical Community evolve over the past seven or eight years and even longer.
I came into the Internet Governance space at the prepcom for Tunis, WSIS process, back in 2005. And at that time, ISOC was a much smaller organisation, public policy was decided by effectively myself and Lynn Santimore as we went through the prep and into the Tunis process. We had a very clear, defined role in the negotiations for prepcom and that was very much to represent in a -- I put that in quote marks -- interests, policy interests, of the Technical Community broadly, not specifically but more broadly.
There was at that time some engagement by the Regional Internet registries and others in the WSIS process but very much ISOC was responsible for communicating principles by which they approached Technical Community and issues and there are others from other Technical Community organisations who can correct me if I get any of this wrong but the interesting thing in the process of going from the WSIS into the IGF the deliberations on enhanced cooperation and then evolution of the Technical Communities' involvement in Internet Governance has been quite interesting and we're seeing the culmination of it in the recent Montevideo statement.
Over time we've seen a recognition that Internet Governance is more than just technical matters; it's about capacity building. It's about reaching out to other stakeholders and that became pretty apparent coming out of WSIS when it was clear many governments and stakeholders didn't have a very good understanding what the Technical Community did nor indeed about the Internet more specifically as well.
Part of the process of engaging with those stakeholders was to build that capacity-building component and each about every one of the institutions and organisations actually contributed to that process.
That's seen an evolution over time into the recognition we need to communicate more and educate more and our role is definitely that, but at the same time we really need to reach out more. Outreach started to governments and you saw that in the form of the government round tales, and other initiatives and these were very important initiatives that helped, if you will, expand not only the role of the Technical Community in terms of building out its responsibilities vis-a-vis other players but also the importance of bringing that level of understanding to those other players and to bringing up their understanding of the Internet as a whole.
If you will, it's been a growing -- certainly in my personal sense -- growing realization that while the day-to-day management of the Internet is absolutely within the purview of the Technical Community, there is a bigger responsibility that they have and I believe that they are stepping up to that and taking strides in the right direction and contributing and if anything, recent developments -- code word for you know what -- have pointed to the need to expedite that stepping up and reaching out to other stakeholders and looking at perhaps a more -- looking how the framework and landscape will evolve.
Now I'm with Civil Society so I come from a different perspective and of course our discussions over the past couple days have been quite interesting with regards to other developments like the Brazil Summit but I think we'll get back to that later on. Maybe we can talk about that.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you. Now, (inaudible).
>> ANNE-RACHEL INNE: Thank you, George. I am the COO of AFRINIC, AFRINIC being a number of registries in charge of the Africa region. The role of the Technical Community in Internet Governance, I think to really understand this we have to go back to the very origin of the Internet if we want to take it that way and highlight the fact the Internet movement start profoundly with the Technical Community. Those who make the Internet work. It was a tool for communication, very technical protocol that allow computer to commune among themselves so the Technical Community has played a very central role but this was a very informal way of addressing Internet Governance until the WSIS process where because of this process being in a UN-like, the demarcation of different stakeholders was needed at some point of time but all that has evolved after the WSIS, we continue working, reinforcing the multi-stakeholder approach but every time we talk about Internet Governance the Technical Community is the first community that is highlighted because it's supposed they come into the system with a little bit more knowledge or background of technicality of the Internet.
But today this is not really what we have to aim at anymore because the Internet has evolved a lot, has moved away from technology that was pretty much in the hands of only Technical Community and themselves was -- I was in the panel this morning and mentioning that 20 years ago at the very beginning of the Internet you can fight spam by just picking up your phone and calling the Sys. Admin and telling him he's running open -- and solve the issue. Today that is not possible anymore because the network has grown, interests have become very very diverse.
So while the Technical Communities continue playing a very significant role to make sure the network works, it is stable and continue to work based on the principle of protocol, other actors and stakeholders have joined the overall Internet and it is from us as Technical Community an adjustment but we find the middle road.
So the role of the Technical Community remains kind of central but not only key role in this Internet Governance environment. That's what I would say for now and we will exchange more on this.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Your comments about the Technical Community lead me to think about the size of it and if you were to include everybody in the -- who dealt with the Internet in terms of management, building it, software developers, you probably are in the low millions of people. Probably about 99% of those people simply want the Internet to work and they couldn't care less about Internet Governance as long as it -- as long as the Internet works for them.
>> CHRISTINE ARIDA: Thank you, George.
I'm working for the telecom regulator in Egypt and like Matthew I probably talk about my previous life and I have worked very closely at the beginning of my career with the Technical Community because I have contributed to getting Egypt connected to the Internet. It was like they were saying phone calls to certain people that could get our IP addresses and through the loops from Europe to us. It was easy at the time with just phone calls. Today it a bit difficult.
Talking about the role of the Technical Community, I may want to bring a perspective which is a bit different coming from a region which has maybe less participation in the Technical Community and that is specifically the developing worlds, Arab region, possibly also Africa, if I may say.
I think the Technical Community has done a marvelous job in building the Internet. Now the dynamics are changing because so many people are relying on the Internet by using it and they, like others said, don't care about anything else except that the Internet works for them every day. When something doesn't happen right they just look for the closest person they can talk to, they don't want to go to sophisticated stakeholders, multi-stakeholder or whatever.
I think the Technical Community should work to build the Internet economy like they worked to build the Internet itself and that requires them to continue to do their roles, it's their ongoing work in the operation, proactive work and reactive in mitigating risks, introducing new technologies but they should maybe focus more technical on capacity-building and that's a key issue because like you were saying, George, there are so many people that are technical experts but maybe cannot really be part of the Technical Community because they need capacity-building of how to contribute.
This is part of reaching out to stakeholders, because if you reach out to those technical experts in those parts of the world you can through them reach for the users, through them to policymakers and civil societies in those areas.
I'll stop and maybe continue with the discussion.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you, Christine.
>> AUDREY PLUNK: Good afternoon. I'm Audrey Plunk, Intel, in the Global Policy Division. So just a few thoughts about -- I was asked to speak from a business perspective and as I thought about that and continue to think about these sort of somewhat superficial delineations we have between stakeholder groups. One main point I want to bring up is the business community at least from the ICT sector perspective I would argue is very much also Technical Community and if you think about the -- if I went in Intel and asked the 65,000 engineers who they identify with, they would certainly not say the business community. So from that perspective I think that it's important that we have these separations for the facility of having dialogue and having multi-stakeholderism but from the business community perspective I would argue or at least from our perspective at Intel we're very much if not or more the Technical Community in many ways than anywhere else.
My own personal background is rather different. I spent most time in government at the OACD, I've been at Intel for five years so I don't myself I cannot claim a role in the Technical Community, more policy community but we don't define policy as a community. I'm the business community for now.
If you asked years ago -- to what my colleague Matthew said and what -- said there was a sense the Technical Community was doing technical things and engineers were building things and beyond that there wasn't really a lot of interest in the Technical Community or business community in the broader issues. We now think of as Internet Governance and we're here to talk about at the IGF. But that's changed a lot in the last few years, watched it change internally at Intel, within my peer companies, in the sector, where there is this increasing awareness that hardware and software, in the operable infrastructure being built on a regular basis inside our companies across standards, bodies, implications of that work goes beyond just one proprietary company or standardization effort and that there are much broader policy and geopolitical implications to things that happen as we build technology than maybe perhaps there was five or ten years ago.
I think that's a positive development, more at least with more engineers engaged in my work, I've been coming to IGF since the very beginning. And not just IGFs but other government-related -- from standardization bodies to ISOC, other places.
That's a positive trend, recognition the role of the Technical Community in this case is broader than just building and operating which is extremely important but also in setting policy.
Just a few things I think are primary interests of the business community. First is innovation. Probably goes without saying but without innovation it's not a very interesting for -- to be building things. Standardization, because that's what makes things interoperate and work well together. Technology proliferation or building capacity across borders and places where connectivity is still lacking and then we've moved into the realm of public policy and capacity-building.
As my colleagues already said, as five or six years from the business community in terms of our role in the Technical Community and Global Internet Governance I would say those are where we are focused.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Okay.
>> WILLIAM DRAKE: I'm Bill Drake from the University of Zurich where I teach Internet Governance and am also the Chair of the non-commercial users constituency in ICANN. George and I were talking about this panel half year ago or more and at the time we said, oh well, this is a ripe and juicy topic that should be controversial.
I'm not feeling the controversy! So I'll spice it up a little bit by being controversial. Someone has to do it.
Take it as a given that the Technical Community has done wonderful work, constructed maintained ministers, net and we all benefit. That's all great. So kudos to everybody.
Now let's move on from there.
I would say that Technical Community is sort of ontologically challenged. There is a real question as to who it is, what it really stands for, and how it interacts with other players, and this is becoming more pressing over time. We used to think of the Technical Community as those people with the computer science skills to actually build stuff and operate stuff, whatever. Then sort of expanded the concept into as Internet became institutionalized it became people who run the institutions that operate the Internet, then as those institutions grew to take on Board to players who were not necessarily engineers and computer scientists but were lawyers or Civil Society people or business people. Then it grew to become that. Pretty soon the term had sort of gotten very expansively used.
How many people in this room consider themselves to be in the Technical Community? Could you keep your hands up? Gentleman in the back, are you an engineer?
Are you an engineer?
Woman in the back? Engineer. Good.
He's an engineer.
I know you're an engineer.
What about back there?
Okay. We have all engineers over here, this side. Well, computer scientist. Okay. You are Sam, you're a journalist. But you're a Technical Community. Okay.
Woman in the back? Engineer.
This is a very weird group! Okay, yes. Engineers, these are all pure cases.
You are an engineer, too.
Yet if you just had been in the meeting I was in about an hour ago where we were all gathered together with Fadi Chehadi talking about how the Technical Community would respond to the Brazilian Summit, you would look around the room and there was Civil Society people, business people, government people, they all think they're the Technical Community.
If you are a member of ISOC as I have been since 1995 and they claim 50,000 members or something, how many of them do you think are engineers? If you go to an ICANN meeting you participate in the ICANN process, does that make you a member of the Technical Community? ICANN is full of domainers, Intellectual Property lawyers, full of ISP operators, well, okay, full of government people, are they all the Technical Community, too? On and on. The point is the term has gotten a little bit elastic so then who is really the Technical Community?
When we were at a meeting the other day on Sunday, Lynn St. Amour, head of ISOC said I've come to really hate this term, Technical Community, it boxes us in. I thought, but you guys always use the term "Technical Community" to box other people out! The Technical Community moniker has been used as a source of power to say we're the folks who know how to do this stuff, we're the responsible folks that manage the Internet. You're a bunch of guys trying to cause trouble with your claims for this, that, and the other. So leave it to us, the trusted circle of folks who know how to make this work.
I thought that was kind of funny Lynn was expressing this frustration with a term they have leveraged to great advantage and have worn on their sleeve very proudly for a very long time. But because the term has become more or less elastically used, what you end up with is inner circles and a lot of what goes on in the ICANN world and IGF world and other is very tribal, we talk about silos, but it's beyond silos, it's tribal.
There are networks of people who trust each other and believe that each other can be relied on to say the right thing, hold the right positions, advance the right causes, and then other people who are not so sure where they are coming from. You pull back a bit.
We've got that all over this environment. Between the Technical Community and Civil Society we have very strained relations which is very strange because there are a lot of people in Civil Society who consider themselves to be in the Technical Community and there are people in the Technical Community who consider themselves to be in the Civil Society.
I mean I'm Civil Society, academic, but also constituency Chair in ICANN. Does that make me Technical Community? I don't know. ISOC member but not part of the inner circle of trusted people that should be allowed to make decisions of any import.
So the point is it's a quite interesting social formation. As a political scientist who was raised to think, look at the political configurations and say there's the State, Civil Society and Private Sector, Technical Community is this weird transversal kind of thing. Nobody kind of knows where it fits. UN couldn't figure out where it fit when we did WSIS. Everything had to be organised into the traditional three. We said no, no Technical Community, then it became technical and academic community, completely confusing because then it turned out to be only some academy mix, those who align themselves with the Technical Community. Not academics, Milton Mueller wasn't the Technical Community person or an academic apparently but so it all gets very odd and I think to bring this to something of a close, the fact we just had this meeting, everybody is in a buzz now at this conference about what's actually going on outside the sessions, right, I mean, the sessions are all nice, workshops are nice, main sessions are nice but what is everybody talking about?
The Brazil meeting and how will that work and Brazil and ICANN, et cetera. They are running around having meeting after meeting, powwowing about retelling the story.
And we just had several somewhat contested meetings with the Civil Society people, first trying to figure out whether they wanted to talk to the Technical Community and whether they trusted the Technical Community and whether the Technical Community was trying to take over the Brazilian meeting and would force everybody out and lock us out of the process and/or how could we engage them? Did we have to build our own space in competition, then we got a joint meeting with Fadi where we did a little bridge building and he said, Kumbaya, it's all come together, but this goes on and on and on.
The Technical Community's amorphous boundaries and political allegiances and connections to other stakeholder groupings and perceptions among governments, all through the WSIS I had -- saying who are these people, remains a politically contestable point and something that merits some real conversation.
It's fine to slap the Technical Community on the back for all its contributions in making the Internet work but we need to think about how do we build out the Technical Community in a democratic, transparent way and build better relationships between it and the other players in the Internet Governance.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you, Bill. Lot to work on there.
Let me -- I can't help but respond to some of the things you said because I agree with most of what you said but there are some additional thoughts.
There is a difference between the Technical Community or any community where boundaries are often very loose, they're porous, people go back and forth between being in the community or out in terms of their interests and what they're doing, and stakeholder groups.
Internet Technical Community I think has several million people in it. Maybe 1% are involved in Internet Governance and maybe 1% of the 1% are involved to the point where they come to meetings like this, they participate, they vote with their time and money to be parts of what you have called the core and I think that's rightly so.
Two problems, I think. One is once you take a community with porous and fuzzy boundaries and redefine multiple communities into stakeholder groups you are drawing -- explicitly drawing lines between those communities and the way in which you draw those lines and where you are in the one or more of the communities reflects directly into the influence you have, the representation and power you have. You are now a bloc in a political sense.
Second thing is the mapping of people into either stakeholder groups or even communities is not clear-cut. You have mentioned your various affiliations and I know I have worked for governments, run a consulting firm, I'm in business, government, I've run an NGO, active NGO so I'm Civil Society and I'm technical. Maybe my legs are in the Technical Community and my body is in the Civil Society community, arms are somewhere else. I can't be defined in neat terms. I'm a combination and I can relate more or less in various ways to all those communities so as such, I think it's worth noting that if you are concerned about the contribution of the Technical Community it may be a different contribution than the one of the technical stakeholder group and a different contribution than one could get by talking with individual members of the Technical Community.
There is a fuzziness there and maybe you're right, the concept of community has been so stretched that the elastic no longer is effective and we shouldn't use those words. If so, what's the replacement model? Or is this a concept that's not worth talking about and is no longer controversial?
>> -- (Inaudible) --
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: That's a four-letter word.
That's a long dump of thoughts.
Now we come to the second part of the discussion and first I'd like to ask if there are any members of the panel who feel sufficiently spirited to challenge or agree with or comment on or extend the comments of any other member of the panel.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: I'm always happy to not necessarily challenge but I certainly agree with both Bill and George, also.
Now, in the Civil Society -- and having been with the Technical Community, honestly I think we're done with these stakeholder categorizations, we've had them 10 years we came in through the WSIS, we need to think beyond that.
To borrow from the great work Avery's doing, we need to talk about issue stakeholders. We have an issue we're concerned about, then we're not Technical Community, we're not Civil Society. We're something else. Frankly, that's the way we need to go because I came from Technical Community into Civil Society. But within Civil Society I'm still seen as kind of half in and half out, I haven't earned my Civil Society credentials which is problematical. I'm not invited to business stakeholder meetings and when I'm in the Civil Society stakeholder meetings I'm looked at a little askance. So that's my comment.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you.
>> I like this very much, Matthew, but I think to get there we have gone a long way but we have to really have a level of trust and I think that's very important because the minute we can actually trust each other we can go around one specific issue and have this discussion irrespective what are different views and just wanted to add that.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: We're aiming for a condition which might be called post-stakeholderism or post-multi-stakeholder modeling. Okay.
Next. Anybody else? All right. You in the audience now have --
>> Just reacting to what you just said. Are we combining the multi-stakeholder principle with the notion of community? Because if we are talking about post-multi-stakeholderism, does it mean that by redefining the community or boundary we are removing the participation from different stakes, people who have different stakes in the discussion? That is another extension of this discussion.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you. I sense --
>> I think Matthew said post-stakeholderism and not post-multi-stakeholderism because after everything we've been through the last three days we really should not walk out and start saying things like "post-multi-stakeholderism." I know you didn't, I'm clarifying, I'm covering for you, Matthew, that you did not say post-multi-stakeholderism. Just to be clear.
>> Structural post-Marxist. I quite like post -- academics love terms like this. How about holder? Just be holders? >> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Audience question. I see two hands but also see such a pained look on Avery's face it looks like someone is driving a stake through her and I'm wondering, I'll give you -- who would like to be the microphone carrier here? We have two. Avery and then gentleman there and then there.
>> AVERY DORIA: This is Avery Doria speaking.
Matt was nice enough to mention work I was doing. Basically the notion was that -- and I think of stakeholders -- and thank you for talking about putting a stake through me but I think of stakes as something we do pick up. And basically what I have been talking about is a fluid notion of being a stakeholder and that it is the stakeholder groups that become more flexible within a more developed notion of multi-stakeholderism.
So as we start to think about multi-stakeholder groups, what we're talking about is not three groups that were predetermined by a set of governments without even consulting the rest of the stakeholders but rather that we are all stakeholders, we are participating in multi-stakeholderism but the groupings are something that is flexible, that is fluid, that we are in one, we are in several, we are more dedicated to one at one point in one issue and we're perhaps more dedicated to another at another point in time on another issue.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Lot's go to the far, to my left, far back of the room.
>> This is multi-stakeholder.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: We don't hear anything.
>> PETER LORD: I'm Peter Lord with Oracle. And I think we've had an interesting conversation around identity over the last period of time here. I think that's just an outbreath of increasing diversity and size of the community, whatever label it is; that's a healthy thing, in my mind.
The question, I think, though, for me, is: What are the tools that technologists need to engage with the other aspects of their life which is policy. When we talk about Internet Governance, we often talk about educating policymakers on technology but what about the reverse? What are tools and if panelists could talk about gaps for technologists in engaging in the governance discussion it would be helpful.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you for the question.
Who would like to respond on the panel? Tools for technologists involves in policy-making.
>> WILLIAM DRAKE: If you are asking for tools, that is also a very engineering construction, I don't have a specific tool or methodology. I will say there's a continuing need for engagement and dialogue. I used to in previous life be President of the NGO called Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility which was created by computer scientists who opposed Star Wars in the 19 -- early 1980s. And we had at one point when I left being President I think we had like 1700 paid members in 25 countries. They were mostly computer scientists, technical people who were very political who had come to understand that they have a very deep stake in policy and social justice and questions of privacy and everything else. I think they got that by engaging in dialogue and thinking with the wider world.
So I guess if anything the number one tool is go outside,
breathe some fresh air, get away from the screen, talk to other people. That's normally pretty helpful.
But in terms of specific methodology or set of tools that one can implement, I don't know that I could identify any handy toolkit. There is plenty of great stuff. If Internet Governance is a starting point there is certainly plenty of Internet Governance stuff that should be appealing to a person with technical skills but which also speaks to larger political and social issues and maybe by plowing through some of that material and participating in those groups then links would be clearer and interests would grow and so on.
>> I had two ideas to Peter's question. One is sort of not that great which is that companies should continue to prioritize engagement in these issues and that's always for companies always a little hard to align what is this Internet Governance with what is this business model so you tend to get people like me when you might rather have someone else.
So there's that whole set of issues which is how to make Internet Governance issues relevant to the business side of the business sector and I think that's from a business community perspective an ongoing challenge.
The other thing I think is capacity building which has become there wonderfully cliched thing we should all go do and we are doing it to some great degree but in terms of capacity-building globally that's a really obvious way to engage the Technical Community and some of the -- technical people within your groups, your organisations. In terms of getting them exposed to larger issues beyond the opportunities that Bill mentioned.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: This isn't particular to the Technical Community but about language and priorities and overcoming
each stakeholder group using -- that word is something that can only be broken down when you say okay, we've got a particular challenge or issue we need to resolve, we can't resolve it with one particular group so Technical Community cannot resolve it on their own nor can governments so we need to move to a process where we address challenges, bring stakeholders around the table and say this is how we do it and everybody brings expertise and people learn the language of each other and that's the way we start to cross some of those thresholds.
>> Maybe one issue could be for Technical Community to focus more on how the Internet is used and not how the Internet works because I'll give you an example. I've worked with Arab on internationalized -- and Arabic and one from Technical Community would have been just to use the language script of Arabic and put it in there and have it done but doing that was actually totally irrelevant for people using Internet because there were so many other considerations about the language -- Aryans and the way they use the language that had nothing to do, simply putting that in there. So I think that's one issue. Actually see what the, focus on how people use the Internet and how Internet should be used, not how only it works.
>> What you just said just reinforces what I want to say. It goes on to breaking barrier between the standard, technical aspect and user aspect. To answer the question about the tool or the toolkit I think one critical one is to embrace diversity and embrace -- be ready to understand as Matthew say that people may think differently, may express things differently and have different experiences and perspectives on the same issue and we have to accept that first, different stakeholder must agree people may have different approaches and different perspectives on the same issue and agree to put all those together to address the issue.
Until we work individually as a group of stakeholders to break those barriers and recognize the diversity that is in the Internet today we will not move forward in this. This is -- I'm talking to us as Technical Community.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: You have received an answer from every member of the panel, terrific, except me and I won't bother.
Next person over here. Toward the back.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: Sunil Abraham for the Center for Internet and Society in Bangalore.
Taking the idea of different approaches forward I want to know what are the three ways in which or three most important ways in which the Technical Community and Business Community disagree with each other when it comes to human rights.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Multisectoral question. Let's see. Who would -- the way in which the Technical Community and Business Community differ with respect to their stands on human rights. Okay. There is a challenge. Who would like to respond to that? We all want to think about that a little bit? Could you elaborate just a bit. You've stumped us for the moment. Give us more material to work with.
>> SUNIL ABRAHAM: In India we have constituted a MAC to hold Internet Governance forum in India, we have a strange one that has additional stakeholders; media is considered a stakeholder and youth is considered a stakeholder.
I went to the last meeting and some NGOs said since India has so many farmers we should have farmers as a stakeholder since there are so much fishermen we should have them as stakeholders.
So my test to determine whether a stakeholder is useful at the table is that the stakeholder disagrees with an existing stakeholder. If the stakeholders speak in common voice, if they dance to the same beat, then perhaps the stakeholder is redundant on the discussion table. Thank you.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: On that particular subject, they may agree on certain subjects and disagree on others.
Does that give any member of the panel courage to jump into this?
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: To the point of disagreement, disagreement in multi-stakeholder process is important but I would not necessarily foreclose from a process any particular group. If they have a stake in that discussion no matter what that discussion is, then it should be open to that stakeholder. Just a comment.
>> I agree with Matthew and I would say that while I don't know how to respond with regard to any specific issue between Technical and Business Community I would say that they're still pretty split if you look at Montevideo there was no business input. We were not included in that, it's not something that -- clearly a difference there. I don't know if it's fair enough to call it disagreement but certainly not the same still.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Next. David, is your hand raised? Thank you. Way back corner.
>> It is certainly true.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Identify yourself.
>> David -- (Inaudible) -- it's certainly true that however defines who the stakeholders are, when there's a formal set of who they are, whoever defines who those are and who they fit has some sort of is exerting power over the process consciously or not and we do need to be continuously reviews and refining anywhere where we formally define stakeholders and making them fit into groups. We need to be careful we aren't blocking people out.
I do think we have had an example within ICANN where we really messed this up, right. There was an attempt to form a consumer constituency win the GNSO and lot of reason why it failed was because it didn't neatly fit in the silos and certainly not in the one -- culturally fit in the one where -- probably it should be, so it just didn't happen and we ended up losing some people that could have been engaged in the process.
I think that's a lesson for us about formalizing stakeholders and how it can be a real problem.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Let me respond with a question to you: How sympathetic are you given that comment and also to Mr. Abraham who raised the last point of Avery's model of issue groups as opposed to stakeholder groups?
>> Quite sympathetic to the issue group rather than formal stakeholder constituency sort of model. You need other balances when you ignore -- there are other problems that could ignore from just abandoning the idea of balance between formal stakeholders as well.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Anyone on the panel want to comment. Yes?
>> Well, I think the two or three -- clearly debate about the multi-stakeholderism itself, definition of that. Are we closing ourself into the definition of the UN organisation which has government, Civil Society, and business only or are we talking now about people with different view or different interest in an issue which is something else but I think the debate here today is Technical Community, role in the Internet Governance so if we agree Technical Community doesn't have a very fair boundary and it can embrace a different group of people who interest have interest in the technical running we move to what can we do of those who recognize themselves as part of the community do in the overall context of the Internet Governance. One of them could be capacity-building, how to help other people to understand the way that multi-stakeholder and bottom of process for instance can work because we have practiced that for the past 20 years. How can we take that and move that to other people who are getting in terms of joining the process lately. I think that is one challenge that we have which we should talk about.
>> I think to achieve that, the Technical Community needs to walk the talk, so if we're preaching multi-stakeholder participation, then we actually need to -- like we were discussing, accept challenges that, accept introducing change if needed and if needed but if we do really believe then why challenge it? So open up, reach out to other stakeholders and let that multi-stakeholder -- that would be preaching.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you.
Next from the front row.
>> ELLEN STRICKLAND: I'm Ellen Strickland from Internet New Zealand. This bridges quite nicely with the last comment in that Internet New Zealand is ccTLD but we've devolved that into a subsidiary and are actually non-profit that is for the benefit of the New Zealand Internet Community.
And related to that, I have organised a national IGF which is called Net Hui and I wanted to share the idea of stakeholders, one thing they ask for reports is to give a list of how many people from each stakeholder group came and we can't do that because people who attend bring all their hats on issues and in groups, their day job, themselves as user, parent, as a sister, these sort of things. So I think there is recognition this is very hard.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: There may be general agreement. We are all individually multi-stakeholders in some -- one or another set of proportions.
Next comment. I see no hands. I see a hand. Okay. Suzanne?
>> SUZANNE WOLFE: Yeah, Suzanne Wolfe. I happen to know a lot of folks in here, all over the place here from ICANN. Served as well in several roles, one as a liaison to the Board of Directors from the Advisory Committee, as classic a Technical Community role as ICANN has. But I show up with slightly different experience because I'm part of the Technical Community subset working technologist but I have extensive experience in policy-like roles and activities within ICANN, RERs.
I think I want to pick up on something Matthew said that we turned it to, snickered a little bit about post-multi-stakeholderism but you made an important point about getting past labels and thinking how do we get work done.
When someone like me shows up there is a real -- it would work better for everybody if we stop thinking in terms of what labels fit and what it means or does not mean about what the labels mean about what we can do or what our perspectives are, because for instance I have seen the extensive assumption that being a working technologist means I'm siloed into a high priesthood and also taken to mean I'm siloed into complete ignorance of policy, legal, and business matters and should be separated but in a different way.
I think that's silly. What I'll suggest people think about instead is when anybody shows up, even technologists, think about how to answer the questions: How do you help? Where can this person make a contribution? How do we get something moving?
If there's a comment anybody on the panel wants to make about how I help other people that may come from similar background to mine to show up in a place, IGF or ICANN or any of those circles as a technologist who wants to work with others and understands we have to work together, how do you get past this?
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: That's I think worth looking at stereotypes of people from the Technical Community which you've touched on, Suzanne, and on the one hand you have those of you in the Technical Community will recognize this. The programmer who does nothing except program and you lock him in a room and periodically push raw meat under the door and he pushes code out and that's the way in which they work.
Then the other end there's people who are in the Technical Community but are really very broadly experienced in other fields.
The problem comes with people who think they are broadly familiar in other fields and their opinions outside the Technical Community should be taken as seriously as their technical opinions, but they don't deserve to be. I think what this does is leads to a diminution of trust in technical advice that is given by members of the community.
Anybody else want to comment on this before we call on Michael?
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: I think we may be a bit unfair on the Technical Community. Every single one suffers from the same challenges, so keep that in the back of our mind.
>> I was going to say the same thing. Also note that there's organisations that have developed over the years in order to broadly coordinate these stakeholder groups and it seems they have become more and more removed from the expertise that they're supposedly representing and more and more focused on being representative to the policy environment or governmental environment so you know I guess the question if you actually took this path in the future would be would happens to all these organisations we have built up over time in order to be representative of the stakeholder groups that if you look at issues rather than stakeholders might be less relevant.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: First Michael Gerstein, then the lady in the back row.
>> MICHAEL GERSTEIN: I guess the question I would ask is what limits the Technical Community from seizing the application of the their approach to the multi-stakeholder model and multi-stakeholder decision-making. The background to that is I think through Internet governance issues, the model is being pushed into wider and wider areas of public policy. I think it's moving in wider areas of public policy in other spheres as well but I think certainly in the area that this area is being moved into wider and wider areas of public policy and I wonder if you folks think there's any limits to where it's applicable, and if so, why.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Issue is limits of applicability of advice from the Technical Community in various settings. No? I'm sorry? Did you clarify?
>> MICHAEL GERSTEIN: That's not the question. The question is the limits of the applicability of the multi-stakeholder model. I want that question because we have heard repeatedly over the last few days of the significance of the multi-stakeholder model. Seems its applicability is to many minds limitless and I wonder if you folks think there are limits.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: You missed the earlier discussion about post-multi-stakeholderism, but who would like to talk to that point?
>> WILLIAM DRAKE: I could certainly talk about what some governments would say, for example. I have had the discussion with friends who work in international trade. I was at the WTO's public forum a few weeks ago, gave a talk about Internet Governance and international trade and I was telling them because it was a session on digital trade, and I was telling them about how basically most people who work in IG don't have much knowledge of Internet Governance and don't see the rules pertaining to digital trade that shape e-commerce as a sort of Internet Governance.
In that context we had a whole discussion about how we do things in IG and in trade environment. They were saying well, you could never have multi-stakeholders in trade negotiation because if you had that, you would not -- governments could not engage in the bargaining they have to do, tradeoffs of different sectors against each other in order to reach a deal.
If I'm making a concession about agriculture in exchange for you making an exception about opening banking sector to my firms and I have a multi-stakeholder process, my agricultural firms that will be negatively impacted will be at the table alongside the banking firms that will be positively impacted and we'll be unable to actually do anything because the opposition would never allow for consensus.
In a situation where there's a zero sum bargaining going on, to have a multi-stakeholder consensus based process for them would be nonsensical.
You basically have to have an anti-democratic system in which -- or a system in which at least democracy means elected representatives are then selected who go and do what they think is right for the country as a whole, even if not for your sector.
I suppose the same argument you would get from people who work in security in a lot of cases. People who work on national security issues would say how the hell would we ever make the tough calls and do the figuring out of whose phone to hack.
But a real serious point there, if you were doing security bargaining diplomacy around war and peace or even in our more less perhaps violent directly violent world network security, information security issues again bringing everybody to the table could make certain types of things difficult. I suppose there are fields where at least arguments of people who control the process would be that bringing everybody to the table impedes effectiveness of decision-making. That would certainly be the argument made. I'm not saying I buy that all the time.
>> There are organisations that are intergovernmental that aren't multi-stakeholder by definition, charter and so there's limits within those organisations to the extent they deal with ICT issues and many of them do.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: I think, Michael, you raise a very interesting question but I look at it differently. I look at the reason why we talk about it so much because we really don't know what it is -- we haven't figured out what the practical limits of its application are yet so in that setting we need to give it more time. In the multi-stakeholder principles focus session we had a robust discussion about some of the principles but we had comments and questions about each one of them and I think we're still in the very early stage in terms of figuring out application of this particular model.
So, yeah, there may be practical limits as Bill says but we have some ways to go yet, I think.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Lady in the back row.
>> ASHA WOLF: I'm Asha Wolf, my first IGF -- which aimed to teach people around the world how to use basic cryptography tools. When I came to IGF to register I explained to them I'm a content curator. They said what's that? I said sometimes I always write articles for the guardian. They said you're a journalist. They said you're freelance journalist, then they said, oh, but we will put you down as Civil Society. So I can't get access to the media center.
So in all this sort of setting of agencies what you look is scotion over of how journalism and Civil Society and technology engage together and real sort of limitations placed on people, organisations and things I would have hoped to have accessed here.
My question is basically how do we work around limitations when I guess they don't even understand where things are going to begin with.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you. Anybody wish to comment on that? Anybody? No. Okay.
>> Thank you. Just very quick remark on the notion of multi-stakeholderism. Actually I was not involved in coming up with the term but I believe the merits behind multi-stakeholderism is that we do not exclude anyone who feels he has a stake. So I feel it's more of not excluding anyone than defining exactly who are the stakeholders. Anyone who feels he is a stakeholder, then he is. It's probably -- I cannot tell anyone, you're not a stakeholder.
So is it more of seeing -- I understand this won't solve a problem when we are creating, for example, groups of limited number, then we have to have representation of all stakeholders, but then I, this brings us to what Avery said earlier and this might be flexible and issue-based. Thank you.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Matthew.
>> MATTHEW SHEARS: Yes, I'm going to take a stab at that one and the previous comment as well.
Someone correct me if I get this wrong but one of the limitations particular to your question, one limitation we're working with in this particular context here at the IGF is because it's part of a -- it's a UN -- effectively a UN meeting in a manner of speaking and also because of the stakeholder definitions that were established in the Tunis Agend so how we get around those so you can have access to the media center. I think that's something you'll have to take up with the organizers. No easy solution to that I'm afraid within this framework.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you. Anyone else? In that case, I would like to raise a topic.
>> I'm sorry but I keep coming back to the role of Technical Community in the Global Internet Governance and I think we will not be able to clearly define with exact words who is part of the Technical Community or not because it's obvious the Technical Community today can immerse anyone and multi-stakeholder can be anyone who has a stake but we can say people with interests in the running and stability of the Internet can be considered as part of those who have technical stake in the whole discussion. So what can those who are liable, with that, do to advance the Internet Governance ecosystem globally? Should they stick on to their principal responsibility of stake which is to keep the Internet running so to -- or only for focus on making rourtor packet and making mail work or they have to go beyond that and try to maybe engage more into capacity building more dialogue into advancing overall Internet Governance.
Those are for me critical issues that I would like to hear from the audience. For me particularly from AFRINIC perspective is something we have been working on from the very beginning -- sometimes it's very challenging to explain or to get the community to understand that, that we have to embrace those things so I'm very keen to hear from other people.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: We're engaged in role reversal here. Adil has asked a question. Would anybody in the audience like to respond directly to this? I see someone in a red dress I think in the back row. Martin, does anybody want to respond. You raised the point.
>> Is that fair? Technical Community role extend beyond technical stuff?
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Okay. Now you're ready.
>> Well, of course it does. I'm President of the Internet Society in Australia and engineer of some many years of course it does. We are citizens, too, so therefore we do have just as much right to overviews in policy debate. That's the whole crux of being a participatory system.
I'd like to go to a topic if I may neatly segue on to a area where perhaps we have all not been able to work well enough together. That is in the area of surveillance lawful intercept and metadata so we have a situation today where there is no technical standard that defines metadata. We have rampant requests from various agencies asking for metadata, yet those of us in the room who are good technologists know the only way I can give you that is to turn logging on on my servers, routers, and generate vast quantities of data with all sorts of fun and games available for all and sundry.
So we've perhaps not worked sufficiently well with the non-Technical Community to come up with appropriate principles and practices to make this work effectively.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Comments from the panel.
>> Anybody else ever serve on the Raven Group. That was an excrement fart!
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: There's someone who has been lost in the queue here and I'll come back and then come to you, Martin, but, Kathy, you want to respond to that.
>> More about Adil.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Take your comment and then go to the person -- and then to Martin.
>> KATHY AARON: Kathy Aaron. I'm painted with a broad brush of Technical Community because I work for Regional Internet Registry; however I'm a bona fide geek, policy wonk, okay. You don't want to come to me with really tough questions about how to allocate or how anything runs. They've taught me enough to not get lost.
You have talked about policy and what the role is but I ask you: What kind of policy? Are you talking about policies that are in the Internet. RAR community? Policies here for ccTLDs, GNSO? If we are getting into the quagmire we might as well go with both feet.
>> I think there's a level of maturity for a specific Technical Community to be able to engage in policies. Obviously the engagement cannot be avoided. That's specifically what is needed in a multi-stakeholder environment but thinking about technical experts I don't want to say community but experts back from the place where I come from they rarely engage in policies. And we've had this experience maybe with AFRINIC, they rarely engage in policies of allocation. Although they are heavy users, maybe the biggest they rarely engage and this is the type of capacity building that is needed to those Technical Communities that are outside of the normal Internet Governance Technical Community members.
>> First aspect is extending capacity building on policy to those who are not directly linked to what we do which is resources, developer who develop application online must know much about how -- are located to understand impact of that on what he does, which is something that doesn't come -- obvious at the beginning because you know so that capacity building has to go beyond the immediate community. If we extend that then to all the policy aspects maybe what to look at is are we engaging ourselves in policy that is generic or even if it is policy that has link back to what we do, and as RAR we are seeing more and more what we do is rampant to every corner of the Internet. Anyone connect today or tomorrow will be using IP address somewhere. So inevitably our responsibility is scope is growing. Probably for us to see how we define clearly that link and stay consistent in the way we work on the link with all the cross-policy issue.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Big responsibility. I'm embarrassed now to tell you I forgot whose hand was raised. I think somewhere here, wasn't you Martin.
>> Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for remembering me.
I have a very simple and straightforward question. Sorry, I'm -- from South Korea and work for research Institute called ETRY. I'd like to know how technical standardization activities can resolve this long Internet Governance discussion. Thank you.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Simple question. Who would like to answer it? No. I'm not sure they can. That would be my answer. Over here. Anyone?
>> I think I can add to the question, George.
>> Good. Go ahead, Martin.
>> First, it's very clear that -- asked the question that -- of course how could you lean back and leave it to the politicians and say it's their fault if it doesn't work if you didn't contribute or at least try to contribute? I think that fact is clear. It's next to caring about your own business, make sure your interests are heard. It's also step up to the plate and contribute and I think this is what has been done and I really want to hammer that home from a non-technical perspective, I'm not an engineer, I dare say that in this room!
Second thing -- brought up is I think excellent example. Whole surveillance question, all policy debate about it. How could you do that without understanding the technology? How could you do it without understanding how transference or circuits or we can make things -- how things stick together so actually what you can do from policy perspective is very dependent on technology available.
>> I was in the queue. Go ahead. Just making sure George didn't forget me.
>> Comment on the standards piece, I don't know whether standards alone can provide resolution, probably not because they're political and policy dimensions but I would say that the standardization community and standards bodies have really important role to play and as we move through time and various controversies and governments continue to try to develop public policy around governance but also issues around security and privacy we are always at risk of dividing standards community in such way that it becomes an effective from a global governance perspective and that seems from business perspective and I assume to some degree from technical that's a huge risk and one that presents one of the most fundamental concerns about why we engage at the policy and political level because it has ends up having direct implications in standardization. From a technologist that process is absolutely fundamental to building and operating infrastructure so I think we all should be very cognizant and concerned about maintaining the neutrality of the openness, multi-stakeholder, whatever, of standardization bodies, global nature of them, to try to discourage the bifurcation of national standards away from global standards which has become a huge trend over time and to make sure those processes that have been -- contributed to development of the Internet continue to contribute to the future. That's an area where there's a lot of danger and not clear how that will come out over time but absolutely fundamental.
>> GEORGE SADOWSKY: Thank you. Suzanne.
>> Go ahead.
>> Just -- George is going to love me because I'll refer back to a discussion in an earlier workshop he ran today on core Internet values and we actually had an interesting discussion there. Whole point of the core Internet values -- Dynamic Coalition, whole point is to identify as a technical matter but more than technical matter what features of the way the Internet worked are so important that if you compromise them you can't keep building and enhancing the Int