[At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Mon Jan 3 14:55:49 UTC 2022

Dear Wolfgang

The problem is that you provide sophisticated theories, which is
normally a good thing, but you never respond to questions in the spirit
of good theorists as well as that of deliberative democracy. This makes
me wonder what to make of your theories, especially when the questions I
ask are not abstract but directly related to your own actions and words
at different times -- which seem to very conveniently be different for
very similar situations, which is never good for a theorist.

But I will persist, and ask again. Hope you answer them this time.
Please see below:

On 03/01/22 4:39 pm, Wolfgang Kleinwächter wrote:
> 1+ to Olivier:
> There is no "ism". It is better to use language like "the
> multistakeholder approach". The original concept came from the WSIS 1
> (2003) when two conflicting proposals for a "one stakeholder approach"
> (leadership) for the governing of the Internet were on the table:

I understand that in your country, Germany, it is the government which
sets and enforces all Internet/ digital policies, as it does in all
other areas (in howsoever a consultative manner, which btw is the realm
of participatory democracy and not MSism which is a direct
post-democratic political capture). have you called out this problematic
"one stakeholder approach" in your country? If not, why so... Do you
believe that Germany should make its Internet/ digital policies with
equal right to corporations as with the government?

> Governments (China) vs. Private Sector (US). The wisdom of the WGIG
> was to recognize that the Internet does not need a "leader", but the
> involvement of /*all* /related stakeholders (in their respective roles).

Is Germany's Internet governance 'the respective roles' thing or "one
stakeholder approach"? I will appreciate clear and direct responses .
Because one wants to really know what things conveniently elastic
concepts are meant to mean. So, please, as a good theorist, when you use
concepts, define them, and if possible also illustrate, including with
counter examples.

Meanwhile, I asked in another email, why, for instance, trade unions (or
women and farmers) are not stakeholders, as in UN systems and in OECD
(trade unions), and we have this industry-serving foursome formula as
the mantra in IG? Who decides who the relevant stakeholders are?

> The working definition, which made its way "1to1" into the Tunis
> Agenda, included also the concept of "sharing". The working definition
> was presented as an invitation for further conceptual clarification.

Yes, are you happy to do a meeting on such conceptual clarification -- I
have been asking for it for at least 15 years.. Including above, as you
will see, which I am almost sure -- from long experience -- that you
will not engage with.

> Unfortunately, after 2005 the WGIG concept was pulled into a senseless
> power struggle between "isms": Multilateralism vs.
> Multistakeholderism. This conflict was nonsense from the very first day.

Ah! Nonsense! Right .. the MSists made it nonsense.. Developing
countries and groups like ours supported IGF formation at WSIS when
developed countries, and ISOC and ICANN were firmly opposed to it.
Others including in civil society were happy with a capacity building
role for IGF, which we firmly opposed and sought a policy dialogue role.

Including at the UN WG on IGF Improvements, developing countries and
organizations like ours gave detailed proposals to further genuine
multistakeholder participation (with very good safeguards too) -- which
you as a member of the group joined developed countries, tech community
and business to firmly oppose, whereby those could not be adopted. Find
enclosed the 'India proposal' in this regard, which I helped develop.
May I question why you did you not support this effort to strengthen
multistakeholder systems, and rejected it out of hand, did not even
negotiate with it. We had, through some hard work, got almost all
developing countries behind this proposal.

Now, I come to how these ideas, terms, etc, become nonsensical, and your
contribution to it.

First: I have often asked you this, and wont stop asking. How OECD's
Committee for Digital Economy Policies -- which is where globally the
most digital policy development work currently takes place  (and wonder
of wonders, none talks about -- they recently adopted a legal instrument
on AI governance, and are now forcing it on the whole world) -- with its
intergov decision making with stakeholder advisory committees, and
similar digital policy making systems of CoE, are considered as
multistakeholder? IISOC has officially called them that, and you
yourself participate in them -----

But when IBSA or India proposes the EXACT same governance model --
deliberately a cut-paste from OECD, the whole IG world erupts in disgust
over 'imposition' of multilateral-ism and governmental control over the
Internet, including yourself. In fact when the same model was proposed
by developing countries -- i have that proposal too -- at the WG for
enhanced cooperation too,  you rejected it in my presence as
anti-multistakeholderist -- joining with developing countries, business
and ISOC in doing so?

It is all this that made these ideas and concepts nonsensical -- the way
they were blatantly used and abused to further the incumbent power of US
and its allies, and their corporations.... You are right there, in
bearing the responsibility, for such nonsensical-isation of these
otherwise worthy ideas and concepts .. Which now you rue ..

And more recently, bringing back precisely the kind of things you
rejected at the IGF improvement WG through the backdoor of MAG based IGF
'evolution' and now the digital cooperation thing (led by that great
monopolist Bill Gates, sorry his then wife, and Jack Ma, who now is
almost in hiding from regulatory crackdown), but shorn of the safeguards
we have kept in our IGF WG proposal to contain abuse by corporatist
power ... (happy to discuss the differences)

But maybe you have responses, and can show that all what I say simply
did not happen... eager to hear that..

With best personal wises, and a very happy new year, parminder

> The Multilateral (Intergovernmental) treaty system will not disappear
> or can not be substituted by multistakeholder arrangements, but it is
> embedded in a "multistakeholder environment". If governments ignore,
> what civil society, business or the technical community has to say, it
> won´t work. On the other hand: Non-State actors can not substitute
> governments. But there are possibilities for additional
> multistakeholder arrangements which are based on voluntary commitments
> (RFCs are a good example). The multistakeholder approach is a process,
> a "round table" discussion where wisdom emerges from an open and
> inclusive debate bottom up. It is an exersize of free and frank
> discussion where listening is sometimes more important than shouting.
> This goes far beyond "formal consultations" (as parliamentary hearings).
> This is indeed a new (political) culture which needs further
> conceptual and procedural clarifications. The NetMundial Statement
> (2014) delivered some criteria which allow a certain "measurement" for
> the quality of a multistakeholder process. There is no "one size fits
> all" multistakeholder model. How the relationship among the
> stakeholders in policy development and decision making is proceduraly
> organized, depends to a high degree from the nature of the subject.
> Cybersecurity needs a different governance model than digital trade or
> the protection of individual human rights as freedom of expression or
> privacy in the digital age.The IGF+ process (including the drafting of
> the proposed Global Digital Compact) offers an opportunity, to take
> the next conceptual steps. Openess, transparency, bottom up,
> inclusion, human rights based are good guidelines, but needs further
> clarification. And it needs procedures, how to move from A to B. Ther
> procedure which was developed within ICANN how the ICANN Board should
> deal with GAC advice is a good source of inspiration, how stakeholders
> can enhance their communication, coordination and collaboration within
> a multistakeholder process to produce tangible results. It is
> "stumbing forward" into unchartered territory.  
> The WGIG definition differentiated also between the */development/
> *and the /*use* /of the Internet, that is the Governance /*of* /the
> Internet and Governance /*on*/ the Internet. Governance of the
> Internet is described today as "Technical Internet Governance" (TIC),
> that is the management of a "neutral technical ressource" in the
> public interest of the global community. Such ressources are like
> "air". There is no American or Chinese air, there is clean air or
> polluted air. This risk in today´s geo-strategic armtwisting is, that
> those ressources are pulled into political conflicts with the risk to
> "pollute the air" (see the Russian proposal in the ITU-CWG-Internet).
> Wolfgang
> Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond via At-Large
> <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> hat am 03.01.2022 03:16 geschrieben:
>> I have real issues taking seriously people who refer to
>> "multistakeholderism" as an "...ism" like communism, fascism,
>> totalitarianism, capitalism, Buddhism, Catholicism.... There really
>> is not such a thing a "multistakeholderism" but perhaps
>> multistakeholder systems of governance. Lehto's criticism assumes
>> that there is a single type of multistakeholder model out there and
>> there really is not. Multistakeholder basically means that a variety
>> of multiple stakeholder sit at the decision and discussion table, so
>> how can one criticise it as if it was some form of established
>> "system" by the elites, the cabal, the illuminati? Whatever? Or
>> should we get back to absolute monarchy? :-)
>> Olivier
>> On 03/01/2022 01:35, Barry Shein via At-Large wrote:
>>> The following, in a Criticism section, was removed from the
>>> wikipedia's page on "Multistakeholder governance":
>>>   Criticism of multistakeholderism comes from Paul R. Lehto,
>>>   J.D.{{Citation needed|date=March 2014}}, who fears that in
>>>   multistakeholderism, those who would be lobbyists become
>>>   legislators, and nobody else has a vote. Lehto states that "In a
>>>   democracy, it is a scandal when lobbyists have so much influence
>>>   that they write the drafts of laws. But in multistakeholder
>>>   situations they take that scandal to a whole new level: those who
>>>   would be lobbyists in a democracy (corporations, experts, civil
>>>   society) become the legislators themselves, and dispense with all
>>>   public elections and not only write the laws but pass them, enforce
>>>   them, and in some cases even set up courts of arbitration that are
>>>   usually conditioned on waiving the right to go to the court system
>>>   set up by democracies. A vote is just a minimum requirement of
>>>   justice. Without a vote, law is just force inflicted by the wealthy
>>>   and powerful. Multistakeholderism is a coup d’etat against democracy
>>>   by those who would merely be lobbyists in a democratic system."
>>>   https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Multistakeholder_governance&diff=768793583&oldid=750897618
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