[At-Large] [governance] Wikileaks releases Penultimate NetMundial Outcome Document

Garth Graham garth.graham at telus.net
Wed Apr 9 18:08:07 UTC 2014

There are two key words used in this draft document that are mutually exclusive but not acknowledged as such - "universal" and "distributed."  Universal is mechanistic and comes from the world of management control, where systems are closed and rules are imposed on them from outside.  It reflects a conventional belief that the future can and should be rendered more predictable.  Distributed describes a functional principle of complex adaptive systems, i.e. the world of ecosystems, where systems are open and rules emerge from internal relationships.  The future of such systems cannot be known from their initial conditions.  These two words represent structural principles of governance that are incompatible.  I have always believed that the existence of the Internet was a symptom of the distributed systems worldview in action.

To effectively increase the resilience of the Internet Governance Ecosystem, it is not enough to reference open systems.  The processes of rules formation and future anticipation should be trending towards that word distributed and its internal relational implications.   It seems to me that this document does not fully take the implications of distributed open systems to heart.  The evidence of an intention to cling to the universal is the call that:

> All the organizations, forums and processes of the Internet Governance ecosystem are expected to commit to implementing, as well as explicitly adhere, to all the principles agreed in NETmundial.

To make such a commitment would be to accept that there are universal principles external to the Internet Governance ecosystem that govern what it can do and that can render its future more predictable.  That pushes us towards some global centralizing mechanism.  It's also bad systems theory.  For example, if we defined the global in distributed terms as a "federation of locals," <http://cirn.wikispaces.com/CI+Declaration+-+Principle+8+Discussion> rather than as a universalizing principle, we insure that what we commit to is a process where the rules structuring relational interdependencies evolve within from common practice.


On 2014-04-08, at 8:56 AM, Pranesh Prakash wrote:

> PDF link: http://goo.gl/z5bFXm
> https://wikileaks.org/netmundial-outcome/
> NETmundial Executive Stakeholder Committee (EMC) Outcome Document
> Tuesday 8 April 2014, 15:30 GMT
> Today WikiLeaks released the penultimate draft agreement ("Outcome Document") going into NETmundial 2014 - the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance. NETmundial is an international conference of twelve nations and other internet stakeholders, to be hosted in São Paulo, Brazil, April 23-24, convened to lay down a roadmap for internet governance. It is co-hosted by the twelve goverments of Argentina, Brazil, France, Ghana, Germany, India, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey and the United States of America. The document was prepared by the NETmundial Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC) from the 180 NETmundial submissions and has been submitted to the High Level Multistakeholder Committee (HLMC) for final comment. The HLMC comprises ministerial level representation from the twelve co-hosting nations and is due to give its feedback tomorrow, on April 9.
> Outcome Document
> ----------------
> This document has been created by the Executive Multistakeholder Committee (EMC) and is submitted to the High-Level Multistakeholder Committee (HLMC).
> Last Updated: April 3rd, 2014

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