[At-Large] [Internet Policy] Fwd: [WG-Strategy] Seeking roll back of the IGF Leadership Panel

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Fri Nov 26 11:52:01 UTC 2021

I have neither the time nor patience for an extended back-and-forth.

On Thu, 25 Nov 2021 at 23:17, parminder via InternetPolicy <
internetpolicy at elists.isoc.org> wrote:

> Evan considers the IGF to a bubble removed from world's reality, something
> which has entirely failed. It is so dead or nearly so, that Even is happy
> if it can be given a last squeeze, everything being otherwise so dismal,
> that something good may come out.
One is welcome to read into my comments, sentiments and motivations that
don't exist; I can't stop that. But the above is not what I said.

My core point is simple; rejection of the LP proposal, without offering an
alternative path to reform, is rightfully begging to be ignored.

I am not advocating for the LP, indeed from cursory glance it does appear
like an express path to ICANN-style industry capture. But I am asserting
that the status quo has become unacceptable to all outside the talk-shop
bubble, and refusing to acknowledge (let alone making a proposal to
address) this is guaranteed to lead to undesired outcomes. Worse than a
blown opportunity, it is a thoroughly avoidable own-goal.

If the response to this PoV is that it

> does not deserve any serious consideration among people who concern
> themselves with long term nature and implications of governance institutions
... well, good luck with that level of condescension. Maybe this explains
why consensus is so undesirable within the IGF status quo.

Yes, there is desperation to be sure. The current state of IG is leading to
a visible deterioration of global society before our eyes; meanwhile the
elites (very much including civil society elites) have shirked their
responsibility to the public interest, because actual outputs are too messy
and might actually demand compromise and diplomacy. Into this vacuum we
will see authoritarians and populists step forward, while the IGF just
keeps on talking. Cue the UNSG and its leadership folks. This is your fault.

> He is completely wrong that in indicated that we as letter writers have
> any intention to perpetuate the status quo, live off it, etc, which I think
> he need to know more about how much we fight the status quo every day,
> including the IGFs. He is also wrong that no alternatives are offered; we
> so regularly offer them, and we were also one of the most active members of
> the CSTD WG on IGF improvements.
As yes, the venerable IG Working Group, the gold standard of bikeshedding.
Discussing what colour to paint the doors while the house burns down.
That's not fighting the status quo, that's being an agent for it.

The reality is that the IGF, as a component of IG infrastructure, has next
to nothing to offer society given a nearly two-decade existence.
Something's got to change. If not the UNSG's path, then what?

- Evan
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