[ccwg-internet-governance] Fwd: [discuss] ICC BASIS letter to NMI

Greg Shatan gregshatanipc at gmail.com
Wed Dec 3 16:48:23 UTC 2014


The letter below from ICC BASIS to the Netmundial Initiative Transitional
Committee should be of considerable interest to our Working Group.

Greg Shatan

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: WEISE Constance <constance.weise at iccwbo.org>
Date: Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 11:06 AM
Subject: [discuss] ICC BASIS letter to NMI
To: "discuss at 1net.org" <discuss at 1net.org>

 Please see below the letter from ICC BASIS that was sent to the NETmundial
Initiative Transitional Committee, accessible at:


We are looking forward to the responses to these questions and hope that
they might be shared widely with the community of stakeholders.


NETmundial Initiative Transitional Committee:

Virgilio Augusto Fernandes Almeida

Secretary for Information Technology Policy for the Ministry of Science,
Technology and Innovation of Brazil

Fadi Chehadé

President And Chief Executive Officer Of ICANN

Richard Samans

Managing Director and Member of the Managing Board, World Economic Forum

28 November 2014

ICC BASIS writes in response to the NETmundial Initiative (NMI)
announcement on 6 November 2014. NMI, ICC BASIS members agree with the
conveners of the NETMundial Initiative (NMI) that there is a need to work
together in a collaborative fashion toward developing solutions for
pressing Internet Governance issues. However, ICC BASIS has concerns as to
how this relatively new initiative will feed into already existing efforts.

To begin, we feel strongly that the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is the
appropriate forum for the exchange ideas and information, which in turn
raises awareness and drives toward consensus and progress on Internet
Governance issues.  The bottom-up process for planning, executing, and
participating in the IGF reflects the core tenets of the multistakeholder
model. There has also been significant commentary online, including by some
of the Internet governance (IG) community’s most respected organizations
such as the Internet Society (ISOC), regarding the inconsistencies between
NMI’s processes and those that are generally regarded as important for a
multistakeholder, bottom-up, decentralized, open, transparent, and
accountable selection and discussion format ICC BASIS agrees with many of
the views expressed.

Based on the information available to date ICC BASIS members oppose the NMI
as established, conceived, and structured. The process that has led to the
establishment and structure of the NMI was not multistakeholder in that the
creation and scope of the NMI appears to be largely conceived through
closed conversations with only a few stakeholders present. Our members also
have serious concerns with the lack of clarity regarding the rules of
procedure for the actual work of the NMI.  With this in mind, ICC BASIS
shares the views of ISOC and other stakeholders and cannot endorse the NMI
resulting from this process of formation or current form and structure.

Having said that ICC BASIS members understand that there is a pressing need
to address real concerns related to global Internet governance and as such
we continue to discuss how best to advance the continued effectiveness of
the IGF and other Internet governance organizations more broadly.

In order to ascertain whether NMI could be a forum that addresses such
concerns, we have read through the FAQs, which NMI recently posted
online.  After
doing so, we continue to have questions and requests for
clarification.  Therefore,
we seek answers to the questions below and call for more time to be allowed
for such questions to be explored and any subsequent follow up that the
responses may require.

*Formation and Governance*

1.    How long is the NMI expected to last?

2.    NMI decided to pre-allocate five seats on the Coordination Council
(CC), one each to the Brazilian Internet Steering committee (CGI.br), World
Economic Forum (WEF), Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN), IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), and I* Organizations.

(i)    What was the process that led to this decision and was there any
discussion or consultation more broadly in this regard?

(ii)   Are these seats expected to be permanent, or subject to rotation,
and what is the process / duration thereof?

(iii)  Will their roles or obligations be different from the rest of the 20
members on the proposed CC?

3.    The pre-conditions for being nominated to the NMI CC include,
“embrace the NETmundial Principles” and, “sign your name as a public
advocate of NETmundial Principles.” However, the NETmundial Principles are
a set of “non-binding statements” that, in spite of being well regarded,
may or may not be acceptable to individuals, organizations, or governments
in their entirety, or in part.  Furthermore, both government and industry
stakeholders may be limited in their ability to sign on to such documents
because of the legal approval processes in their organizations.

(i)    Does the pre-condition mean that those who either do not agree with
the Principles, or agree with them only partially, will not be allowed to
participate in the NETmundial Initiative?

(ii)   What if such organizations or governments have a significant role to
play in meeting NMI’s stated objectives? Will they be prohibited from

4.    Each member of the business community represents an entire business
organization - in some cases publicly held companies. In such cases, if the
CC selection criteria, which state, “if representing an organization, the
nominee must confirm that their organization will officially embrace the
NETmundial Principles”, is to be met, it could have serious, legal and
wide-ranging implications on the nominee and their organization. Further,
this is at odds with the “non-binding” character of NETmundial
Principles.  Practically
speaking, such a pre-condition could render business membership out of
reckoning as a CC nominee. This could also be true for governments as well
as other stakeholders.

(i)    Has such a consequence been anticipated? What is NMI’s response to
this issue, which has severe implications on nominees from the private
sector, and by consequence, the constitution of a multistakeholder CC?

5.    The nomination process is unclear. If the intent is to have broad
representation of stakeholder interests, then one would assume a similar
process of self-organization that happened in the lead-up to NETmundial
would be utilized.

(i)    How is this self-nomination process going to provide any assurance
of breadth of representation in terms of the broad communities’ interest
beyond the viewpoints of five individuals?


6.    If NMI is be a true multistakeholder initiative, it seems
counterintuitive that many topics related to the range of possible outcomes
and issues to be discussed have been decided without any credible
multistakeholder consultation.

(i)    Should what has been suggested so far merely be considered a draft

(ii)   Can NMI clarify the source and nature of the inputs?

7.    One of the objectives defined under NMI relates to “crowdsourcing of
enablers and solutions from the global community.” While this certainly
seems like an innovative idea, there are serious constraints on
stakeholders such as the private sector, and to a large extent,
governments, who are only allowed to submit “approved positions”, which in
turn require substantive time and internal approval processes. This would
leave the private sector as well as other stakeholders at a serious
disadvantage to engage meaningfully in NMI.

(i)    How does NMI plan to address the different pace and processes
followed amongst multistakeholder groups, when requiring formal submissions?

8.    The second NMI objective requires “crowd-funding to finance/support
the development and implementation of such enablers and solutions.” Again,
some of the stakeholders, especially the private sector and likely some
governments, are not allowed to engage in “fundraising” or “crowd-funding”
activities as a part of their corporate discipline, ethics, or terms of

(i)    How would all stakeholders participate meaningfully in this

9.    Even though the NETmundial Principles were framed as a “non-binding
outcome”, the NETmundial list of potential “solutions” includes,
“regulations, directives, contracts and/or other agreements”.

(i)    How does NMI plan to reconcile the contradiction that arises between
the basic “non-binding” characteristic of the NETmundial Principles and the
range of solutions articulated by the NMI?

10.  The NMI has pre-identified “issues ranging from cyber security to user
privacy” as those which need to be addressed “urgently”.  Other issues,
including providing access to the remaining four billion citizens – have
also been identified as issues that need to be addressed under the
NETmundial Principles and in other forums where Internet governance is

(i)    What consultation has occurred to reach a conclusion on priorities?

11.  Assuming that a set of issues were identified that require further
attention, it is entirely possible that the organizers decide which issues
CC members will bring different views on the mechanisms to address
respective issues.

(i)    How would these issues be reconciled within the NMI procedure?

(ii)   Will the decision of the 25 Council members be final, or will
observers be allowed to intervene in the discussions?

(iii)  How will decisions be reached – by vote, by consensus?

12.  Amongst the “solutions” listed on the NMI website, some, such as
“regulations”, etc., will require buy-in by governments and international
forums for implementation.

(i)    How will the 25 CC members ensure such implementation?

(ii)   What will be the source for funding such an effort, and how will
such an effort become self-sustaining?

*Relationship to other organizations and initiatives*

13.  The United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for
Development (CSTD) Working Group on Enhanced Cooperation, 43 Working Group
members consisting of governments, international organizations, civil
society, private sector, and technical community, under the Chairmanship of
Mr. Peter Major, has been working to map Internet governance issues and
matching mechanisms. It seems the NMI expects to do much of the same.

14.  How would the NMI work differ from the CSTD effort and avoid
duplication? The existing Internet Governance ecosystem includes specific
organizations and forums including ISOC, IETF, the IAB, ICANN, IGF, the
WSIS process and more.

(i)    How will the NMI work with other organizations that are actively
considering the Internet governance issues?

(ii)   Will formal relationships be established to coordinate and leverage
the different work initiatives, or is it assumed that those with seats on
the CC will also be responsible for this coordination?

15.  The NETmundial Outcome Statement recognized the need for strengthening
the IGF and noted the recommendations of the CSTD working group on IGF

(i)    How will NMI contribute to accelerating implementation of the
recommended IGF improvements?

(ii)   Does CGI.br’s role as one of the five pre-identified CC members
result from the fact that Brazil hosted the NETmundial conference or is it
because they are hosting the next IGF in November 2015?

(iii)  Would the host for IGF 2016 be replacing CGI.br next year as has
been stated by Mr Virgilio Almeida in his video message on the NMI website?

(iv) Is singling out one of UN’s 195 member states acceptable to other

Answers to the above questions are required in order for ICC BASIS and
other stakeholders to have a fulsome debate on NMI. As such, we think it is
essential to extend the debate into 2015 so as to give the business
community as well as other stakeholders the time necessary to determine
possible next steps.

ICC BASIS believes that at its very core, the Internet must remain a
decentralized and distributed system that allows multistakeholder groups to
participate meaningfully in the identification and resolution of issues by
leveraging their respective expertise. This multistakeholder engagement
ensures an ecosystem that invites and facilitates stakeholders’
participation, through publicly defined, transparent, and collaborative
initiatives, to advance the capability of the Internet to empower people,
including those who currently remain unconnected to the Internet. Business
remains firmly committed to supporting the role of the IGF and improving
current mechanisms within its mandate and current organizing principles –
namely as a body that fosters exchanges that lead to solutions and helps to
reach consensus, as opposed to a negotiating body where participants’
energy is diverted from capacity and consensus-building to drafting
negotiated outcomes.

ICC BASIS is concerned about the business community’s ability to
participate meaningfully in any initiative which has pre-defined criteria
for nomination and objectives as outputs. We are also concerned about the
NMI’s ability to pursue its objectives in the face of such pre-conditions
and objections from essential stakeholders. There is an absolute need for
greater clarity and meaningful transparency in decision-making processes
and criteria; proposed objectives and means of accomplishing them; and
anticipated relationships with existing bodies like the IGF.  We seek your
prompt response to the issues above and will come back for any further
clarifications that might arise, as we continue the discussion within our


Joe Alhadeff

Chair, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Commission on the Digital
Economy and Representative of ICC BASIS

discuss mailing list
discuss at 1net.org
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