[ccwg-internet-governance] Fwd: Re: [Internetgovtech] Discussion of principles for governance

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Tue Feb 11 15:22:17 UTC 2014

Dear colleagues,

one of the tasks given to all in our WG was to get definitions of words
such as "ICANN" etc. on the table for discussion, so as to be able to
present those to the Brazil meeting.

Please be so kind to have a look at the two very incomplete seed
documents which contain tables of tasks and of goals and objectives?
Please comment.

I am member of another WG that's IETF related and came across an
excellent contribution from John Curran - a contribution I have
reproduced with permission below. In my opinion, John's description of
IETF principles is pretty good. Can we produce ICANN principles, or
better still principles of operation of our various SOs/ACs/SGs?

Kind regards,


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [Internetgovtech] Discussion of principles for governance
Date: 	Sun, 9 Feb 2014 15:11:36 -0500
From: 	John Curran <jcurran at istaff.org>
To: 	Eliot Lear <lear at cisco.com>
CC: 	internetgovtech at iab.org <internetgovtech at iab.org>

> On Feb 6, 2014, at 6:55 AM, Eliot Lear <lear at cisco.com> wrote:
> In the area of Internet governance what are the important principles you
> believe in?  

Following Dave's admonition, I'm going to try to answer Eliot's original 
question (at a macro-level) by first considering the overall principles 
applicable to IETF efforts which might have "governance" implications.
At this level, I'm treating the IETF singular entity but clearly there
is some equally important discussion about how these principles affect 
various aspects of the IETF itself (e.g. what falls to the IAB vs IESG, 
IASA, IAOC, plenary, etc.)  Also, I've spent probably more time on the
protocol/registry foundational aspects then needed, but getting some
agreement on these underlying assumptions may prove necessary for a 
shared view of the IETF's role in the Internet ecosystem, particularly
when it comes to likely governmental interactions.

So, here's a rough draft of basic principles behind for IETF work, and 
some of the corollaries which might intersection traditional governance. 
(these are obviously just my own views, free to ignore or express your 
own set and therefore different corollaries) - 

1) The IETF develops Internet protocol standards to facilitate global
   communications among the voluntary users of these protocols -

   1a) Users of these protocols include both the vendors who implement 
       them and the customers who use these implementations 

   1b) These standards have specifications (as elaborated in the RFC 
       series) and interoperability is facilitated by implementation 
       and usage in conformance with the specifications

   1c) Specifications should be made widely and freely available to
       the extent possible, to encourage usage in conformance with the

2) Some protocols include specification of parameter fields which can
   take on a range of values; these ranges are referred to registries.
   Interoperability is facilitated having commonly agreed values in 
   each protocol parameter registry - 

   2a) Just as with the specifications themselves, the users of these 
       registries include both the vendors who implement protocols and 
       the customers who use the implementations.

   2b) Interoperability is facilitated by having registries implemented
       and used in conformance with the protocol specifications.

   2c) Access to registries should be widely and freely available to 
       the extent possible, to encourage protocol usage in conformance 
       with the specifications.

   2d) Some protocol parameters are "general use", and registry values
       assigned upon request to specific parties in accordance with the 
       registry policy.  Such assignments are generally unique in nature, 
       i.e. only one party is associated with each general-purpose 
       registry entry.
   2e) Coordination (or automation) is necessary to provide uniqueness 
       of assignments in each registry, but it is particularly important
       in the general purpose registries given the large number of 
       assignments involved.  Several of the general purpose registries 
       (DNS, IPv4, IPv6, ASNs) have been delegated to parties external 
       to the IETF which are believed to be reasonably representative 
       of the communities dependent upon those registries.

   2f) Due to protocol specifications, some registries have interactions 
       with one another (e.g. IPv4 assignments and in-addr.arpa DNS space)
       and require coordination of registry activities as a result.

3) The remarkable success of the Internet has resulted in it serving a
   fundamental role in economic and social development; therefore, the 
   ability of a given community (or government) to "voluntarily" decline
   to make use of Internet standards and registries is actually rather 
   limited - 

   3a) The implied requirement to make use of Internet standards and 
       registries in order to achieve the economic and social benefits
       of the Internet only reinforces the need for development processes
       which are open to all interested parties, as well as the importance
       of transparency in decision making.

   3b) Outcomes which are based on factors other than technical merit
       may result in social, political, or economic tradeoffs being
       integrated into the specifications or registry policies, and 
       are best done based on extremely widely held norms and values.

   3c) To the extent that the IETF does decide to embed a particular 
       social or economic tradeoff in a specification beyond reasons
       of technical necessity, it should do so in an explicit manner
       and based on widespread endorsement by the IETF community.

   3d) Particular care in Internet coordination should be paid to 
       expressions of public policy principles which are widely held
       by many governments (e.g. EU's personal data privacy directive), 
       as these can be more readily considered to avoid specifications 
       or registry policy which might be in conflict in a wide region and 
       thus contrary to the goal of facilitating global communications.

   3e) Mechanisms should be provided for promoting high-level awareness 
       to all interested parties (including governments and other 
       stakeholders such as civil society) of specification or registry 
       policy development which has significant potential for incorporating    
       public policy tradeoffs in the final specifications or registry policy.

This last principle and its corollaries (3 & 3a-3e) are a distinguishing 
factor between the IETF and simply any other technical standards body...
i.e. with global and pervasive deployment of the IETF's specifications must 
also come a level of awareness of its potential (intentionally and otherwise)
of social and economic impact as a result of its efforts. This has been
more visible in the DNS and IP registry communities, but should probably
be explicitly discussed in the IETF so that a common understanding can be
reached on the IETF's role in the Internet ecosystem, and particularly with 
respect to governmental interactions since governments are now coming to 
similar realization about the Internet ecosystem (incl IETF) and its potential.


Disclaimers: My views alone. There is likely a key for you which will make
             this email message disappear; if this message causes distress, 
             please know that was not my intent and delete it immediately. :-)

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