NNSquad - Network Neutrality Squad

NNSquad Home Page

NNSquad Mailing List Information


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[ NNSquad ] David Reed: [ITAC] On the subject of ITU-T and Internet Governance

----- Forwarded message from David Reed <dpreed@REED.COM> -----

Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2013 18:34:04 -0400
From: David Reed <dpreed@REED.COM>
Subject: [ITAC] On the subject of ITU-T and Internet Governance
Reply-To: dpreed@REED.COM
Importance: Normal

Coming back to my general position: why does the Internet need "governance"?
The English language (a remarkable set of protocols that enable general purpose commercial and non-commercial communications, which evolves over time, supports radical innovation, etc.) does not need "governance" and has been very successful in markedly changing the world.   Whereas "governed protocols" like French, generally have not.
I'm not suggesting a cultural bigotry here - one could make the same argument for Chinese and Arabic.
What has happened in the last 40 years with the Internet is that communications has become interoperable in the digital world, just as written and spoken English became a shared tongue, without "governance".
It would be laughable if there were a UN-sponsored organization defining English and "governing" all discourse means associated with it.  Can you imagine a standard for mapping English negotiation of a commercial contract, depending on the specific type of paper and print-head?
The whole point of the Internet (both in formation and today) is *exactly* the same as the point of English.  If you don't see that, I think you are wearing blinders - to a political scientist or lawyer, every problem requires interposition of the maximum number of bureaucrats to prevent success.  (that's exaggeration, of course, but before dismissing it out of hand, try thinking clearly about it).
We did need to standardize really artificial and limited technical communication protocols when we did not have such a vibrant and interconnected world.  Morse Code was far from standard at the beginning, because the world was disconnected.
But today the world is completely connected (by the Internet).  Just as we no longer need "governance" of Morse Code - and for *exactly* the same reasons! - we don't need "governance" of the Internet.   The benefits of interoperability cause the system to evolve coherently, not incoherently.
However, if the goal is to work very hard to "break the Internet", balkanizing it, and somehow preventing communications from working very well, then we need "governance".
3GPP (whatever you think of it, and I don't think it works very well at all, technically, as the disaster that is LTE shows in its weaknesses and deployment flaws), is not a "governance" organization.  Please keep the political scientists out of it, they are not needed.
If the US State Dept. wants to work on international communications as an issue, it would be far more productive to step back and stop listening to the big operators of networks - they are very good at twisting the conversation into modes of "capture" that give them commercial advantage, while interfering with the goals of communicators (the endpoints).
So defunding ITU-T would be a very good idea.  If countries want to try to cut themselves off from the Internet, and develop "proprietary" private networks - they will fail.  They will destroy their economies.  Let them fail.  Let their commercial interests and their civil society interests discover how badly their governments are damaging them.
Meanwhile, it would be great if the US State Dept. would stand up against the outrageous behavior revealed in the latest revelations about universal capture and recording of all communications traffic for later analysis and use.   This is embarrassing the country.  It's not Snowden who is embarrassing the US.   It is the US Executive Branch and its judicial branch's *collusion* with that embarrassment that is destroying the US's standing in the communications world.
I cannot imagine how a US Diplomat can justify what the US has been doing, at the scale it has been doing it and keep a straight face.

On Thursday, September 19, 2013 5:23pm, "Tony Rutkowski" <trutkowski@NETMAGIC.COM> said:

> In doing any opining here, it would be useful
> for ITU-T supporters to:
> 1) provide the statistics that in terms
> of document contributions, participation,
> and held positions, show that the ITU-T hasn't
> basically tanked over the past ten, five, one
> year; and
> 2) why an intergovernmental technical
> body is necessary for the standards work
> being pursued; and
> 3) that the work isn't already being pursued
> on a far larger scale in one of the many
> global bodies now available.
----- End forwarded message -----

Lauren Weinstein (lauren@vortex.com): http://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: http://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
 - Network Neutrality Squad: http://www.nnsquad.org 
 - PRIVACY Forum: http://www.vortex.com/privacy-info
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Lauren's Blog: http://lauren.vortex.com
Google+: http://google.com/+LaurenWeinstein 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 / Skype: vortex.com
nnsquad mailing list