Recognizing WSIS Impacts

Unless it acknowledges key characteristics of the Internet, the World Summit on the Information Society will easily undermine it

Opinion on Recognizing the Internet Submitted to US Delegation


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Seth Johnson
Date: Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 4:14 PM
Subject: Draft Opinion on Recognizing the Internet in the Information
Society -- Re: [ITAC] WTPF-2013: Existing Draft Opinions
To: "Najarian, Paul B"
Cc: ITAC@lmlist.state.gov

Okay, I was doing something right in my original proposal, though
since I used the term "ICTs" as the title, others in the State
Department suggested my opinion should go to the CWG-Internet
committee which is developing a definition of ICTs. As a result, I
had to develop the sort of broad opinion that I hoped to avoid, and
therefore this has taken a week instead of the day or two I intended.

See attached.

The only reason I used the term ICTs was because the US was proposing
to present an opinion about development goals of the WSIS, on
diffusing ICTs globally. But I'm not concerned with defining ICTs.
ICT is a general term, and defining it right will keep it a general
term. The NTIA has submitted exactly that type of definition to the
CWG-Internet group on behalf of the US.

The concern we should address at the WTPF is the fact that there's
nothing, anywhere in the WSIS framework, that provides a way to see
when we're messing with the Internet. Instead we have lots of other
terms in use that don't lend clarity to that issue.

I therefore submit the attached opinion, the text of which I paste
below in snipped form for readability. Title: Opinion X on
Recognizing the Internet in the Information Society.

It does not define any terms, just provides a few suggested
characteristics of the Internet as such. Also note that nothing in it
says the ITU should do governance, or even that intergovernmental
governance will occur anywhere in particular -- it just acknowledges
that that's part of the WSIS frame.

Here are a couple of references I wasn't sure I should include:
Internet as General Purpose Platform:

http://www.fcc.gov/document/preserving-open-internet-broadband-industry-practices-1

"Like electricity and the computer, the Internet is a "general
purpose technology" that enables new methods of production that have a
major impact on the entire economy."
from a footnote on that page:
Timothy F. Bresnahan & M. Trajtenberg, General Purpose
Technologies: Engines of Growth'?, 65 J. OF ECONOMETRICS 83108 (1995)
RICHARD G. LIPSEY ET AL., ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATIONS: GENERAL
PURPOSE TECHNOLOGIES AND LONG TERM ECONOMIC GROWTH 132 (2005)

Matt Lasar develops similar ideas to this draft opinion in this Ars
Technica article:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/11/are-you-on-the-internet-or-something-else/

OPINION X ON RECOGNIZING THE INTERNET IN THE INFORMATION SOCIETY

(Click here for streamlined version of the opinion)

[. . .]

On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 8:19 PM, Seth Johnson wrote:
> Hi Paul: I'm going to do an opinion on ICTs in the "noting x, calling
> attention to y, resolves that z" style because it seems very
> straightforward in the case of ICTs. I'll use the past documents you
> provided to format it, make it a Word document, and hopefully it will
> be done quickly.
>
> After struggling to get a big picture, I'm just going to try to mock
> that one up since it will make a good example that has to do with the
> big picture as such, far better than going on describing how to do it,
> the way I have been. It won't be perfect, and it won't be about
> citing external sources (at least I won't approach it that way, but
> more conceptually -- cites might be added later).
>
> I think that's better than trying to revise the opinions on the other
> topics (enhanced cooperation, multi-stakeholderism) from Saudi Arabia
> in the form of track changes -- because that's not a US opinion,
> first, and more importantly, because the points to be made on those
> topics are more complex.
>
> I think you'll find it useful. This will be something I'll attempt tomorrow.
>
> (Now I hope I can deliver on that simplified task without having to
> work too hard at it.)
>
>
> Seth
> Seth
>
> On Wed, Jan 16, 2013 at 6:06 PM, Najarian, Paul B wrote:
>> At today’s ad hoc ITAC prep meeting for the upcoming WTPF IEG, a request was
>> made to circulate the current (existing) 6 Draft Opinions, that have already
>> been submitted for consideration at WTPF-2013.
>>
>>
>>
>> The 6 draft Opinions are attached to this email; and they are:
>>
>>
>>
>> • Saudi Arabia (on Supporting Full Multistakeholderism in Internet
>> Governance)
>>
>> • Saudi Arabia (on Supporting Operationalizing the Enhanced
>> Cooperation Process)
>>
>> • Saudi Arabia and UAE ( on Support of the Adoption of IPv6 and of
>> Careful Management of the Transition from IPv4)
>>
>> • UK (on Supporting Capacity Building for the deployment of IPv6)
>>
>> • UK (on Promoting Internet Exchange Points (IXP’s) as a long term
>> solution to advance connectivity)
>>
>> • UK (on Supporting the inclusivity of communications for all)
>>
>>
>>
>> These draft Opinions, as well as all documentation of the WTPF IEG, are
>> publically available, without any TIES account, on the WTPF-IEG web page at:
>>
>> http://www.itu.int/en/wtpf-13/Pages/ieg.aspx
>>
>>
>>
>> The existing Draft Opinions are listed as WTPF-IEG/2/10 through 15; on the
>> above web page.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> ACTION: Your specific comments on these Draft Opinions (preferably in Track
>> Changes) are requested by COB January 22.
>>
>>
>>
>> Please note however, that I don’t have an indication as to whether the IEG
>> Chair will entertain detailed and explicit revisions to each of these Draft
>> Opinions. At the previous IEG, Draft Opinions were simply introduced; and
>> questions for clarification-only were allowed.
>>
>>
>>
>> The Chair of the IEG indicated that the in-depth debate re. the Draft
>> Opinions will be addressed during the WTPF; in order to produce the Opinions
>> of the Forum.
>>
>>
>>
>> We will seek clarification from the ITU (very shortly); but my sense is that
>> the Chair of the IEG simply wants to complete the SecGen’s Report; and
>> submit the Draft Opinions for consideration by the WTPF.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Paul Najarian
>>
>> U.S. Department of State
>>
>> Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs (EEB)
>>
>> Communication and Information Policy (CIP)
>>
>> 2201 C Street, NW; Rm-4634
>>
>> Washington, DC 20520
>>
>> Tel: 202-647-7847
>>
>> Fax: 202-647-0158
>>
>>

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