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FW: Self-Perpetuating Exclusive Societies

  From: 	Jim Fleming[SMTP:JimFleming]
  Sent: 	Saturday, November 29, 1997 2:01 PM
  To: 	'aadn1@NWI.NET'
  Cc: 	'Tony Rutkowski - Chaos'; 'ckuehn@nsf.gov'; 'dmitchel@nsf.gov'; 
  'gstrawn@nsf.gov'; 'Donald Heath'; 'ISOC-Trustees@isoc.org'; 
  'lsundro@nsf.gov'; 'nlane@nsf.gov'; 'Stef@nma.com'; 'Vinton G. Cerf'
  Subject: 	Self-Perpetuating Exclusive Societies
  Duane Little[SMTP:aadn1@NWI.NET] wrote:
  @The gTLD/POC/CORE proposal is unfortunately, itself a foray into Net
  @governance which I believe violates principles likely to be a part of
  @such a document.  For instance, it represents a degree of exclusivity,
  @and evasion of oversight and democratic influence which I find
  @abhorrent, for example in its admission of registrars and the
  @composition of its policy-making bodies, especially the POC.
  @Hopefully, even if the gTLD plan is implemented, it will not set the
  @standard for future governance movements.
  It should not be surprising that the CORE movement(s) that have
  developed from the IAHC plan represent a "degree of exclusivity".
  That is the nature of the groups and people that developed those
  plans. Those people have developed another, self-perpetuating,
  exclusive society, PAB-POC-CORE. If you recall, they were
  asked to provide "advice". Instead, they appointed themselves
  to positions of control and have cloned a self-perpetuating monster
  that was never needed, but will likely never go away.
  Let's look at some of the groups that helped to develop the
  PAB-POC-CORE, in particular the NSF, the ISOC and the ITU.
  As you will see, they are all self-perpetuating exclusive societies.
  They primarily exist to self-perpetuate themselves. They provide no
  inherent value. This is like a labor union that collects dues ONLY
  to pay the people that collect the dues with no concern for the
  real purpose of the union.
  NSF - This group is primarily composed of academics who are
  given a $3.5 billion dollar per year budget to hand out to their
  cronies who are distributed around the U.S. and the world. This
  is an exclusive club that spends very little time doing leading
  edge research, but instead traveling and politicing about which
  of the "good old boys" will get the budget (this year) for some
  10 year old research proposal. There is little accountability and
  apparently the Congress and the U.S. Taxpayers view the
  $3.5 billion as "noise" in the scheme of things. The whole thing
  could be run as a random lottery and acheive about the same
  results and we would not need the bloated group of NSF employees
  in Washington, D.C. trying to make sure only the "right" people
  get the funding in their "exclusive" club. It is ironic that the NSF
  should be educating people and one would hope would be
  educating the Congress who gives them their budget. This is
  not the case, the NSF spins one story to the Congress and
  another behind the scenes on the Internet. This will end when
  Congress compares the two stories.
  ISOC - This group is a very small club that recruits people who
  apparently aspire to be a member of the Internet elite. RFCs are
  now documents which have little engineering value but instead
  are editted to be politically correct and to make sure only the
  right people's views are included. Furthermore, the ISOC does
  not represent all people on the Internet (as they claim) because
  if one reads their various writings and testimonies they do not
  even mention the activities which are not theirs. Since the Internet
  is now very well understood in most developed nations, the ISOC
  has to focus on the "Internet Frontier" that exists where third-world
  countries are getting connected. It is natural that the ISOC will
  attract people in these emerging countries by offering them the
  appearance of "exclusivity". Those local ISOC "chapters" can
  be portrayed as having a higher position in the social scene
  than the local government. Politicos in these third-world countries
  can fall for this because they see, that in the U.S., the ISOC has
  tried to place itself above the law and the Congress with activities
  such as the IAHC. Because of a lack of education and interest
  on the part of Congress, this appearance gains credibility on
  the Internet. As the Internet is hyped in the real world, people
  are lead to believe that the Internet politicos have more power
  than the real life politicos. This will be a short-lived phenomenon.
  Education of the members of Congress will change this.
  ITU - This group has historically helped third-world countries
  with telecommunication policies and has helped to provide
  those players with a voice. Much like the ISOC, the ITU recruits
  a small minority of people who can rise above their local
  governments to hold court out of Geneva, Switzerland with an
  apparent United Nations sanction. The ITU offers these members
  an "exclusive" way to collectively have a voice without being
  concerned about whether that collective voice represents the
  voice of the people in those countries. In many cases, the people
  in those countries do not have a clue that they are represented
  at the ITU. They are just trying to survive the hardships of life
  and concerns about which hotel or restaurant to sample next
  in the high-roller Geneva scene are not on their minds. The ITU
  is now being used by the ISOC and the NSF to help provide
  the international clout needed to confuse Congress and to make
  the world think that the IAHC plan is good for the world. It is
  a shame that the ITU has fallen for this. Via education, the
  leaders of the ITU may see what has happened during the
  past year.
  Now, if we turn instead to representative government and the
  much larger groups of people that should be represented in the
  Internet decision-making, we see a very different situation. If we
  look at the U.S. taxpayers as an "exclusive group" we see that
  they collectively elect people to represent them and to allocate
  their tax dollars. Those people mostly huddle around Washington,
  D.C. but each state capital also has its own exclusive club that
  feeds the federal club.
  The big difference in the U.S. "exclusive club" and the NSF,
  ISOC and ITU exclusive clubs is diversity. In the U.S. many
  people from many walks of life are represented. This starts
  because they pay taxes (club dues) and then they elect
  officials to decide how that collective money is spent. It is
  an "inclusive" system because the U.S. encourages as many
  people as possible to pay taxes and to get involved in the
  The NSF, ISOC and ITU do not start by collecting taxes,
  they start by selecting the "right people" to be in their club
  and then they obtain some taxes to fund their exclusive
  plans. Where do they get that money ? Yes, U.S. taxpayers.
  In order to select the "right people" they have to spend
  a lot of time making sure the rules for entry favor the people
  they want. If you look at the legal quagmire that the IAHC
  developed, you will see how many words are needed to
  create barriers to entry that would never exist if the U.S.
  Congress had developed such a plan.
  I am confident that the U.S. Congress and the U.S. taxpayers
  will eventually see through these "societies" and clubs and
  will look at the real objective which is...
  	...REPRESENTATIVE Internet governance...
  This will only come via education. Leaders of true democracies
  need to be educated about the importance of making sure
  that the governance of information technology remains in the
  hands of elected officials and ultimately the people. If they
  are not careful, historically exclusive clubs (like the NSF, ISOC
  and ITU) will attempt to control the technology to their own
  exclusive advantage and will prevent people from having a voice
  in Internet governance. These clubs do not elect their leaders, their
  leaders are annointed and appointed. They are not representative
  groups and can not be expected to develop representative
  systems of governance.
  I urge everyone to EDUCATE the people who already provide
  representative forms of governance. Those people need to
  better understand how to bring Internet Governance into their
  systems. The sooner they do that, the better off ALL people
  will be and not just the members of the exclusive clubs
  described above who can never be expected to develop
  representative movements, if they did, they would cease to
  exist...they are self-perpetuating, like the PAB-POC-CORE.
  Jim Fleming
  Unir Corporation
  IBC, Tortola, BVI