Co-determination in the cyberspace?

Insight into the complicated expiry of a new diplomacy during preparation for the World Summit of the Information Society

The more the dispute to the topic of Internet governance on the last preparatory conference (Prepcom3) to the 2. World Summit of the Information Society (WSISII) Spitzt in Geneva (US government continues to keep control of the Central Rootnone), the more clearly that it is about who has to say what and how much to say. The attempt to establish a kind of co-determination model for the cyberspace in the form of the multi-stakeholder principle, however, no less governments on the bitter resistance.

The principle "Multi-stakeholderism" was anchored as a basic principle in the principle declaration adopted by the first World Summit to the Information Society (WSIS I) in December 2003 in Geneva. The principle is based on the insight that the global information society can only develop successfully when all "Stakeholder" — Governments, private sector and civil society — closely cooperate.

The principle became as an innovation for diplomacy of the 21. Jumped century, which follows the new global challenges of the information age. Although each had the "Stakeholder" a different status and a different role, but only in the creative interaction of all KONNE that it was achieved, which was decided in the WSIS action plan, by name by 2015 to bring the half of humanity online.

Model Wgig

The first nail sample on this new principle was the formation of WSIS I decided Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG). UN General Secretar Kofi Annan pretty informed of this principle and composed the WGIG to almost equal parts from representatives of governments, private sectors and civil society. For the WGIG itself, this was a blessing, because a new working style could virtually develop from below. There was less the typical time-consuming and frequently improved diplomatic positioning wars and was faster for the actual ies. The formal status of the WGIG members hardly played a role, but their competence. The broad approval of the WGIG report also explores this property orientation and has the innovative potential of the "Multi-Stakeholder Method".

It was therefore only logical that the positive WGIG experiences have been introduced as a model for further procedure at Prepcom3, this conference is primarily concerned with the recommendations of the WGIG report in concrete actions which then in November 2005 in Tunis at WSIS II can be appreciated by the heads of state and government. But the new principle quickly rely on his real-political boundaries. Not a few governments — from China to Saudi Arabia — in the participation of non-governmental groups in the development of policies less a constructive enrichment than rather a rather unpleasant interference in their sovereign decision-making chambers, which could undermine traditional privileges and dominance entitlements in the medium term.

Although no government opened more the limited involvement of private sector and civil society in the prepCom plenary sessions, but the moment when it came to the formation of smaller negotiation groups, the whole controversy for multi-stakeholderism flared up again.

On Friday night, a proposal consisting of three options circulated by the Geneva Palais. The first option looked at the beginning of each negotiable sessions 15 minutes speech times for the "Stakeholder" before, but then left the room, so "Talk and walk". Option 2 had allowed the stakeholders to be sitting as a Zuhorer in the room after the statement, but without any right. Option 3 also saw a say in the discussions of concrete sections of the clarifiers to negotiate paragraphs of the final declaration.

I’ll tell you if you are allowed to talk …

Since the governments over the weekend are difficult with an agreement on an option, the five small negotiating groups started on Monday their work in a procedural vacuum. First of all, practically practically developed as a new interaction mechanism.

When the Internet governance negotiating groups started their work on Monday, no turhuter barred the non-governmental members the way to the negotiating table. as "Silent Onlooker" Were they de facto tolerated. Yes, more of the written proposals submitted by the private sector and civil society were treated with the negotiations completely equivalent to the formulation proposals of governments.

When on Tuesday afternoon in the sub-negotiation group, which was part of the freedom of information and the protection of privacy at Internet Governance, in paragraph 39, in which it was the authentication of user identities and possibilities for an anonymization, Ralph Bendrath reported on Privacy Caucus of civil society and offered to learn the text proposal submitted by the Caucus. The Norwegian Chair of the Negotiating Group Hacts several times, made its own formulation proposal and asked at the end Bendrath whether he will agree with the new text. Bendrath agreed and the negotiations went to the next paragraph.

First of all, none of the President’s procedure, but soon it made "Oops" At the governments of Iran, China, Saudi Arabia and Israel. So it was not going to go. The question of the chairman to Bendrath, whether he agreed, was a right of approval of the respondent, but it did not exist after the common procedure rules. Non-government officials had no negotiation rights. It should be for "Multi-stakeholderism", But that would be too far.

The Norwegian chairman defended his question, referred to the lack of procedural specifications by the Chair of subcommittee A and offered to consult with the WSIS Executive Secretariat. Then intervened other governments that said that it was probably helpful if you are more technical "Know-how" To be found in the difficult questions of data protection in Cyberspace into the diplomatic negotiations. After a half-sighted debate on the usability and danger of non-Gouvermental contributions in the formulation of political recommendations, the Norwegian suggested a Solomonian solution. All should stay in the hall, but non-governmentals should only speak if they are asked directly from a government representative.

It was different in the third sub-negotiation group in which it went to Internet governance and development. A paragraph contained a reference to "Free and Open Source Software" (Foss), which was challenged by a government delegation. Then Norbert Klein came from the "Association for Progressive Communication" (APC) from Cambodia and reported how open source Software solutions in the difficult Cambodian state language in which the country is sparingly around 20 million US dollars.

With Open Source you can react flexibly to local needs, with Microsoft, the far more difficult and above all more expensive. Small had asked before his intervention, whether he talked at all the chair affirmed. According to his statement, however, there was a tedged between some government agents and the Egyptian Chairman then demanded the ten non-governmental representative sitting in the room to leave the room. The Government of Cambodia is registered at Prepcom3, but a representative was not present.

The flow of boiling point reached this cooking for saying at the plenary session on Wednesday afternoon. There, Prepcom3 Prasident Careins merged that after long consultations in the intergovernmental Buro had been decided that non-governmental representatives are not part of the small negotiating groups. Then Avri Doria from the Internet Governance Caucus of civil society grabbed the word and articulated loud protest. Doria, who was also a member of the WGIG argued that it was absurd when governments were formally confident to the multi-stakeholder principle and demolished rough tarpaulin by 2015, but then those who need them to exploit this tarpaulin, if it is about it is going to determine that global political framework conditions within which these goals are to be achieved. Public officials and diplomats will never reach the objectives formulated in the WSIS Action Plan without a dedicated participation of civil society. However, how do the governments want to motivate this participation if they spend partners of tomorrow today by the political decisions?

Pakistan’s Ambassador Khan, who guides the Internet Governance Sub-Committee A, tried to calm the applied paintings and grabbed the escape forward by announcing that all substantial ies are treated in plenary, where non-governmentals had free access and qualitative rights. No good thought should be lost for the final text.

Erosion Traditional Government Diplomacy?

One may abbe this hookling for access, speech and talking rights as a procedural small stool and unavoidable concomitancy of UN world peaks. In a closer look but this is this "Push and pull" far more. It signals as the whole WSIS process since 2002, the beginning of a new diplomacy in which governments lose their monopoly position in the negotiation of international policies for the solution of global problems. The new "Stakeholder" Do not just want a sequelosis "dialog" Over global policy, they do not demand anything else than an involvement in the development of these policies as well as with the remaining decision-making. Is that denied, the appreciative implementation, which it really arrives, is in heavy water. At the heart, it is about a novel co-determination model for global policy in Cyberspace. The information society of the 21. Century will not be with the means and methods of diplomacy from the 20. Be organizable century. The Internet will not be managed about the head of the affected and parties.

It is not about making the new stakeholders in the governments make their place. If it is at the end of marketable agreements for concrete individual questions, this can only be concluded anyway, which are legitimized legitimately, to be the strangers of market rights and obligations, D.H. the governments. But even such a deal can not be the "Control over the internet" constitute how the many wishes. In the way from A to B into the still unknown wide range of cyberspace, it is more than ever of the narrow, cooperative and trusting with each other of all stakeholders.

In the case of the Internet, Root Server Operators, Regional Internet Registrars, TLD Managers, Registrars, ISPs, Service Providers — from Google to eBay, Internet users, administrations and governments, D.H. All those who continue to grow "Multilayer multiplayer mechanism", the "Network of networks" has produced, with different responsibilities hand in hand have to work. Only if all these players communicate adaquat with each other and where it is necessary to coordinate their activities when they do without it "Emperor" want to play, which has the sole decision right, and if the decentralized character and the end-to-end principle is not challenged, only then the Internet will continue to remain, which it is so fascinating and successful: a virtual room of unlimited possibilities for everyone.


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