Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Internet governance roundtable at #cnbloggercon 2008

English version of the powerpoint presentation given at the Internet Governance roundtable held at the 2008 Chinese Blogger Conference

Venue B, session B0, 11:00am-12:00pm, Saturday, November 15

Slide 1. Do you know who's in charge of you online?

Slide 2. 'Who watches over the watchers?'*

Slide 3. Wikipedia blurb on ICANN

Slide 4. More on ICANN

-it's a wealthy organisation

-around 105 staff

-the phases in which different gTLDs were unleashed

-: Should we be thinking about the ones yet to come?

Slide 5. What is CNNIC and what do they do?

Slide 6. ICANN vs. CNNIC

-: sex...religion...should regional concerns about "moral order" be ICANN's concern?

-: who is suited to define "moral order" anyway?

-Charles Mok on Hong Kong's Obscene Articles Tribunal

Slide 7.

-original intent of internet by those who built it

-keeping internet structure neutral and depoliticized

-: who determines how neutral Net Neutrality should be?

-: what restrictions do netizens currently face for the purchase of:

-*.cn domains?

-*.中文 domains?

-how many of the relevant restrictions can you list? who creates those?

Slide 8. .cn vs .中国

-applicable policies for the registration of .cn domains

-: who will draft the equivalent policies for registration of .中国 domains?

-: why are individual netizens at present unable to buy '.中文' domains?

-: is there a monopoly when it comes to registering domains in China?

Slide 9.

-: who monitors groups like ICANN as the draft and pass policies related to domain name registration?

-: before CNNIC goes and makes '.中文' domains publicly purchasable, should we be watching as the respective regulations are drafted?

Slide 10. How is it that nobody has yet purchased 爱网.com?

Slide 11. .XXX

-the American porn industry tried to buy it

-spent 25,000,000 USD in the process

-religious conservatives mobilized and got the Bush administration to lobby against it being sold

-went to ballot at ICANN in 1997 and the porn community lost by two votes.

Slide 12. .GAY

-in 2000 LGBTQ groups applied to buy .gay

-religious conservatives mobilized to fight it and ICANN in the end refused to sell it

Slide 13. .

-more inclusive participation in these sorts of proceedings is extremely important for, again: who watches the watchers?

-: what if an LGBTQ group in GD province wanted to buy up . and Chinese Christians came out against it?

-: who will take care of these kinds of disputes in the future and what sort of procedure will they follow?

Slide 14: .ABC

-: should the American Broadcasting Company get it? Or the Australian Broadcasting Corporation?

Slide 15: decisions like this will be a lot more complicated if Chinese characters are involved

Slide 16: Do we even need more TLDs?

Slide 17: Yes.

-ICANN CEO Paul Twomey says so

-the internet needs to be sustained by further opportunities to create wealth, lest it fall back on government funding

Slide 18. Internet Society

Slide 19. What is ISOC and what does it do?

-once had exchange program with China

-no ISOC in China, only the knock-off, Internet Society of China (ISC)

Slide 20. What is ISC?

Slide 21. What is ISC? (cont'd.)

Slide 22. Judging from events in recent years, could the ISC really be said to have "promoted the healthy expansion of the internet in China"?

-when websites and blogs can disappear without any warning, will the ISC stand up for us and say No to people like the State Information Office and the Central Propaganda Dept.?

-why can't Chinese netizens then take part in an organisation such as ISOC?

Slide 23. Good news

-the three most influential people when it comes to the structure and policies of the internet and domain name registration in China are all women

-Yan Baoping (CNNIC)

-Hu Qiheng (ISC)

-Xue Hong (ALAC/ICANN)

Slide 24. Bad news

-ISC is not offically recognised by ISOC and ISOC has no Chinese staff

-so why can't Chinese netizens go and act as advisors or representatives of China?

Slide 25. Because if you read the fine print, no foreign organisations are allowed to expand inside China

-is that cool?

Slide 26. The result?

-Not a single ISOC chapter in China

Slide 27. Which is too bad because the things ISOC members can do are quite interesting:

-support development of standards and protocols

-promote public policy/make your voice heard

-make a difference with education and training

-directly support the programs you choose

Slide 28. However...

-there is someone from China on ISOC's Board of Trustees, that being CNNIC's Yan Baoping mentioned above

Slide 29. What you could ostensibly do:

-apply to be a member of ISOC is free (and applying as an individual is okay)

-get together with people of similar interest to set up an ISOC (note: not ISC) chapter; although quite easy, in theory it's not allowed

-get together with people in your [province/city/town] to set up an ISOC chapter

-chapters must be volunteer initiatives

Slide 30. ISOC's main focus is on raising awareness of internet governance issues and has ample resources to that effect

Slide 31. Chairwoman of ISC is Hu Qiheng (even though not officially recognized overseas, domestically it is however the boss)

Slide 32. Does ISC fulfill its duties?

-it's at least semi-transparent

-only those approved by the government may become members

Slide 33. So just what does China's ISC do?

-Voluntary Self-Discipline Pact

Slide 34. ICANN also has channels for participation such as the At-Large Committee (which Xue Hong is on)

-application is free and can be done via e-mail

Slide 35. [cont'd]

-however, the application form doesn't come in Chinese

-perhaps something for future volunteers to do

-in comparison, the only membership list to be found on the ISC website are those willingly taking part in the Self-Discipline Pact

Slide 36. Being a responsible netizen should not be called "self-discipline"

-for further comparison, dot.Asia (like CNNIC, a domain registry, except for greater Asia) not only welcomes members, but gives them voting privileges

-English-only, though

Slide 37. Why is participation in international organizations such as ISOC and ICANN so important?

-ICANN is preparing to launch internationalized (non-English) domain names next year

-if they mess that up, some non-English countries could go rogue and split from ICANN, changing the internet as we now know it

-the feedback period for ICANN's "fast-track" policy on approving internationalized (non-English) domains ended last month

Slide 38. Who pays attention to these issues?

Slide 39. The Global Network Initiative

Slide 40. Disclaimer

Slide 41. Future opportunities for involvement

-Internet Governance Forum 2008 is in India, December 2008

-information in six languages and several interactive channels will be provided

-contact me if you have any questions

Slide 42. ICANN 2009 will be in Mexico

Slide 43. Related articles

Slide 44. Most important:

-being a netizen is not just about Facebook, blogs and QQ

-the way the internet is structured is that it is we netizens who create it

-needs to stay that way

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