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Cooperation Working Group RIPE 72
Thursday, 26 May, 09:00-10:30
WG co-Chairs: Meredith Whittaker
Scribe: Gergana Petrova
Status: Draft

Internet Regulation: A Danish Perspective - Jesper Lund, Chairman, IT-Political Association of Denmark

The presentation is available at:

There were no questions.

Process and Power in Internet Governance: Reflections on the IANA Stewardship Transition - Jan Aart Scholte, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

The presentation is available at:

Milton Mueller, ARIN, commented that ICANN seemed to be missing from Jan's analysis. He added that the fact that the process is run by a corporation with a $60-70 million budget and many staff members caused the biggest tension. Even though a supporting organisation should also be made accountable, the community should make the big guy accountable first.

Patrick Fältström, Netnod, asked Jan how to move forward. Patrick, as a co-chair of ICG, shared that the group had sent a note on the implementation of ICG and CCWG reports, because people are still trying to inject things not covered in the original work. He added that the community spent a lot of time to box in the various areas that need to be implemented, yet there was still a risk of capture. He asked if the ‘in-boxing' was successful or if there were still risks, given the way these communities work.

Jan responded that academics always answer “yes, but and/or”.

Nurani Nimpuno, Netnod, commented on the number community in relation to the bigger Internet governance community. In the number sub-community there are still hidden barriers of entry, such as being able to come to the meetings, understanding the lingo, daring to go up to the microphone. She added that she was struck by how much time ICANN spent on setting up processes, to make sure they are able to remove people in position of power. If you distribute the power along the whole structure, as is the case in the number community, then you do not need too many processes and mechanisms to allow you to remove people. If you have a lot of power at the top of the structure, as is the case in ICANN, you need these mechanisms and also there cannot be a bottom-up process.

Nurani added that even though the numbers community is very informal, it doesn't necessarily meant it is accessible. She suggested avoiding the word “multistakeholderism” because the term was invented in the WSIS process, but the phenomenon existed long before the UN set its sight on it. Nurani asked Jan if he has thoughts or reflections on the differences between the numbers community and the extended Internet governance community.

Izumi Okutani, speaking as an Internet citizen of Japan, commented that Japan has a large pie in the Internet economy, but few voices. The Japanese community gets and shares very little to no information. JPNIC shares its expertise in the IANA stewardship transition and the CCWG with the community. They have regular active contributions in these areas - 90 individuals have signed up to support the transition. At this stage they have no expertise in the area of security. They are reaching out to JPCERT and other agents with expertise. Izumi would like to hear from Jan, but also other community members, any suggestions on diversifying the community further.

Andrea Beccalli, ICANN, asked Jan what could be done to overcome the cultural barrier he mentioned in his presentation. Secondly, Andrea asked Jan how much the multistakeholder process is adopted outside of the realm of Internet governance – in other global organisations both inside and outside the UN.

Paul Rendek, RIPE NCC, commented that “multistakeholderism” means different things to different stakeholders and sectors. Paul asked Jan if the multistakeholder process is tolerated because there is no other solution or other control mechanism.

Constanze Buerger, Ministry of the Interior Germany, commented that the German government has seen a lot of changes and realised they need to take responsibility and join the mechanisms for the Internet development processes. They started an Internet governance forum. The multistakeholder process brings a lot of paradigm changes to the government and the community. The German government is a new user and needs to take and accept the methods already in place. The multistakeholder process is different that the government's decision process, which is why the government needs to learn and adapt to it.

Jan addressed several of the questions asked. He said Milton was right to ask for ICANN staff accountability. However, the large corporate interests and the intellectual property interests (which are very strong in the CCWG) need an extra check as well.

Jan addressed Nurani's observation about the long time it took to establish ICANN's accountability structures by saying that there are no established answers and it takes a lot of time to establish something new.

Concerning Izumi's question on diversity, Jan mentioned this is a topic actively discussed in stream two.

To Andrea's question about overcoming cultural barriers, Jan suggested that in addition to language interpretation the community needs a new ethics of transcultural politics, a new way of dealing with cultural diversity, a new mindset.

Concerning Paul's question, Jan supposes that the buy-in of multistakeholderism will go further if people emphasize the promises and address the problems.

Further on Constanze's comment Jan elaborated that the government is a stakeholder with perspective and expertise in negotiating in the public interest and making a fair redistribution of resources. In this sense the government in particular has a very important role in the Internet Governance process.

Reproducible Builds for Debian, and a Hope for a More Secure Future - Holger Levsen, Debian Developer

The presentation is available at:

Alexander Isavnin, the open Net, observed that this presentation shows that trust is not only towards the government, but also a technical matter.

Meredith Whittaker, Google Open Research, seconded Alexander's comment and added that technical verifiable trust can be merged with some of the policy mandates.

Jasper den Hertog, RIPE NCC, asked if there are systemic problems with some kind of software that makes structural changes necessary.

Holger answered that the hard problems only make 5% of the problem space, which was why they need more people working on the easy problems. However, the hard problems are very different from one another.

Jasper also asked about openBSD.

Holger replied that he has set up netBSD and freeBSD. He supposed that openBSD has the same reproducibility as other sources. Holger invited members of the audience to come to him if they are interested in testing openBSD, as he has the resources to help.

Technical Community Representation in International Internet Governance - Chris Buckridge, RIPE NCC

The presentation is available at:

Alexander Isavnin, the open Net, commented that sometimes ICANN and ISOC say completely different things. To have a technical representative of the community in their meetings is very important. He added that there was a session organised on CCWG accountability stream 2. There were a lot of WG people on the table, but Alexander doubted they were representing all stakeholders and the entire community.

Chris answered that a technical community representative cannot represent the technical community in the same way that a government represents its people. It is important to have people who can provide specific expertise.

Peter Koch, DENIC, asked for a rough estimate on how many of the technical community representatives really have a technical background.

Chris answered that there are many people with a strong technical background and many people with a strong policy background. The value of this group is in part keeping both sides talking and connected to each other. There is a discussion about what the ratio should be. Finding the right balance is a challenge.

Nurani Nimpuno, Netnod, commented that they needed to find models for three things. First, to find space for open discussions to mentor people into these processes and invite people with technical expertise. Secondly, to have closed spaces to discuss and strategise. And thirdly, to have an open, transparent and well-documented process for selecting representatives. This has been a challenge in the past, since they've tried to use the same space for all three processes. The question to the group is how to find the right format.

Lousewies van der Laan, ICANN, expressed ICANN's interest in attracting technical people to talk about the facts. Having a technical person explain how things work makes a huge difference. Otherwise politicians make decisions without understanding the technicality. However, when technical people engage with politicians, they need to be patient. They need to explain technical matter in an understandable way, without intimidating the audience, so that politicians don't fall back in the hand of corporate lobbyists or whoever wants to give them another message. Finally, Lousewies remarked that the ICANN board has established a Working Group on Internet Governance to evaluate what role ICANN, ISOC, the community etc should have. She invited the audience to come to her with ideas and suggestions.

Jim Reed asked Chris about the resource commitment required for the functions he proposed during his presentation. Are the functions ongoing or do they have a fixed duration? Is there a clearly defined end goal? Are there going to be conference calls or is work going to be done on mailing lists? Should people go to ICANN, WSIS or IGF meetings?

Chris answered that this is going to be determined on a case-by-case basis. For each of these functions there are different time commitments and different possibilities for funding.

Filiz Yilmaz, Akamai Technologies connected Chris's call for volunteers with Jan's presentation on accountability. RIPE NCC is facilitating discussions with the I*s, but it is up to the community to be active and to volunteer. The community can account for itself by stepping up and helping, instead of later on complaining about not being represented well enough.

Selection of co-Chairs Update

Meredith led the discussion about selecting another co-chair for the working group. Shane Kerr, Beijing Internet Institute, and Peter Koch, DENIC, encouraged attendees to stay for the discussion.

Patrick Fältström, Netnod, remarked that the task of co-chairs is not so much finding consensus, but facilitating discussion and encouraging presentations and participation. On top of this facilitation, the co-chairs, together with the other WG chairs have a very important work in the RIPE process. They need to know about the RIPE community and be able to participate in the discussions. Having multiple co-chairs has helped with this.

Meredith explained that there are three nominees and a fourth person who tentatively put their name forward. There has been some concern that these candidates might not be able to represent well the RIPE community, however Meredith needs a co-chair to manage the workload.

Jim Reid agreed that there is no question of the need of a co-chair. He added that there needed to be clear set of soft-skills required.

Meredith explained that the co-chairs needed to have support to come to RIPE Meetings. They needed to have some connection to the RIPE community and engage with the RIPE community. They need to facilitate collaboration and communication of different stakeholders from governments to civil society. Meredith welcomed eager learners who may not be experts over experts who do not have the time and energy.

Partick added that people might prioritise the mentioned qualifications differently, which is why different members of the group might have different views.

Meredith answered that this is one of the reasons several chairs are needed. She gave the opportunity of the nominees to present themselves.

Achilleas Kemos, the first nominee, said that he is a program officer for EU policies at the European Commission and Director General for Communication Technologies. He has been following RIPE community developments since 2012. His first RIPE meeting was in Amsterdam. He has been organising the high-level group on IG and regulators for five years. Together with RIPE NCC's External Relations team, Achilleas set up roundtable events for governments and other joint events in the hope to bring more technical insight in the policy process. During the preparation of a document on Internet governance, he asked the Commission to seek expertise on IoT numbering issues. By being active in the Cooperation WG Achilleas hopes to have even better results.

Meredith asked Analía Aspis, the second nominee, to come to the microphone but Analia was not in the room.

Collin Anderson, Measurement Lab, the third nominee, said that he has been participating in RIPE meetings for three years. He has a network research background. He wanted to act as a facilitator to bring interesting voices to this meeting. He has written more on the Cooperation mailing list.

Meredith asked if Julf Helsingius could speak to the room. Patrick explained that Julf had to leave earlier.

Meredith proposed that there should be a community decision via the mailing list in a week. Meredith would like to select two co-chairs.

Patrick asked Meredith if she was still interested in staying as a co-chair. Meredith confirmed that she was.