Tuesday, 22 June 2010

How do stakeholders play a role in ICANN 'self-regulation'?

ICANN wants to be judged as a voluntary contributions-type charity - odd as it charges registries a compulsory charge, which surely makes its position that of having its cake and eating it. Mandatory charges mark out a sovereign regulator - which supposes an administrative law standard of care. Perhaps it would prefer those contributions to be voluntary in future??!!
To reinforce the administrative law point, Neelie Kroes has expressed 'The need for accountability in Internet governance':
"I trust that by opening a dialogue with the wider public - whether you are a private or public sector stakeholder - you will find new and better ways to reinforce your structures and decision-making processes. The same applies for the Internet Governance Forum : this multi-stakeholder approach has proved successful ; it must continue and evolve to serve the purposes of the Tunis Agenda... when freedom of speech and human rights on the internet are at stake, it is not just public authorities that have a role to play... We need rules that make the decisions accountable, transparent and efficient; and that guarantee a mutual respect for the common good. Nowadays, how could any organisation with global responsibilities not be accountable to all of us? In this respect, just like the EU welcomed the openings made in the Affirmation of Commitment last year, I am hopeful that the expiry of the IANA contract next year will be turned into an opportunity for more international cooperation serving the global public interest."

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Asian Media Summit: co-regulation for all?

Its always dangerous to go to Asia and talk about co-regulation and civil society multistakeholders as if they really exist. here's a good write-up from Botswana on a big Beijing media summit:
'President of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation and former Secretary-General of the European Broadcasting Union, Dr Jean-Bernard Munch, observed that universal principles of freedom of expression and information can be upheld in an environment that allows for effective co-regulation of the media industry on the basis of common codes of conduct, as well as self-regulation by individual media houses. He noted that in Switzerland, mechanisms for co-regulation in broadcasting involve structures through which the Federal Minister responsible appoints an oversight body largely drawn from civil society.
Amidst calls for re-regulation of global media in the face of mounting evidence of a worldwide decline in public trust in news organizations, the concept of co-regulation found widespread acceptance among diverse Summit participants. As one participant noted regulatory mechanisms, along with guarantees of press freedom, should exist for the protection of the governed, not governments.'

Rights and the Internet

Computers, Privacy, Freedom will this year focus on social network users and a potential Bill of Rights - in response to rather flagrant privacy breaches by Facebook, but also governments, employers and stalkers dipping liberally into social networks to prosecute their interests.
Also, there's a very interesting article by Yaman Akdeniz regarding Internet filtering and European law and regulation.

Friday, 4 June 2010

More on how regulation aids big business against entrants

Mr Cable: 'Regulation is too often the creature of big businesses with the resources to handle it forcing out the small.  The cost to business of regulation currently in the pipeline is around £20bn: far in excess of any direct help the Government does or can give. Of course regulation can be necessary to protect consumers, the environment and the labour force.  But it must be proportionate.  I used a statement to Parliament yesterday explaining how this Government will embark on radical steps to remove and stop unnecessary and costly regulation.'
Yet the European Parliament (quite rightly) asks big companies to account for human rights, notably Siemens Nokia Networks for their Iranian operations.

Vince Cable on Adam Smith

Stronger competition policy signals: "Arguing for more competition instead of cosy cartels. Arguing for better protection for consumers from shady practice. Rejecting special pleading... Amongst [Adam Smith's] many wise words which have stood the test of time is this: “the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer”. And the consumer is all of us.Smith – and this is often forgotten – also argued trenchantly that successful capitalism rested on a sense of morality, not on unfettered greed."