[apnic-talk] AMM IG Discussion Comments

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    • Subject: [apnic-talk] AMM IG Discussion Comments
    • From: Skeeve Stevens <skeeve at eintellegonetworks dot com>
    • Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2014 13:13:45 +1100
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      • All,

        I know I am a little late to the party on this, and I wasn't present at the meeting.  But I have reviewed the video and I am extremely surprised by what I have heard.

        Firstly, I have absolutely no doubt that the APNIC management and EC have the absolute interests of the region, and by assoiation, the global community at heart.

        Internet Governance is a critical issue which if not handled correctly and sensitively, could have a catastrophic effect on the Internet as we know it.  There are many parties who have different goals and agendas which go against the grain of the philosophy on which the Internet itself was founded.

        For Masato Yamanishi and Andy Linton to suggest that APNIC bow out of involvement in the process of being involved in, influencing and steering the global community on Internet Governance is completely ludicrous.

        While I will concede that APNIC is a registry whose job is to manage resources, the experience in managing those resources, especially at this time of critical shortage of some of those resources - as well as being the biggest region on the globe - gives it absolute credibility to take part in this debate.

        For Andy Linton to suggest that the APNIC Management and EC "not actually consulted with who this really matters to" is absolutely crap and inflammatory.  These AMM's, the Surveys and the numerous other avenues for people to provide their opinions and feelings about particular topics are well knows - but minimally used.  Just as Andy Linton and Masato are free to get up at the AMM and speak about how they feel, so is anyone else. There is little or no barrier to being able to be a part of this debate.  The size of your membership is not relevant in any debate and the biggest members and the smallest are equal.

        This was typified by the response to James question to the room in which no-one responded.  The comment that 'we need to give people time to think about it before springing it on them' is exactly the point that backed up James's suggestion of including questions in the AMM and being willing to work with those concerned about how those questions should be asked.

        James's suggestion for including the issue in the Members Surveys was the best approach to get the feeling of the whole membership.  Masato then complained about how long that takes... I agree... but there is no other choice in trying to gather the opinion of the membership.

        Masato pointed out something I had mentioned a number of times in that '80% of people aren't even hearing this discussion', and he is right... because they just don't care, or aren't interested in being involved.  Getting membership involvement is a very hard thing to do.  The number of people who are particularly passionate about the IG subject is very small.  His point about people responding to IG questions in the survey being minimal, I fully agree with....

        But... that people don't want to get involved, or have an opinion, doesn't matter.  There are people who DO care enough to be involved in the EC, Management, BoF's, AMM's, etc... who ARE taking an active role in what they determine to be of the greatest impact to the community as a whole - and they go forward and represent that.

        I was most offended by Andy Linton's comments which said:

        "I think there is a huge arrogance that we take the votes or opinions of 4000 members of APNIC and say that this gives this organisation a mandate to speak on behalf of the people of the Asia Pacific region which is more than half the words population and say 'we are the ones who know how to do everything governance related'"

        I'm not offended by the actual statement itself, but in combination with Masato's comment it is hypocritical to say that the opinions of 4000 members should not be good enough for a mandate of APNICs role in the region, but that the opinions of 2-3 vocal people at the AMM should be what directs APNIC policy and that we shouldn't wait around for the results of a members survey (or whatever form).

        Because, to be blunt... I don't care what it is that the vocal extreme minority (a couple of people) have to say about anything if it is not backed up by the will of the membership body.... no matter how valid or reasonable that position is.  It is called a democracy.

        In the absence of a VERY clear membership position on a topic, the EC are who set the focus for APNIC and what it is involved in.

        Andy and Masato - if YOU think that the EC are not doing a good enough job, then YOU run for EC... but I didn't see your names on the election ballot.

        You guys are absolutely free to have your say, and continue to do so as noisy as you like... I fully believe in the statement of 'I might not like what you say, but I will fight for your right to say it'.

        BUT if your positions are not backed up by significant community (not just noisy) support, then accept that the EC will do what they think is best... Let them do their jobs... and if you don't think they are doing that to the best interests of the community, then run for EC and see if the community supports you in this endeavour. 

        On the topic of resources... people know that in the past I have asked hard questions about the costs of travel of APNIC staff and how many need to be in business class - something that was addressed and also rationalised.  But we can always do more rationalisation of costs... but cost savings should never more important than the future of the way the Internet works.

        That said... accountability and understanding of the costs involved are absolutely important, and the requests for reporting, simplification of buzzwords, are mandatory for the community to have the information they need to know that the EC/Management is doing the right thing.

        My final statement regarding APNICs involvement in Internet Governance is that it is absolutely critical for the future integrity and stability of the Internet.  I would like to know the resources being expended, and as long as people are being conservative with the costs involved, I am happy with the level of involvement, and if appropriate, an increased involvement.  Paul and the EC has my full appreciation for his passion and dedication for IG and the long term viability of APNIC.


        Skeeve Stevens - eintellego Networks Pty Ltd
        The Experts Who The Experts Call
        Juniper - Cisco - Cloud - Consulting - IPv4 Brokering