[sig-policy] Resignation as Policy SIG chair

    • To: SIG policy <sig-policy at apnic dot net>
    • Subject: [sig-policy] Resignation as Policy SIG chair
    • From: Andy Linton <asjl at lpnz dot org>
    • Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:18:03 +0100
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      • I've decided to stand down as chair of the APNIC Policy SIG. I'm doing this for a number of reasons which I'll go into in this mail. I was not able to attend APNIC38 as I am currently in the UK but to be honest even if I'd been in New Zealand I'm not sure that I would have made the trip to Brisbane.

        Several meetings ago Randy Bush put a proposal in front of the Policy SIG suggesting that the time had come to abandon the making of policy in the current form. I chaired the session that discussed this matter. We had a session which ended in confusion and acrimony and the debate ended at that point. 

        I will say that while Randy and I disagreed over the mechanism of how to disband/radically change the current process, I am in full support of the core idea proposed in prop-103. I believe the current process is failing the community and it should be wound up and replaced with some other mechanism.

        At APNIC38, my colleague Masato Yamanashi was returned unopposed as co-chair and I am confident that he will handle the role of Chair until the meeting in Fukuoka next February where the community can decide if they want to continue with the current mechanism or not. My resignation now will give plenty of time for any debate on this.

        I believe that we are now at the stage where we are having a face to face meeting of the Policy SIG mainly to validate the legitimacy of having a meeting of APNIC every six months. There's little of substance that couldn't be discussed on line and there are very few people taking part in debate on address policy because there is really very little to discuss.

        I believe that APNIC's job is and should continue to be a registry with a lightweight structure. I believe APNIC has changed into a quasi political body that spends vast amounts of time and money travelling to Internet Governance meetings where they meet other similar entities and they all tell each other what a fabulous job they're doing of governing the Internet. 

        You may agree with them doing that - that's fine. I don't and I think it's time for me to step aside and let them get on with it. You could say I should stay and help to try to fix things but I simply don't have the time or enthusiasm.

        I can do no better that quote from a paper from Milton Mueller: Stewardship and the Management of Internet Protocol Addresses (www.internetgovernance.org/pdf/CyberDialogue2012_Mueller.pdf). I don't agree with everything Mueller says but this encapsulates the problem very well:

        "But here we face the exact same problem as before: all reforms in IP address governance structure must come from the RIRs themselves. The ASO of ICANN is nothing more than the NRO, and the NRO is nothing more than a combination of the staff and CEOs of the RIRs. And why would the RIRs initiate or institute reforms that would put themselves out of business? The RIRs have many merits as organizations, but they are also quite entrenched, with tens of millions of dollars in annual revenues, a growing number of jobs, and an important place for their managers in the overall Internet governance regime. If this structure is to be dramatically changed, the impetus will not and cannot come from the RIRs themselves."

        I'd like to thank all those in the community who I've worked with over the years. I count very many of you as friends and I'm sure we'll catch up sometime in the future.

        andy