How to create a governance structure for an open, just and equitable INTERNET?
Many of the civil society representatives who were active at WSIS--The World Summit on the Information Society--have been working for the past few months on a document to define future public participation (they call it "multistakeholder") in internet governance.
The metaphor "multistakeholder" is itself instructive.
Is this about real estate? Is the Internet property?
Who holds the stakes?
Do community media makers have the same stakes as Microsoft, or, say, the French Government?
Years ago PAPER TIGER TV made a program called Staking a Claim in Cyberspace which asked similar questions. --DeeDee Halleck
Katitza Rodríguez is the Director of EPIC´s International Privacy Project and Coordinator of The Public Voice Coalition
CIVIL SOCIETY INFORMATION SOCIETY ADVISORY COUNCIL (CSISAC) November 2008
On behalf of The Public Voice Coalition, we are pleased to enclose the civil society proposal for the establishment of the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Committee (CSISAC) to be submitted to the ICCP Committee for its approval at its meeting on 11-12 December 2008.
At the OECD Ministerial Conference on the Future of the Internet Economy, the OECD Secretary General expressed support for an effort to formalize the participation of civil society in the work of the OECD concerning the future of the Internet. This
recommendation follows from almost two decades of civil society participation at the OECD and the specific proposals of civil society put forward to the 1998 OECD Ministerial Conference and again in the Civil Society Declaration at the 2008 Ministerial Conference.
The main purpose of the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council (CSISAC) is to contribute constructively to the policy work of the OECD Committee for Information, Computer and Communications Policy (ICCP) and to promote the exchange
of information between the OECD and the civil society participants most active in the information technology field. Information from the OECD will provide civil society participants with a stronger empirical basis to make policy assessments; inputs into research and policy development from civil society will provide the OECD with the essential perspective of stakeholders "at the receiving end" of policy. Strengthening the relationship between civil society and the OECD will lead to better-informed and more widely accepted policy frameworks.
The CSISAC will undertake the following activities:
• Engage in constructive input and dialogue with the ICCP Committee about policy issues of interest to civil society;
• Pursue the agenda set out in the Civil Society Seoul Declaration of 2008;
• Report to civil society organizations about the OECD publications, events, and policy recommendations of interest to civil society;
• Identify and publicize opportunities for participation by civil society organizations in the work of the OECD;
• Maintain appropriate communications tools (e.g. content management system, mailing list, social network platform) that highlight key OECD-ICCP developments of interest to civil society and facilitate broader civil society participation; and
• Report on an annual basis the accomplishments of the past year and the goals for the next year.
4. Proposed Structure
In keeping with the structure of other non-governmental stakeholders at the OECD, the CSISAC proposes a structure that seeks to facilitate the participation of interested parties in the work of the OECD and to promote effective communications
between stakeholders and the OECD.
The CSISAC includes the CSISAC Membership, the CSISAC Steering Committee, and the CSISAC Liaison. The roles and structure of these entities are outlined below. The effectiveness of the proposed structure, including the working of the CSISAC Liaison and the CSISAC Steering Committee, will be evaluated after one year.
CSISAC Membership will be open to civil society participants who:
• Endorse the Civil Society Seoul Declaration
• Demonstrate a commitment to the public interest; and
• Do not represent any business, technical organization, government entity or other institution that sets public policy (e.g., ICANN, RIR, WIPO staff).
All civil society participants that signed the Civil Society Seoul Declaration shall be considered founding members of the CSISAC. Particular efforts will be made to ensure that the interests of disadvantaged groups are represented within the CSISAC.
CSISAC members will provide expertise in policy issues relevant to the work of the OECD-ICCP committee and its four working parties.
CSISAC Steering Committee
The CSISAC Steering Committee will represent the CSISAC Membership in the work of the OECD-ICCP. Members of the Steering Committee will have access to all OECD draft documents made available for OECD committee members with the
understanding that OECD rules regarding disclosure must be respected. The Steering Committee will also be responsible for assembling ad-hoc working groups who can review OECD policy issues.
The Steering Committee will be comprised of 6-8 individual or organizational representatives, who will serve two-year terms. The Steering Committee will be accountable to the CSISAC membership, with selection done in such a way as to account for regional and issue diversity.
An interim Steering Committee, comprised of individuals and organizations that contributed to the OECD "Future of the Internet Economy" Ministerial in June 2008, will develop a formal process for selection of the Steering Committee by early 2009. CSISAC Liaison Charity Gamboa has worked with NGO's in training out-of- school youth in Computer Literacy and Basic English in the Philippines and she has been a delegate to the OECD discussions about internet governance,
The CSISAC Liaison will facilitate communication among the OECD-ICCP, the CSISAC Membership, and the CSISAC Steering Committee. The CSISAC Steering Committee will select the CSISAC Liaison. The Liaison will serve as a point of contact and primary conduit for information flow between the CSISAC and the OECD-ICCP, with decision-making capacity reserved for the Steering Committee. Additionally, the Liaison and one other member of the CSISAC Steering Committee will be expected to participate regularly in OECD-ICCP meetings. The Liaison will serve a two-year term, which coincides with the OECD-ICCP committee work cycle.
An interim Liaison will be provided by The Public Voice Project for 2009-2010 and will serve as the initial point of contact with the OECD and be responsible for facilitating CSISAC participation.
5. Participation of CSISAC at the OECD
It is anticipated that the CSISAC will have the same standing at the OECD-ICCP committee as do the BIAC and the TUAC.
6. Evolution of CSISAC
It is the hope of civil society that, over time, the CSISAC will evolve into the Civil Society Advisory Council (CSAC) and provide the basis for civil society input to all OECD activities, comparable to the BIAC and the TUAC.
7. Reference Documents
• Civil Society Seoul Declaration, June 2008 http://thepublicvoice.org/events/seoul08/seoul-declaration.pdf.
• Civil Society Background Paper, June 2008 http://thepublicvoice.org/events/seoul08/cs-paper.pdf
• OECD, “The Future of the Internet Economy OECD Ministerial Meeting,” 17-18 June 2008, Seoul, South Korea, FutureInternet
• “Closing remarks by Angel Gurría, OECD Ministerial Meeting on the Future of the Internet Economy,18 June 2008.
• OECD, Convention on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (1960). http://www.oecd.org/document/7/0,3343,en_2649_34483_1915847_1_1_1_1,00.html