IGF 2021 - Day 2 - Launch / Award Event #19 Power and Authority in Internet Governance: Return of the State?

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> We all need it to be open and safe. We all want to trust and to be trusted.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  As a discussion to enrich and inspire our brainstorming. Without any further ado, allow know hand over the floor to Blayne for a brief description. The floor is yours.

>> BLAYNE HAGGART:  Thank you very much. Good morning from Canada. And very good to be here, if only virtually with all of you. I just want to give a few words about the book itself before turning it over to the people who actually, you know, contributed the chapters for the book. So the book itself came about from a July 2019 workshop that we held at the center for global cooperation research at the university in Germany. And yeah, the idea for the book, and they were also responsible for the, I guess, the book series that the bookended up being published with. And the idea for the book itself came out of the speech to the IGF in 2019 which I'm sure a lot of you remembered where he called for greater state involvement in internet governance.

Now time constraints, we couldn't fit everybody on to the panel, but I will say that all of them are very excellent chapters and for those who are interested, I am posting, I'm going to post in the chat, if I can, in a moment maybe a flier for 20% off the book. Because, you know, sometimes even academics have to be mercenary. As you might be able to tell from the brief overview is that the volume itself attempts to look at the issues without falling back on dominant American and eastern European perspectives. For my part, for the editor, it was a pleasure to work with all of our authors and you. And for our authors, I hope you're as happy with the outcome as the editors were. So thanks. I'll leave it there.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much. And we will now go to our panelists for a five-minute introductory statement by each. And I would like to start by Olga. So over to you.

>> OLGA CAVALLI:  Thank you for organizing the IGF. I decided not to travel, I could have, but I decided not to travel because of the uncertainties. But it's quite hot here in Argentina, we have summertime. So that is a good thing for me. And good morning. Thanks to the editors for inviting me to this panel and thanks for editing this book which I think is interesting. The chapter where I work with my dear colleague, and he was so good to put in the good format the ideas that we have together. So that process that we live in one part of the history. It's about the evolution, the role of government in ICANN. And in particular, we focus on what was called the transition that it was a process that happened in between 2014 and 2016.

When ICANN oversaw the transfer of responsibility for certain core technical functions to the internet from the United States Government to the global multistakeholder community. If you recall the history of the IGF, like 15 years ago, the idea of creating this forum was mainly to discuss this role of some countries into the administration of some critical internet sources. The internet has revolved, and the concept was defined as holistic, so that has evolved as well. But if you recall, the original idea was on the administration of the infinite resources.

At that time, I was vice chair and representing my country, Argentina. And Art was external advisor to that process. So we both had a privileged and different focuses in that process. And for me, it was very intense and quite very, very interesting. I feel privileged to be part of. That

So we know ICANN is the stakeholder organization in internet governance, making policy, overseeing implementation of some IGF functions, and the original registry functions. And of course, oversees the management. So the organization has a unique structure. It's quite unique it. It is multistakeholder, but as a different from the internet governance forum, all stakeholders have an equal footing, in ICANN, stakeholders have a different role. And in particular government and advisory committee which is called the governmental advisory committee. That issues advice to the board. So it's not involved in defining the policy but issues advice to the policy or now it is involved, perhaps, in earlier process that has changed a little bit with the time.

But at the end, other support organizations that wants to define the roles.

The board is required to adopt what is advice for just now and they have to justify the refusal. It is not bound to the advice. And it has no legal sanctions available if the board rejects what is recommended.

As you can see, the role of the government within ICANN, it's perhaps different like other internet governance organizations. So the chapter focuses on one part of the transition. I don't want to take a lot of time, so the main focus of the chapter was about one part of the transition for the establishment of a mechanism to enhance the accountability of ICANN even that ICANN would be independent from the United States Government. That was a big change.

Some people thought that was kind of a privatization of ICANN. And there was a political discussion within the United States at that time between the different representatives of both main parties. And finally, you have to read the book, you have to read the chapter for all the details. And we concluded that while states have become more active in multistakeholder processes at ICANN, they still hold a secondary role. And we include some ideas on how this role of governments could be enhanced. And at the same time, we say the fact that states should participate more actively within ICANN because sometimes some stakeholders request more participation, but they don't use that opportunity to be more involved. And I will stop here, and I will welcome comments or questions from colleagues and participants. Thank you very much for the invitation.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much, Olga. And thank you Blayne as well for sharing the flyer in the chat. We will be allowing 15 minutes at the end of the session for Q&A, so please note down your questions or comments until then. And for now, I would like to turn next to Ting Luo.

>> T TING LUO:  Talking about internet of course, we need to get better internet governance. So this chapter I coauthored with my colleague. So I want to start with the motivation we have in this chapter, taking what was mentioned earlier. In our chapter, we were interested by the division between democratic states which people talk about internet or internet governance. Now quite often has connotations and they are associated with freedom of speech or liberation. But when we talk about internet governance or internet in general, people quite often associate the teams with negative connotation.

Now taking China's model as example, western scholars observe quite often perceive China's internet model as one in which all-powerful regime is able to utilize the internet or technology as some sort of control technology. And I think, we think, it is telling emphasize the following, the nature of the Chinese regime, the great that separate on the global one or the censorship of sensitive information or blocking of one website or suppression of use. However, we think, this is just one side of the story. The real focus on the use of internet in sensitive area, so those vital to the survival of the regime. In contrast, attention has been paid to Chinese internet government in areas such as promoting technology or driven economic development or even the regulation of online content which is the focus of this chapter.

So I want to highlight that also we borrowed the lens of (?) initially termed back in 1970s. They use this term to demonstrate Chinese government's approach to governing. So briefly on this framework. So even though China is a regime whereby the policy making power is by a small number of official at the central level, but Chinese leader face challenging governing a country that is diverse in population and territory. So deal with the challenges, responsibility, and authority of delegate, both vertically from the top to the bottom and horizontally across different ministry, different bureaus. In other words, the State in China is not unified. Instead, it's fragmented and destroyed. And that's where we turn state.

Now turn to internet governance, in this chapter o, our focus is on content regulation. And we demonstrate how internet governance work in China. We find that the nature really depends on the sensitive nature of the areas. So in sensitive areas that are vital to party survival, we continue effort by the Chinese government to centralize control. But in non-sensitive area, such as online health content or advertisement, the focus of the case study in our chapter, we observe. And we use this Chinese metaphor, run the water, to demonstrate the situation. So Chinese dragon are different from the western one. Western dragon typically breathe fire but ours don't. So in Chinese methodology, the authority responsible for controlling our managing water or weather. And each have their own opinion on how to run the water or weather, then take initiative to run the water or everyone try to compete for the management. And the result will be disaster. Either too much water, there's a flood, or too little, like drought. These demonstrate how it works in China in non-sensitive area. So basically the governance of non-sensitive area, they are recommended among multiple government agencies with conflicting agenda and interests. The result in our case is regulate vacuum whereby no authority and responsibility to regulate.

And we also find that when it comes to these cases, the case of for example claims of medical treatment or fake medical information online, the response from government were linear and target specific issues, steps taken by the government to avoid occurrence of similar problems in the future. These are basic introduction of chapter. I know we have time later to talk about implication of state role. So now back to the moderator. Thank you.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much Ting for sharing your initial remarks on this hot topic. And your part of the book. And introducing what I believe may be selective governance, depending on the sensitivity of the issue. Our third speaker is Niels Ten Oever. So over to you before we dive deeper into the discussion. Please go ahead.

>> NIELS TEN OEVER:  We might be contributed an issue that emerges but also intersects and will intersect more with infrastructure governance in near future. Now first towards this excellent book, it's been a real pleasure to work on and learn from the other authors and editors who took a lot of care in their work. And it tells a unified story of the developing practice that is the internet. Because just like already said, you cannot stand in a river twice and edit on that, you cannot stand in a river once, the internet is evolving and changing. So talking about internet governance is talking about an evolving practice.

Since the mid-1990s, private internet governance has been viewed as governance innovation, in a departure from inter-governmental telecommunications governance. However, in the 2010s, the private regime characterized by bottom-up self-regulation started to show signs of wear and tear with the increased rule setting done by states and multilateral bodies. For instance, several states have felt they currently have insufficient stake in the decision-making in the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers. The body that coordinators the use of unique identifiers such as IP addresses that are foundational for the internet.

Other states such as China and Russia have come further by proposing and enacting national regulations and creating domestic internet infrastructure in order to better exert influence on the internet.

This context at the heart involves a context between conflicting norms. The private, multistakeholder internet governance regime has at the highest value the creation of interconnection through industry coordination and norm development. In contrast, the multilateral regime seeks to achieve a number of other goals including but not limited to maximizing state sovereignty, promoting economic prosperity, and eliminating harmful content. I argue that the private multi-stake holder and the multilateral regime are two different regimes that are guided by different norms.

The private multistakeholder regime aims to create interconnection to create a transnational seamless network whereas the multilateral regime seems to inspire local and regional norms within the network. But I argue instead of looking at the regimes as being at odds with each other, I think we should see this as an overarching regime where both regimes are optimizing to serve different goals and jointly can produce a transnational network as it is the internet today. What is going to be exciting in the coming time is to see how the two regimes interact and will they merge together? Or how will they adapt to the power of the other? Will there be a division of task and labor? And how will that be contested and coordinated? I think that will be an interesting research area for the coming time that we see playing out in the next generation of infrastructure such as 5g and quantum technologies. I hope this was a useful input. I look forward to discussing it.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much. And thank you for describing the different models and the different regimes. It's interesting to see how things will fall and whether they'll compete, coexist, compliment, but before getting deeper into the discussion, I would like to hand the floor to our Anita. I appreciate your views on how you see the debate over the role of states and internet governance. It would be great if you can share your perspective, teasing further input from our panelists and from our audience as well. Please. Over to you.

>> ANITA GURUMURTHY:  Thank you so much. This is a thought-provoking, elegantly argued, contribution to the discourse. Refreshing. Maybe we're birds of a feather, but so what. And I'm grateful to join this session. When you were describing the process and the journey, I felt, you know, envious that I was not part of the journey but I'm glad I'm able to join you.

The book signals a counterfactual moment, what would have happened to the internet had it not been for the total control of digital capitalism. It is not about the book, and not to go back, what this book urges are that the debate must move beyond a simplistic dichotomy, based on the values of democracy and human rights. Olga and Jan, your story of the transition lays out brilliantly the need to shift focus to dominance. I loved your account. And as I was reading it, the experiences of change came back to me. I miss bumping into all of you in those corridors of power.

Ting, I think your coauthors today, political versus economic state craft is extremely valuable, especially in the context of the often-blunt analysis we see in Western Academia of the Chinese context.

And the internet governance terrain is a conflict of prioritized values within what is actually a simple regime complex and not a conflict between private and public governance. But I would also like to understand given the deep digital corporations we can set boundaries for private governance and  re-public governance so our institutions can be adequate to the moment.

Since the book was put together, the context has changed considerably. And I'll start with China. China's recent such as Ed tech, business models, and its AI, artificial intelligence regulation and the revoking of cryptocurrency mining licenses due to concerns about energy guzzling and financial risks, all of this point to a willingness and perhaps some would say political motivations to take on capital. China is willing to incur the risk of negative sentiment, the stock exchange, the New York stock exchange can go anywhere. There's room to not dismiss this as irrelevant. Research on AI shows how China-bashing can be unproductive. For example, credit scoring algorithms in China are used not against individuals as is often made out to be the case but for tracking businesses and their compliance. Explorations of the Chinese case also obscure the efficacy of governance and other jurisdictions such as the EU for preventing human rights data abuses by corporations. While these bolster the conclusions of the book, they also behoove us to think more about another dichotomy, between digital public policy and the rest of public policy.

Digital governance is intermeshed with governance in a more fundamental way. The power reshapes the values, norms, worldviews, principles, rules, incentive, disincentive, et cetera that make up the social politic in policy. We need to think more about the people and ask what constitutes public interest with respect to social, cultural, ecological, and many other publics.

The second point I want to make is the regime complex as colliding value systems where privatized control meets state government will need deeper interrogation. In my view, we must capture the (?) for the extraordinary hold of public imagination, not only in digital governance. From where I come, multistakeholderism is playing a constitutive role in the democratization of process both national and global. All aspects of social life, public policy questions become entangled with digital capital and its breezy tech analyzation of political aspects of governance. A global consensus around multistakeholderism supplants deliberation, legitimizing the obvious approach in all of public policy making. With the political economy of development linked to data value chain, many countries, even if they desire, may not be able to contain private capital. Trade deals require countries to comply with their data. On the other hand, demand that they open up their algorithmic practices cannot be enforced. Development financing which is closely tied to tax justice and the risk of the digital corporations and countries to refuse to bend.

There's a loss of autonomy at many levels so. The question is how do we deal with the democratization of processes in this skilled terrain of international development under digital capitalism.

The third part, the human regime founded in the enlightenment ideas of the rational man is an able to prevent thetic traction of sociality by digital capita there's a lot of focus on how, if only we ensure that liberal fixes are not compromised by market state facts, we can have an equitable digital order. But the political and economic tools of state craft drawn from post-war constitutionalism is unable to provide a sociality. This would need an intervention that say step change, not an incremental change.

The questions for democracy and human rights, I come back to conclude what would have happened if the internet and its multilateral governance had been designed differently? For this governance must be placed within conceptions of global justice. This says question for procedural democracy and for the limits of democracy and human rights. It's about replacing the market with new civic, public frameworks and key aspects in the digital domain, taking the tech back and dealing with the question of pure public goods, globally, ally, sub nationally. This is where we need a return of the State in internet governance as the editors put it that can support a new marker the which you are of autonomous civic publics. And we do need a revitalized multilateralism with assemblies offering their collective knowledge and positions for consideration by inter-governmental bodies. Pie in the sky in maybe. But I leave it there. Thank you very much.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much for the provoking questions and inspiring thoughts. With that, I would like to go through a second iteration with our speakers for further elaborations, views, or reactions to your inspiring thoughts. So following the same order, Olga, would you like to start?

>> OLGA CAVALLI:  Thank you. A lot of thoughts. And as I said when I started to talk about the role of ICANN and the concept of internet governance has evolved over these years. And as you rightly mentioned, we are facing new challenges, like what happens with more countries, the role of the different artificial intelligence technology being used. And for me, living in a developing economy and a developing region, what’s to us, being consumers of technology and sending data to some other platform, I'm not saying it's wrong or right, just saying that it's a new reality. And we should think about how to revitalize the different spaces that we have for discussions. Especially, we are focusing on investigating this for many years, how can developing countries really contribute and be a part of an active, we have an active role and a relevant role in all the discussions. And this is a major issue because we have seen a special concentration of power in the internet in the latest years.

Again, I'm not saying this is wrong or right, I'm saying this is new reality. And with this gap in between the digital improving of the economy and of the society, the profit from the society of using technology in developing economies is becoming more and more complex.

So this gap is widening. So how can we make this developing economy bees more active and relevant in the participation in this space. So I see the concept, this space is relevant. I don't know how. For moment, what we have been trying is to train our participants, mainly I see problem in governments, in moving from the old structures like multilateral structures in the officials and having a new view in trying to capture the value of a multistakeholder, for example, in the IGF or in other spaces. In particular, in ICANN. And there are other colleagues from the ministry of foreign affairs, younger people doing that role. I see a lower involvement of government. Effective involvement. So I see this as a missing opportunity. So once we have a space, we have to be sure that all the countries on the government do use that space and use it in a relevant role, in a relevant way, and at the same time, revitalize those that are stuck to old ways of participation like multilateral. This is a huge challenge. I see it as the journey, not the destination. It's an evolving issue. But we that we are involved in multistakeholder spaces. And we may have some experiences to share. We should be the once in bringing these ideas, especially to the developing economies. Developing countries maybe have more resources to have specialized officials of the government to participate actively in the spaces. But for me, the big challenge is our developing economies, in particular, like in America has been the region which suffer most of this crisis after COVID, we are the region with the lowest, with the highest decrease in our economy. So I see as an opportunity. I'm always optimistic. I see this as an opportunity.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Application thank you very much. And thank you for building on what Anita mentioned regarding how to revitalize the different spaces and focusing on how economies have been active and relevant. Indeed, it's a huge challenge. And when we speak about governments, the way to be having all governments talking and voicing their concerns and not only handful or a single government. So we need everyone to be involved and have an active and relevant role.

So I would like to give the floor next to Ting, please. Over to you.

>> TING LUO:  Thank you for her comment. That's thought provoking. So I would like to go back between the division. And also want to address some of the point you mention about the development in China. I think the first point I want to say, at least from our study, it demonstrates that regardless of the nature of the political regime, democratic or not, China does not differ much to manage user content online. And we believe that given the rapid development of technology and the content, government around the world have to basically share the same difficulty in trying to govern the internet. So that's why we think basically, it does not just the fight of China. And moreover, especially in this case, our case study, it does demonstrate in response to the decentralized nature of online content regulation is decentralized to involve not just the government but also companies and users as well. So in terms of the response to this kind of challenge generally to the challenge of internet governance.

The second point also happened related to what you saw about recent development. Given the kind of challenge we face in internet governance, government have to spend resources in areas they deem important or deem sensitive, right? So in China or the West involve priority. So in China, that means priority areas are sensitive. Maybe in cast west it's different. What you mention about development, the step taken by Chinese government, maybe more capable than the US Government, less constraint to do things you think might be good for the public interest. And I want to highlight that, even though in my chapter I mention sensitive, meaning those areas that is vital to the regime stability or the party's rule, and although Western study tend to mention this has to do with the content or the kind of area that's likely to trigger actions. But I must mention, my understanding, China's government, this guardianship model. It does not lie at how they get their power. Outcome, meaning whether they are able to deliver benefit to people or nation. If economic development is so crucial to the developer, to the party's rule and of course this will be the priority and the sensitive area. And that's how I see the development as well. Maybe this issue is becoming sensitive or crucial to the regime's survival. So they have to put more efforts, they have to be more, perhaps, maybe not liberal but more brave in tackling the issues. And something else I want to highlight, thank you for pointing out the social issue. I agree the outside of China, people tend to consider social credit as something to target individuals. And I agree what you said. And totally, I have a new working paper entitled surveillance by popular consent. I have a few other coauthors and. From the project, I want to highlight that this apply to internet governance in China. And it's not just the division about binary division about regime and the democratic state, we need to pay attention to the context. The context, especially what was the State opposed. They are the same in the sense that the state, for example, we don't have anything in the past. So what happened at that time is just very brief example, a lot of scams that happen, not get compensation or vendor can just get no punishment and move to somewhere else. Like in the West, you have a credit history. Everyone has something to constrain or discipline their behavior. And in China, we don't have that. And the same for internet government, what's going on now, we have to see what was that before the new reform and before all the new development. So that's my response. Thank you very much.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much. For your thoughts and highlighting the effect of different priorities. And very interesting title of your new paper looking forward to reading this one too.

We started five minutes late. And I think we are exactly five minutes delayed. So I hope we will be able to still give the audience the promised 15 minutes for their questions. But before that, Niels, over to you, please.

>> NIELS TEN OEVER:  The discussion localized the source of global justice with public institutions. I would rather focus on collectives and movements of people. Because what we are currently seeing is that people are being excommunicated from information infrastructures in the sense that the users are not configuring them but are being configured. But who is now vying over the control of the infrastructures, whether it's states or corporations, this is an ongoing battle going on for ages. Transnational communication networks since the first intercontinental cable was laid in 1865 have been a proxy for power and are producing among and between states and corporations. States have complicit in creating surveillance capitalism. In this, our governments demanding surveillance APIs on every layer of the step. And it has not been time and again governments arguing in the internet engineering task forces for human rights protections. That doesn't mean that governance have a role or corporations have a role, but I think it's very, slightly dangerous to say that one actor can say, we can say as a defender of the public good. And neither can civil society. What is very important is that we continue creating a social technical imaginary of what we want communication infrastructures of the future to be. How can we -- we're now building on our information societies on completely, privately-owned and governed platforms. Yes, coming up with laws but what is really the network we want? What would a real democratic infrastructure look like that people can configure, materialize, and they can also use to experiment and explore themselves instead of being reduced to customer and consumer.

I think that is the big question, how can we really reappropriate the infrastructures for the people instead of producing consumers and citizens.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much. Thanks for your comments and highlighting the dangers to say that one actor is the defender of the public good. Indeed, it has to be collective effort looking at the time, I think we are good now to open the floor for any questions. Thanks to our panelists. And thanks to Anita as well. Any comments or questions? And please, if there is something I have overlooked, please let me know.

>> BLAYNE HAGGART:  I don't think so. If anyone wants to put their hand up or write your question in the chat, and I'm sure our panelists would be happy to answer.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Sure. And meanwhile, as we are waiting for hands -- I see Olga's hand up.

>> OLGA CAVALLI:  Yes, you're right, this is an old thing that we have been following. And experiencing from ages. But the big change now is that amount of information that is created all over the world by half the public being connected to the internet, and very high speed that any content is spread, thing makes really the difference. And the flow of information from many countries to some platforms that are in few countries. And again, I'm not saying this is good or bad, it’s the reality, it's the sign of the time. And this is what we have to focus on. And in relation with the role of the States, yes, all stakeholders have a stake, what happens with the internet. But states have the responsibility at the national level within the boundaries. And they have a responsibility for their citizens, for different regimes of the national provision.

So it is a special stakeholder. It's somehow different. Difference and piece of stakeholder. So just wanted to visit upon that and maybe provoke your response.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much. And I see Anita's hand up.

>> Yes, it would be lovely to do this over coffee face to face. And I know that requires for us to sit in the same room. But I think the new context, what we do really see say hollowing out of the public in the developing world. And I think Olga's vocabulary, coming from where she is, is feeling the problem similarly but different locations. Coming from where we see, for instance, in various health data, you know, what happened with the deal in the UK. You know, and actually seeing that data is really going out from the health system, the public health system, to reclaim it in the form of data trusts with individuals and communities is really not an option. Because you really don't have a canopy off a public law which recognizes that data is a common. Where access to rights and, you know, the data by any one person who can enclose it, in this case the digital corporation, that has to be through a public process. And the existence of collaborators, cooperatives, its, which manage digital goods, you know, for those communities, a different ideal of public law, different ideal of public institution, their role, their mediating responsibilities, those are needed. So I think that revitalization is about looking at a new pillar for democracy, where the State is not above scrutiny of the public or the communities. That's what I mean. I think the idea of pulling from the developing world is one that's always citizenship being enacted constantly. And for that, you know, the corporate power and private power has to be something that the State takes responsibility to check. And that's been our experience, whether physical resources or it is the intangibles of data. That's where I'm coming from. And I believe that communities should really at the edge of the movement towards re-existence.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much, Anita. And in lack of other questions, maybe I can break the ice with one. In light of our discussions today and the excellent book we have at hand, what do you expect for the future in terms of the role of state? How would it evolve? Should we expect more involvement from states or less involvement looking forward? And would this be considered something good or bad? And are we in the right direction to where we would like to be? Or we should do things differently? If there are any expectations about how this role would evolve through Governments and I like very much how the book concluded that the question is not whether the State should be involved in internet governance, it always has been. And the question should be how the State can be most constructively engaged in internet governance. So this struck me as a good conclusion. Just reading the chat. Jan, please, go ahead. If you're speaking --

>> JAN SCHOLTE:  No, no, I have a resistant computer. I want to see if I pull out a little bit more. Do I hear you both in the sense saying in your different ways that the debate, posing the debate as multilateral really --

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  I'm sorry -- yeah, someone needs to mute, please.

>> JAN SCHOLTE:  I think it's gone now. Posing the debate as conventional done between multilateralism and multistakeholderism is not the most constructive politically. That you would rather pose it as governmentally versus emancipation or -- a different kind of rational, but you have different languages, but am I hearing both of you say that the posing of the question about authority and state and so on in internet governance as a multilateralism versus multistakeholderism is not the most productive way to conduct the debate?

>> ANITA GURUMURTHY:  I think for me they're apples and oranges. Multilateralism can have many meanings but in the context of, you know, the international politics in the context of absent democracy globally, what it means is the way governmental cooperation takes place in the United Nations which is supposed to house this membership.

For me, multistakeholderism is an invention of participatory democracy, so it's a process. And it's a process in which the stakeholderrism and the contents and the discontents of stakeholderrism can be unpacked in many, many ways. And mostly in the bland ways by which people understand stakeholderrism, the claims of people, the weight should be given to power and also things are absent, although in the most benign and charitable form, it could be depicted as listening to everybody being inclusive, et cetera. But in the ways in this it's translated into making way for inclusive discourses in the internet governance space, multistakeholderism has a very, very strident criticism. And we do not know at this point in time despite hundreds of years of experience with democracy how else to reinvent the global existence. But internet makes such shared existence necessary, and we need to reinvent multilateralism and probably use the internet itself as a tool to do so. Multistakeholderism, we really need a vocabulary that's forced. I think stakes don't describe the way claims get politically mediated. Because political claims in any context are embedded in power relations. And therefore, I might have a claim actually to drive my car, but it might be deemed by the Court that pedestrians have a better right to walk on the street. So the mediation I think is very important. I don't quite like the language at all.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much, Anita, for sharing your interesting thoughts on multistakeholderism versus multilateralism. Niels, would you like to go next?

>> NIELS TEN OEVER:  Yeah, I would just offer a footnote. And judge dodging the question, I think the greatest things have happened if the interest of states, corporations, and publics converge. Then you really see interdisciplinary work that can make things happen. But we're now often confronted, we're now at times of divergence, in different ways, between different public, among states, within state, and we need something to build conversion again but we're being thrown quite some curve balls with the current regime. And there we see also the States are not doing the obvious right thing of releasing intellectual property of COVID vaccines. We see how capital penetrates the state. Me coming from The Netherlands where the State has been produced by capital. So just saying, capital is more than just corporations. But the way to think our way out of a future is a way in which we leverage our different senses of institutionality to come up with a progressive and more equal neuro. And for that, we really need to focus on imaging that and will right now we're still often, my myself as well, it's easier to be reactive to what is there than to anticipate on what could come. But we need another infrastructure because the current infrastructure will not survive climate change. And it is not necessarily sustainable in creating more devices and new networking equipment. Not going to solve many problems but also where power is shifted, on every layer of the stack or how we create data publics in which we enable the sharing of knowledge and empower people to do, to shape joint futures. So I think that is where we need to go. And for that, we need to open knowledge and liberate from intellectual property and bring also academics more in, saying as academic, talking with a lot, with some policy makers and having the discussions about futures and possibilities, I think, is a radical future and possibility, there is no time more needed than now. But that's been said always.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you very much. And indeed, there are a lot of competing and complimenting interests. And the more complimenting the better. I see Blayne's hand up.

>> BLAYNE HAGGART:  Yeah, thanks for comments too. But yeah, to get back to the question about or to continue the conversation on the question about what role for state and more state, what's happening good or bad. Part of, for me, the big interest in the volume was, it's the idea that you can't escape the State. There's always going to be states there in some way. So what does that mean? But there's also too that you can't escape from regulation or from like rules. Whether it's by states or corporations. And you know, look, part of the challenge, at least in Canada, part of the challenge here has been, you know, is dealing with this understanding that I think that a lot of people on the panel share, you know, this understanding that rules can be consequential whether or not they come from companies or non-state organizations or states. But that does not often translate into policy making within kind of the, in general politics where again, it's often treated as if it's not, the state's not regulating it, it's still the wild west. And a lot of my interventions have been no, it's not the wild west. So just trying to, you know, one thing that would be a nice hope is that our states is headed in the right or wrong direction but to have the discussion about understanding that the State is going to be there, it should be there, what should that look like. And that's kind of a small advance but I think it would be a consequential one and move it, beyond at least in Canada where it's basically the State shouldn't be involved. Well, that's a bit off the table.

>> MANAL ISMAIL:  Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much everyone. Thanks to our speaker, our audience. We need to close so please stay safe. And have a very good rest of your day. Thank you very much.