Creating Tomorrow's Internet.
INTERNET MARK 2 NEWSLETTER - JANUARY 2005
Welcome to our first Newsletter for 2005. In this issue:
=> WHERE TO FROM HERE FOR INTERNET MARK2?
=> CALL FOR MEMBERS OF ADVISORY COMMITTEE
=> CALL FOR MORE SENSIBLE DISCUSSION ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE
ABOUT THE INTERNET MARK 2 PROJECT
The Internet Mark 2 Project rose out of concerns that Internet
protocols and governance have not evolved sufficiently to deal with
the range of problems which have appeared as the Internet gets older
and bigger. We welcome your feedback and involvement in our work;
some suggestions as to how you can get involved appear at
The Internet Mark2 Newsletter is circulated free of charge, and will
bring monthly updates on issues with Internet Governance and Protocols.
To subscribe is as simple as sending an email to
WHERE TO FROM HERE FOR INTERNET MARK2?
To recap our story thus farů..
Early in 2004 we became increasingly concerned that important issues
as regards evolution of Internet protocols and governance were not
being given appropriate attention. After a degree of discussion,
analysis, and consideration of these issues, we published the
Internet Analysis Report 2004 - Protocols and Governance. Those who
have not read a copy can download the Executive Summary free of
charge from www.internetmark2.org.
The study drew a great deal of positive comment as an incisive and
insightful report on the state of the Internet and the issues it
faces. In November 2004, we presented the findings of the study in a
special lunchtime seminar at the headquarters of the International
Telecommunications Union in Geneva.
All in all, well over 500 key Internet figures have now have viewed
the report - perhaps many more. This has included strategists in
leading technology companies, government officials and policy
advisers in Asia, North America and Europe, UN officials, and
personnel from key Internet bodies such as ICANN, IETF, NROs, and ITU.
What we have found from this exposure only extends the concerns we
had in mounting this project.
In particular, no-one is disagreeing with the basic findings of the
study. Some people question whether it is appropriate to talk openly
about these issues, some people would like us to amend our
descriptive language in various parts of the study so as to paint a
more rosy picture, some people have pointed out some important minor
amendments which we are grateful for, but the basic analysis is
generally being accepted as accurate.
What that tells us is that we are moving into 2005 with basic
Internet protocols which will not scale to the future, eccentric
governance structures unable to look at these issues holistically,
and a dominance of technocratic thinking unable to adequately address
the basic requirements of Internet users.
Does this matter? Well, perhaps not. It's the nature of
communications and information technologies to become outmoded and
replaced, and for the Internet to follow this pattern might be
But if that happens, what might we lose?
And here I think is the crux of the matter. The Internet has opened
up cheaper global communications, the capacity to communicate freely
across borders, and vast improvements in the capacity of humans to
communicate, access information, and exchange goods and services.
These have been huge gains that would not have come through
traditional structures and without the marriage of computing and
So we do not believe that the appropriate path forward is to do
nothing and rely on the technological winner of the next generation
telephony and internet experiments to be our future platform. Rather,
we believe that we should influence the way these things are developed.
We may also have to, as with the Internet and the myriad of
different developments that came together to make it happen, work
towards creation of the technical facilities we need to ensure
protection of some important basic values in internetworking.
The future may or may not involve DNS as we know it, or even email
in anything like its current form. Different messaging genres less
susceptible to fraud are likely to emerge, and addressing is likely
to take on different forms. Meanwhile current Internet structures may
find themselves irrelevant because they have defined their scope too
narrowly and have not been able to look far enough forward to create
the future that the Internet deserves.
We see our role as assisting in the creation of tomorrow's Internet.
As a result of the Internet Analysis Report, we have had a lot of
excellent feedback as regards the issues involved in major protocol
changes, architectural directions that might be appropriate, and
generally useful comments in moving forward. We believe these forward-
thinking energies should be harnessed into a co-operative structure.
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR MEMBERS OF AN INTERNET MARK 2 ADVISORY
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DISTRIBUTE THIS CALL WIDELY.
Right now, to address the questions which have emerged from our work
thus far (see http://www.internetmark2.org), and to address other
issues which will emerge in this coming year of WSIS Internet
governance discussions and extensive technical and policy challenges
in maintaining open and reliable global communications, we are
calling for nominations for members of an Internet Mark 2 Advisory
Members of the Advisory Committee will be chosen for their capacity
to make a positive contribution to the future of the Internet. This
may be in fields such as policy and strategy development, in forging
alliances among government, community and industry, in technical and
architectural roles, in managing effective change, and in creating a
path to a more reliable future for the Internet.
Alliances with existing governmental, community and industry bodies
are most welcome. Self-nominations are also welcome.
The purpose of the Advisory Committee will be to advise on and seek
initiatives to further the cause of an Internet which enhances global
communications, supports the free flow of information, and provides a
platform for exchange of goods and services on a global basis.
Advisory Committee nominations should be sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date is March 30 2005, so as
to allow time for widespread input.
Applications should include a brief description of the person being
nominated and their relevant experience and skills, and a short
statement as regards the person's interest in the future of the
Internet and what they would bring to a role on the Advisory
Committee. If this is not a self-nomination, we will need to have
details of how to contact the person being nominated to allow them to
indicate their willingness to stand.
Please let your colleagues know, think about self-nominating, and
help us to move this initiative on to its next stages.
INTERNET ANALYSIS REPORT 2004 - PROTOCOLS AND GOVERNANCE
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
"a good and informative paper"
"lays out its case in simple, understandable terms"
"what I found valuable about it was the breadth of the approach,
introducing readers to a wide range of barriers that the Internet
faces in increasing the breadth and depth of its current coverage"
To purchase your copy of the report, visit
A CALL FOR MORE SENSIBLE DISCUSSION ON INTERNET GOVERNANCE
The worst thing going on in the debates on Internet governance is
the tendency of many people with a long association with Internet
development to take an uncompromising stance of defending the status
quo without really understanding the concerns being advanced by
various governments as regards their role in the future of the
Internet. This is often (but not always) accompanied by an attempt to
pretend that there is no real issue in the root of the Internet being
controlled by a single government.
In a globally connected world, there is room for United Nations
input into the Internet, and the UN could prove to be its best
defender and its greatest champion. A more strategic approach would
be useful. If the role of ITU is best minimized, the best way to
achieve that will not be to attack it, but to engage in constructive
dialogue. If the support of UN member states is desired to maintain a
global Internet, the best way to do that will be to engage, not to
trivialise their concerns.
The "Internet community" is doing itself no favours by pretending
that current Internet governance is perfect, by imagining they are
under some sort of attack, and by regarding debates on Internet
evolution as some sort of personal affront to be dealt with in a
dismissive fashion. A bit more strategy and a bit of longer term
thinking would go a long way in ensuring a useful outcome from WSIS.
Let's leave it at that for this month. Nothing would please us more
than to close down this initiative, knowing that the issues we have
raised are being given appropriate attention by a sensible set of
organisational structures. As we cannot see that yet, we feel bound
to continue working on these issues and to seek to do so with other
If these issues concern you, contact me at
TELL A FRIEND
We continue to seek further feedback and exposure to the issues we
are raising. If you are aware of someone who you think should be
aware of these issues, we suggest you send them this newsletter, and
suggest they subscribe (it's as simple as sending an email to
Alternatively, direct them to www.internetmark2.org. We appreciate