PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility

URIICA
Union for Representative International Internet Cooperation and Analysis
URIICA.ORG

Overcoming ICANN: Forging Better Paths for the Internet

URIICA Announcements Information

Announcing URIICA
URIICA.ORG
Union for Representative International Internet Cooperation and Analysis

For the Sake of Internet Users Everywhere

Lauren Weinstein
Peter G. Neumann
David J. Farber
 
November 13, 2001

An Open Letter to the Global Internet Community

Executive Summary

The Internet has become too important for its development, management, security, and other critical aspects to continue largely on an ad hoc basis. Internet-related issues, which now impact our world and lives in a vast number of ways, are usually approached in isolation from one another by existing organizations, and often in parochial and non-representative ways.

We submit that a new organization is needed, created specifically to provide guidance relating to Internet functions and issues on an international and truly representative basis. Such an organization could also help establish confidence that the Internet exists to benefit people everywhere, not merely commercial and other special interests. We offer URIICA -- Union for Representative International Internet Cooperation and Analysis -- as a possible first step towards building such a future.


URIICA
Union for Representative International Internet Cooperation and Analysis
URIICA.ORG

In the more than thirty years since its genesis, the technology of the Internet has evolved from a little-known experiment to a major part of the world's infrastructures, with massive impacts throughout nearly every aspect of our cultures and lives -- from government to commerce, and from education to entertainment. Over the decades, innumerable individuals and informal groups have labored to make the Internet what it is today. Formal organizations have also played crucial roles, including ISOC, IETF, and ICANN, to name only three among many.

But while the technical evolution of the Internet has been extraordinary in many respects, the ways in which the Internet is "managed" appear to be increasingly ill-suited in terms of overall planning, coordination, security, reliability, privacy, and numerous other key attributes. Of equal concern is the perception that Internet development has become largely hostage to well-heeled, vested interests. There are few and ever-decreasing opportunities for meaningful input on Internet issues from nonprofit organizations or ordinary Internet users without significant financial resources.

These problems have been exacerbated by the historically isolated nature of many organizations working on Internet issues. There is a tendency for each such group to concentrate mainly on their own interests, with little coordination with other groups or persons who may have different points of view. There are also indications that some organizations have moved to extend their influence beyond their true competencies, and that those who have come to wield de facto power over controversial Internet-related issues may do so without a due consideration of international concerns, true representation, or even ordinary fairness.

In the People For Internet Responsibility (PFIR) Statement on Internet Policies, Regulations, and Control, and PFIR Proposal for a Representative Global Internet Policy Organization, it has been suggested that the creation of a new international organization specifically to address these issues is a necessary step to successfully bring the Internet out of the age of turf wars and amateur theatrics into its appropriate role as a critical resource for the entire world and all of its peoples. Of course, moving from theory to practice is often difficult, particularly when dealing with the founding of organizations that must tackle controversial issues.

However, the rising importance of the Internet and the continuing decline in public confidence regarding its operations suggest that action is urgently needed now. It is with this in mind that we offer "URIICA" - Union for Representative International Internet Cooperation and Analysis (www.uriica.org). The name may be long, but its premise and goal is basically simple:

The Internet should be dedicated to the needs and well-being of people all over the world, in a truly representative and fair manner.

We offer URIICA as a forum for discussion, planning, and for building a framework towards accomplishing this goal, by bringing together in a representative manner an international group of diverse persons, organizations, and other groups who have commitments to the future of an open Internet. These participants will not only encompass commercial interests, but also a wide range of nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, individual Internet users, and anyone else who is willing to sit down and work for the common good. We visualize URIICA as being a very big tent indeed, with a structure created from the ground up to encompass both domestic and international concerns, based upon balanced, fair representation for everyone involved.

We do not present URIICA as a fait accompli. There are innumerable details to be considered. But we hope URIICA will be a useful vehicle to bring together many persons and organizations for the work, debate, and serious long-term planning that is desperately needed. The Internet needs vision and dedication to be a beacon of hope for the future, and not merely a hi-tech mediocrity.

If you're interested in helping, or have other comments, we'd very much appreciate hearing from you. General comments and questions can be e-mailed to:

URIICA@URIICA.ORG

Please also feel free to call Lauren Weinstein on +1 (818) 225-2800 (M-F 9:30 AM - 5:30 PM Pacific Time) if you wish to discuss this effort.

To stay informed regarding URIICA issues, you may wish to join the PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility "pfir" mailing list, where URIICA-related announcements will be made available.

Over two millennia ago, the Greek mathematician Archimedes exclaimed "Eureka!" ("I have found it!") when he solved a vexing mathematical problem. We hope that URIICA can be of value in helping us all move towards solving many of the important problems of the Internet that we face both today and tomorrow. Thank you, and our best wishes to you all.

Sincerely,

Lauren Weinstein
lauren@vortex.com or lauren@privacyforum.org
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility - www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, Fact Squad - www.factsquad.org
Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet
     Cooperation and Analysis - www.uriica.org
Moderator, PRIVACY Forum - www.vortex.com
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
www.pfir.org/lauren

Peter G. Neumann
neumann@pfir.org or neumann@csl.sri.com or neumann@risks.org
Tel: +1 (650) 859-2375
Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility - www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, Fact Squad - www.factsquad.org
Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet
     Cooperation and Analysis - www.uriica.org
Moderator, RISKS Forum - www.risks.org
Chairman, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
www.csl.sri.com/neumann

David J. Farber
farber@cis.upenn.edu
Tel: +1 (610) 304-9127
Member of the Board of Trustees EFF - www.eff.org
Member of the Advisory Board -- EPIC - www.epic.org
Member of the Advisory Board -- CDT - www.cdt.org
Member of Board of Directors -- PFIR - www.pfir.org
Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet
     Cooperation and Analysis - www.uriica.org
Member of the Executive Committee USACM
www.cis.upenn.edu/~farber

(Affiliations shown for identification only.)

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