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Re: [ga] [centr-legal] Domain Council at .AT - facts

AAt 04:12 27.07.2001 +0200, Alexander Svensson wrote:

>"But are the VIBE people really representative of the
>Austrian Internet user community?" It's undeniable that
>it's harder to forge an user association than a group
>of registrar companies -- but that's not a valid excuse
>to exclude individual user interests, and I appreciate
>that it has been attempted here.

Well, this is the situation.

vibe.at has a track record of intelligent initiatives beyond provider 
bashing, and they are willing to take up community projects (read: do 
actual work).  Another 'user asscociation' would have been the UPC (cable 
Internet) user group which is mainly concerned with flaming their provider. 
Beyond that, there's silence.

The classical Austrian approach would have been to use the 'Sozialpartners' 
which tends to include unions, chamber of commerce, agricultural 
cooperatives and other groups of interest.

There is quite often a goal conflict between 'democratically legitimated' 
and 'expert' advise, and we have chosen the latter one. If anybody is 
unsure wether this is justified, just check the recent opinion of an 
European Parliament comittee on e-mail spam.

At this stage, where we're doing the step from zero to one, it is a largely 
utopic wish to have a democratically represented local Internet community 
anyway, and I am not sure if democratic legitimation is the higher goal 
than quality of advice and professionalism. The DNS is not a random policy 
issue like some agricultural subsidy, it is at the core of the Internet 
operation, and it would not be prudent to have clueless folk fiddle with 
it. I would assume that legitimation would over time come from the way on 
how issues are discussed and dealt with within the community. It is clear 
that there has to be a wider consultation process on issues of far-reaching 
consequences, and the consituencies of the groups from which the council 
members come are an important fan-out mechanism here.

There is a very good reason why telecom operators have a 'harm to the 
network' clause in their contracts, which allows them to unplug customers 
which do damage to the net. Expert advice is our form of 'harm to the 
network' protection.

-Michael Haberler

ps: My point of view on .EU is quite similar.

> > Judge yourself where you find a 'co-regulatory approach' here.
>I admit that I took that phrase from the Heise.de article
>and found it a bit harsh (even though there is quite a
>difference between the Austrian model and the GAC -- the
>Austrian Domain Name Council decisions seem to be binding
>if not completely nonsensical).
>Best regards,
>/// Alexander

Michael Haberler                       mah@eunet.at
Mariahilferstrasse 126/27         Tel +43 1 5261679
A-1070 Vienna Austria           Fax +43 1 526167925

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