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PRIVACY Forum Digest     Tuesday, 13 November 2001     Volume 10 : Issue 11


            Moderated by Lauren Weinstein (         
              Vortex Technology, Woodland Hills, CA, U.S.A.
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        Announcing URIICA - For the Sake of Internet Users Everywhere
           (PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility)

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     Quote for the day:

        "It's a well-known principle that if you keep the flint
         in one drawer and the steel in the other, you'll never 
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                --  Mrs. Paroo (Pert Kelton)
                    "The Music Man" (Warner Bros.; 1962)


Date:    Tue, 13 Nov 2001 22:38:43 PST
From: (PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility)
Subject: Announcing URIICA - For the Sake of Internet Users Everywhere

          Announcing URIICA - For the Sake of Internet Users Everywhere
                             November 13, 2001

        PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility -

        [ To subscribe or unsubscribe to/from this list, please send the
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Announcing "URIICA" - Union for Representative International Internet 
                      Cooperation and Analysis 


                                        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 - 

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

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" [1], and "PFIR Proposal for a
Representative Global Internet Policy Organization" [2], 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
(  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:

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.

If you'd like to join a (low-volume) e-mail list dedicated to URIICA and
these issues, please send the message text:


as the first text in the body of a message (the "Subject" field doesn't
matter) to:

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.

    [1] PFIR Statement on Internet Policies, Regulations, and Control

    [2] PFIR Proposal for a Representative Global Internet Policy Organization


Lauren Weinstein or or
   Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
   Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility -
   Co-Founder, Fact Squad -
   Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet 
                        Cooperation and Analysis - 
   Moderator, PRIVACY Forum -
   Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy

Peter G. Neumann or or
   Tel: +1 (650) 859-2375
   Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility -
   Co-Founder, Fact Squad -
   Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet 
                        Cooperation and Analysis - 
   Moderator, RISKS Forum -
   Chairman, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy

David J. Farber
   Tel: +1 (610) 304-9127
   Member of the Board of Trustees EFF -
   Member of the Advisory Board -- EPIC -
   Member of the Advisory Board -- CDT -
   Member of Board of Directors -- PFIR -
   Co-Founder, URIICA - Union for Representative International Internet 
                        Cooperation and Analysis - 
   Member of the Executive Committee USACM
(Affiliations shown for identification only.)


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