Please vote for my SXSW panels

30% of the panels at the SXSW conference are picked by people’s votes so please if you care about these topics and want to see them covered please Vote for Me!

Personal Data Triple Win: People, Business & Gov – Kaliya Hamlin solo short talk

Obama & NSTIC: All Your IDs Are Belong to U(S) – Kaliya Hamlin on panel with others

Let My Data Go! Open data portability standards – Kaliya Hamlin, Phil Wolff

Rules for Innovators of User Centric Personal Data – Mary Hodder panel organizer

Successful Unconference Patterns – Jennifer Holmes, Kaliya Hamlin


1 month anniversary of Goggle Gag

Its been a month now.

I have filled out the “application form” 3 times. This was my first post about it: Google+ and my “real” name: Yes, I’m Identity Woman

The most recent rejection letter when I applied to be a mononym (which I was before this all started) was from “Anonymous Nick”…

Re: [#859600835] Google Profile Name Review

[Read more…]

Is Google+ is being lynched by out-spoken users upset by real names policy?

Following my post yesterday Google+ says your name is “Toby” not “Kunta Kinte”, I chronicled tweets from this morning’s back and forth with  Tim O’Reilly and Kevin MarksNishant  KaushikPhil Hunt,  Steve Bogart and Suw Charman-Anderson.

I wrote the original post after watching the Bradley Horwitz (@elatable) – Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) interview re: Google+. I found Tim’s choice of words about the tone (strident) and judgement (self-righteous) towards those standing up for their freedom to choose their own names on the new social network being rolled out by Google internet’s predominant search engine disappointing.  His response to my post was to call me self-righteous and reiterate that this was just a market issue.

I myself have been the victim of a Google+ suspension since July 31st and yesterday I applied for a mononym profile (which is what it was before they insisted I fill out my last name which I chose to do so with my online handle and real life identity “Identity Woman”) 

In the thread this morning Tim said that the kind of pressure being aimed at Google is way worse then anything they are doing and that in fact Google was the subject of a “lynch mob” by these same people.  Sigh, I guess Tim hasn’t read much history but I have included some quotes form and links to wikipedia for additional historial context.

Update: inspired in part by this post an amazing post “about tone” as a silencing/ignoring tactics when difficult, uncomfortable challenges are raised in situations of privilege was written by Shiela Marie.  

I think there is a need for greater understanding all around and that perhaps blogging and tweeting isn’t really the best way to address it.  I know that in the identity community when we first formed once we started meeting one another in person and really having deep dialogues in analogue form that deeper understanding emerged.  IIW the place we have been gathering for 6 years and talking about the identity issues of the internet and other digital systems is coming up in mid-October and all are welcome.  The agenda is created live the day of the event and all topics are welcome.

Here’s the thread… (oldest tweets first)

 Note all the images of tweets in this thread are linked to the actual tweet (unless they erased the tweet).  [Read more…]

Google+ says your name is “Toby” NOT “Kunta Kinte”

This post is about what is going on at a deeper level when Google+ says your name is “Toby” NOT “Kunta Kinte”. The punchline video is at the bottom feel free to scroll there and watch if you don’t want to read to much.

This whole line of thought to explain to those who don’t get what is going on with Google+ names policy arose yesterday after I watched the Bradley Horwitz – Tim O’Reilly interview (they start talking about the real names issue at about minute 24).

[Read more…]

Lets try going with the Mononym for Google+

Seeing that Google+ is approving mononyms for some (Original Sai, on the construction of names Additional Post) but not for others (Original Stilgherrian Post Update post ).

I decided to go in and change my profile basically back to what it was before all this started.  I put a  ( . ) dot in the last name field.  In my original version of my google proflile my last name was a * and when they said that was not acceptable I put my last name as my online handle “Identity Woman”.

[Read more…]

Protocols are Political, NSTIC NOI Appendix 11

Appendix 11 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

Excerpted from Protocol: how control exists after decentralization, by Alexander Galloway, MIT Press, 2004. Page 245-246.   (I first mentioned book on my blog in 2005)

Protocol is that machine, that massive control apparatus that guides distributed networks, creates cultural objects and engenders life forms.

This is an excerpt of about 1/2 of the authors summarizing moments selected from previous chapters:

  • Protocol is a universalism achieved through negotiation, meaning that in the future protocol can and will be different.
  • The goal of protocol is totality. It must accept everything, not matter what source, sender, or destination. It consumes diversity, aiming instead for university.
  • Internet protocols allow for inter-operation between computers.
  • Protocol is a language that regulates flow, directs netspace, codes relationships, and connects life forms. It is etiquette for autonomous agents.
  • Protocol’s virtues include robustness, contingency, inter-operability, flexibility, heterogeneity, an pantheism.
  • Protocol is a type of controlling logic that operates largely outside institutional, government and corporate power.
  • Protocol is a system of distributed management that facilitates peer-to-peer relationships between autonomous entities.
  • Protocol is synonymous with possibility.

Protocol then becomes more and more coextensive with humanity’s productive forces, and ultimately becomes the blueprint for humanity’s inner-most desires about the world and how it ought to be lived.

This makes protocol dangerous – ….A colleague Patrick Feng said recently: “Creating core protocols is something akin to constitutional law,” meaning that protocols create the core set of rules from which all other decisions descend. And like Supreme Court justices having control over the interpretation of the American Constitution, whoever has power over the creation of such protocols wields power over a very broad area indeed. In this sense protocols is dangerous.


It is important to remember that the technical is always political, that network architecture is politics. So protocol necessarily involves a complex interrelation of political questions, some progressive some reactionary. In many ways protocol is a dramatic move forward but in other ways it reinstates systems of social and technical control that are deserving of critical analysis.

This post is part of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

This is the section before: Who is Harmed by a “Real Names” Policy?

Who is Harmed by a “Real Names” Policy?, NSTIC NOI Appendix 10

This post is Appendix 10 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

Who is Harmed by a “Real Names” Policy?

This is a reformatted version of – please go to that wiki for the most recent version of that document.

From the Geek Feminism Wiki:

The groups of people who use pseudonyms, or want to use pseudonyms, are not a small minority….However, their needs are often ignored by the relatively privileged designers and policy-makers who want people to use their real/legal names.

For the groups listed below the costs for using a real name can be quite significant, including:

  • harassment, both online and offline
  • discrimination in employment, provision of services, etc.
  • actual physical danger of bullying, hate crime, etc.
  • arrest, imprisonment, or execution in some jurisdictions
  • economic harm such as job loss, loss of professional reputation, etc.
  • social costs of not being able to interact with friends and colleagues
  • possible (temporary) loss of access to their data if their account is suspended or terminated

Privilege is described as a set of perceived advantages enjoyed by a majority group, who are usually unaware of the privilege they possess. A privileged person is not necessarily prejudiced (sexist, racist, etc) as an individual, but may be part of a broader pattern of *-ism even though unaware of it. A good article to understand this is  “Check my what?” On privilege and what we can do about it.”

This lists groups of people who are disadvantaged by any policy which bans pseudonymity and requires so-called “Real names” (more properly, legal names).

[Read more…]

Anti-pseudonym Bingo, NSTIC NOI Appendix 9

This post is Appendices 8 and 9 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

Anti-pseudonym Bingo

Wanting to and being able to use your legal name everywhere is associated with privilege.

The geek feminism blog published Anti-pseudonym bingo where the the idea is to play it against a commenter or a comment thread who is against pseudonymity.     A full row or column wins! (The free square is a giveaway.) 

[Read more…]

Resource Guide on Public Engagement, NSTIC NOI Appendix 7

This post is Appendix 7 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

Resource Guide on Public Engagement 
Created collaboratively by the dialogue & deliberation community.

From NCDD’s October 2010 Resource Guide on Public Engagement:

Careful Planning and Preparation
Through adequate and inclusive planning, ensure that the design, organization, and convening of the
process serve both a clearly defined purpose and the needs of the participants.

Inclusion and Demographic Diversity
Equitably incorporate diverse people, voices, ideas, and information to lay the groundwork for quality
outcomes and democratic legitimacy.

Collaboration and Shared Purpose
Support and encourage participants, government and community institutions, and others to work
together to advance the common good.

Openness and Learning
Help all involved listen to each other, explore new ideas unconstrained by predetermined outcomes,
learn and apply information in ways that generate new options, and rigorously evaluate the process.

Transparency and Trust
Be clear and open about the process, and provide a public record of the organizers, sponsors, outcomes, and range of views and ideas expressed.

Impact and Action
Ensure each participatory effort has real potential to make a difference, and that participants are
aware of that potential.

Sustained Engagement and Participatory Culture
Promote a culture of participation with programs and institutions that support ongoing quality public

[Read more…]

Reboot: Deliberative Democracy

I was asked by Allison Fine to contribute to the Personal Democracy Forum  Rebooting America anthology.

This article looks at three leading edge deliberative methods that engage small groups of citizens representing voices of the whole.  They all were invented before personal computing and all could be augmented. You can see the methods outline in a chart in Appendix 6 and the eight steps of the processes are described in this article.

Deliberative Democracy in Theory and Practice

Kaliya Hamlin

Download This Author’s Essay

“At the heart of America’s liberal democracy are competitive elections, but this design choice does not enhance collective intelligence and wisdom.”

John Ralston Saul, in “The Unconscious Civilization,” wrote “The most powerful force possessed by the individual citizen is her own government. … Government is the only organized mechanism that makes possible that level of shared disinterest known as the public good.” During the winter of 1997, fifteen Boston citi-zens—from a homeless shelter resident to a high-tech business manager, from a retired farmer to a recent inner-city high school graduate— undertook an intensive study of telecommunications issues. Over two weekends in February and March, they discussed background readings and got introductory briefings. Then, on April 2nd and 3rd, they heard ten hours of testimony from experts, computer specialists, government officials, business executives, educators, and interest-group representatives. After interrogating the experts and deliberating late into the night (with excellent facilitation), they came up with a consensus statement recommending judicious but far-reaching policy changes which they presented at a press conference at Tufts University, covered by WCVB-TV/CNN and the Boston Globe, among other news organizations. U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey, ranking Democrat (and former Chair) of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee, said, “This is a process that I hope will be repeated in other parts of the country and on other issues.”

[Read more…]

People Diversity, NSTIC NOI Appendix 3

This post is Appendix 3 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

People Diversity represented in digital identity systems

Lifecycle perspectives

  • being born
  • being adopted
  • being a child
  • being a teenager
  • being a foster child
  • being a proto-adult (college)
  • adult
  • partnership/marriage
  • having children
  • retiring
  • dying
  • being dead

Rights/needs of particular constituencies

  • Women
  • Domestic Violence Victims
  • Ethnic Groups – African American, Latino, Asian, Native American,
  • Mental Health and Physical Disease Groups
  • Religious Groups
  • Disability (Physical and Intellectual)
  • Sexual Minorities

Civil Society Groups

  • Environmental
  • Social Service
  • Schools
  • Sports Teams and other Civic Leagues
  • Trade Associations
  • Technology Types (Smart Cards)
  • Industry Sector (Hospitals,

Academic Researchers

  • Sociologists
  • Legal Scholars
  • Computer Scientists

Advocacy Groups

  • Privacy Industries
  • Banking
  • Data Brokers
  • Telecommunications
  • Web Services (google, yahoo, twitter)
  • Internet Service Providers
  • Cable
  • Health Care
  • Electric Utility
  • Gas Utility


  • National
  • State
  • County
  • Municipal
  • Neighborhood
  • Tribal

International Standards Development Organizations (W3C, IETF, OASIS, ISO, ITU-T)

International Nonprofit and Government Organizations (OECD, WEF)

This post is Appendix 3 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

This is the section before: The Augmented Social Network:  Building identity and trust into the next-generation Internet

This is the section after: Reboot: Deliberative Democracy



The Augmented Social Network: Building Identity and Trust into the Next-Generation Internet, NSTIC NOI Appendix 2

This post is Appendix 2 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

It is 10 page exempt by Bill Densmore ( 5,600  words) from the original ASN Paper (34,000 words)

The Augmented Social Network: Building identity and trust into the next-generation Internet

The need for a civil-society, not just commercial, solution.

PAPER by Ken Jordan, Jan Hauser and Steven Foster (bios at end)

Original full text available at:

Could the next generation of online communications strengthen civil society by better connecting people to others with whom they share affinities, so they can more effectively exchange information and self-organize? Could such a system help to revitalize democracy in the 21st century? When networked personal computing was first developed, engineers concentrated on extending creativity among individuals and enhancing collaboration between a few. They did not much consider what social interaction among millions of Internet users would actually entail.  It was thought that the Net’s technical architecture need not address the issues of “personal identity” and “trust,” since those matters tended to take care of themselves. This paper proposes the creation of an Augmented Social Network (ASN) that would build identity and trust into the architecture of the Internet, in the public interest, in order to facilitate introductions between people who share affinities or complementary capabilities across social networks.


The ASN  has three main objectives. 

  1. To create an Internet-wide system that enables more efficient and effective knowledge sharing between people across institutional, geographic, and social boundaries.
  2. To establish a form of persistent online identity that supports the public commons and the values of civil society.
  3. To enhance the ability of citizens to form relationships and self-organize around shared interests in communities of practice in order to better engage in the process of democratic governance.

In this paper we present a model for a next generation online community that can achieve these goals.  In effect, the ASN proposes a form of “online citizenship” for the Information Age.

The ASN weaves together four distinct technical areas into components of an interdependent system. The four main elements of the ASN are: Persistent online identity; interoperability between communities; brokered relationships; and, public interest matching technologies. Each of these is discussed in a separate section in detail.

The four main elements of the ASN are:

  1. Enabling individuals online to maintain a persistent identity as they move between different Internet communities, and to have personal control over that identity. This identity should be multifarious and ambiguous (as identity is in life itself), capable of reflecting an endless variety of interests, needs, desires, and relationships. It should not be reduced to a recitation of our purchase preferences, since who we are can not be reduced to what we buy.
  2. Interoperability Between Online Communities. People should be able to cross easily between online communities under narrowly defined circumstances, just as in life we can move from one social network to another.
  3. Brokered Relationships. Using databased information, online brokers (both automated and “live”) should be able to facilitate the introduction between people who share affinities and/or complementary capabilities and are seeking to make connections . . . Such a system of brokered relationships should also enable people to find information or media that is of interest to them, through the recommendations of trusted third parties.
  4. Matching technologies need to be broad and robust enough to include the full range of political discussion about issues of public interest. They should not be confined to commercial or narrowly academic topics; NGOs and other public interest entities need to be represented in the process that determines these matching technologies.

The ASN calls for a public interest approach to online identity that enables individuals to express their interests outside contexts determined by commerce. This approach would include a digital profile that has an “affinity reference” that would facilitate connections to trusted third parties.

[Read more…]

Planetwork Link Tank, NSTIC NOI Appendix 1

This post is Appendix 1 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.


The first International Planetwork Conference was held at the Presidio in San Francisco in May 2000. Soon after that conference an informal group calling itself the Webcabal started meeting to discuss various possibilities and potential implementation strategies. In 2001 this process became LinkTank, operating as a fiscal project of Planetwork, Inc. LinkTank is officially a network of twenty three voting participants, from a variety of professional backgrounds, largely in the Bay Area and New York, with a nine member board. However, the conversation expanded to include participation by more than fifty people spanning many organizations in several counties. The Link Tank process distilled the following statement of purpose:

We are dedicated to the creation and maintenance of a digital communications platform, operated as a public interest utility, that will strengthen civil society by enabling people to connect, communicate, make transactions, and self-organize in a manner that is consistent with the highest principles of democracy and reflects an enlightened understanding of the fragile beauty of our planet. We will bring together, develop, promote, and hold as a global public commons, software tools and infrastructure that facilitate the emergence, growth, and vitality of networks of individuals and organizations who share ecological and social justice values, as articulated in the Earth Charter.

[Read more…]

Responses to the NSTIC NOI Questions by Kaliya, Identity Woman

I answered these questions at the very end.They do not reflect my response because the governance NOI and questions made a lot of assumptions about what the right next step is, namely spinning up a steering group even when there is no shared language or understanding among the community of identified stakeholders. Without this, collaboration will be impossible and the group will struggle politically with “language” and questions about its “authority”, and likely fail. It is essential to take a few more months to strategically weave the community, facilitate a lot of map making, much sharing of ideas and visions,and by January it will be quite clear what the form of governance should be, because it will be clear what problems need to be solved and how the community of stakeholders wants to work together effectively to build an Identity Ecosystem. The methods outlined in the Insight for Governance section above stshould be used in an ongoing way to bring feedback into the system.

Structure of the Steering Group

1.1. Given the Guiding Principles outlined in the Strategy, what should be the structure of the steering group? What structures can support the technical, policy, legal, and operational aspects of the Identity Ecosystem without stifling innovation? 

Answered on Page 41: Structure of the Steering Group

A systems approach must be taken, using methodologies for structure and process that are holistic and adaptive over time.  They must provide insight into the overall function and health of the ecosystem and give people who are leading organizations within the ecosystem a clear picture of where to intervene, how to adjust their behavior/actions relative to the players and for the overall good of the system. It must support new innovation while at the same time addressing new security threats and risks, and be adaptive to social and cultural changes.

Answered on Page 46

If the purpose of the group is to hold space for the broad range of stakeholders to share insights then it will be a far less “political” body. It is important to have a body that is diverse, but the mandate to listen and respond to the overall ecosystem makes it not “about” the members having the power to decide how to steer for all the stakeholders of the ecosystem because they were elected as their “representatives”, but rather their mandate is to convene periodic stakeholder conversations with well-tested proven methodologies and to act on the recommendations and insights they generate.

Answered on Page 47

The power held by the steering group is real, but limited by the conversational context of its operations. The ability of any one entity in the ecosystem to skew outcomes is limited by the equalizing and randomizing factors put in place.  In the system as set up, there is FAR more motivation to seek solutions that integrate one’s own needs with those of others than there is to seek solutions that benefit oneself at the expense of others.

[Read more…]

Google+ Suspension saga continues

I get this e-mail from them. You know, I wish they would use their “real name” when they talked to me. Being stuck inside a bureaucratic system – Kafkaesque.

On Aug 9, 2011, at 10:40 AM, Google Profiles Support wrote:

On Aug 9, 2011, at 10:40 AM, Google Profiles Support wrote:


Thank you for your appeal. It seems that we are unable to pull up your Google Profile with this Email. Please reply back with the Email and the Profile URL associated  with your Google Profile, so that we may further continue the review of your name appeal.


The Google Profiles Support Team


Dear Google,

[Read more…]

Structure of the NSTIC Governance Steering Group

1.1. Given the Guiding Principles outlined in the Strategy, what should be the structure of the steering group? What structures can support the technical, policy, legal, and operational aspects of the Identity Ecosystem without stifling innovation?

A systems approach must be taken using methodologies for structure and process that are holistic and adaptive over time.  They must provide insight into the overall function and health of the ecosystem and give people who are leading organizations within the ecosystem a clear picture of where to intervene, how to adjust their behavior/actions relative to the players and for the overall good of the system. It must support new innovation while at the same time addressing new security threats and risks and be adaptive to social and cultural changes.

[Read more…]

Missing Questions about NSTIC Governance

Many questions were missing from the governance NOI. I answered the first three ones explicitly in my response.

Is there currently shared language amongst the identified NSTIC stakeholders?

Answered on Page 12

No. I participated in both the NSTIC governance and privacy workshops in June and did not find there was shared understanding or language amongst stakeholders gathered. I did experience shared language and understanding with the people who I knew from the user-centric identity community (and its neighbors) but there are many new stakeholder groups that I was unfamiliar with and I found in many conversations that people were talking past each other constantly.  This experience of not having shared language was one of the reasons the breakout group conversations were not productive and many experienced frustration.

Is there currently shared understanding and alignment amongst the identified NSTIC stakeholders? Answered on Page 18

No. I often find myself squirming while listening to fellow NSTIC stakeholders articulate their ideas about what we are doing with NSTIC. I imagine with all the comments I have made from a user-advocacy perspective that others have squirmed when I have spoken. Because I feel myself squirming often and I see others squirming too, I know there is limited shared understanding amongst NSTIC stakeholders.

[Read more…]

Identity Woman Google+ Suspension Update

I checked in today …to see if I had been let out of Google+ prison. Was my profile free to speak with the rest of the prisoners or not?

Apparently not. Now I am being informed that “business accounts” will be available soon.

This is my personal  handle on account that is related to the professional side of my life. I only use my google gmail account to subscribe to PROFESSIONAL NEWSLETTERS.  So anyone seeing my g-mail address it’s “” does so on a professional context.

[Read more…]

Summary of Identity Woman’s NSTIC NOI Response

The authors of the NSTIC document went to great lengths to get input form a wide range of stakeholders. The draft document they released last summer provided an opportunity to give feedback, giving an excellent starting point to bring people with very different core motivations and concerns together. The choice to name the big picture vision an Identity Ecosystem informs the choice of processes and structures appropriate to govern it.

User-Centric Community Success

In 2005-6 the Identity Gang /user-centric identity community was one tenth the size of the current NSTIC stakeholder community. It took us a year of active grassroots effort to develop the common language and shared understanding necessary to collaborate. NSTIC doesn’t have 5-10 years to coalesce a community that can collaborate to build the Identity Ecosystem Framework. To make the vision real, people who are from these different points of perspectives must become more aligned, to have a shared understanding.

How to Create Shared Language and Understanding

The NPO should continue using its convening power (both online and face-to-face) to keep fostering the dialogues necessary to have shared language understanding emerge.  That will create a momentum to create the conditions for high-performance collaboration amongst the stakeholder community.


Using methods such as Value Network Mapping and Polarity Mapping will increase the shared language and understanding. With just a few staff, the NPO could host many focused meetings with stakeholders around the country and at industry events throughout the fall.  The community of NSTIC stakeholders will be able to organize a thriving ecosystem because there will actually be shared language, understanding amongst NSTIC stakeholders by January.

Help Stakeholders Learn About and Find One Another

The starting point for this could be the list that came out of the MIT workshop and the Wikipedia book. There should be a simple standard set of information on each organization, including how they see themselves as a stakeholder in NSTIC, what they hope to contribute to it, what they are most concerned about, and what they want to collaborate with other stakeholders on. There might be a matchmaking role that the NSTIC NPO could play, proactively introducing stakeholders to one another so that potentially synergistic collaboration is enabled.

Supporting the stakeholder groups in learning more about one another is very important. One way to do that would be via a 2-3x weekly podcast, perhaps increasing it to a frequency sufficient to interview all known stakeholders.

All major conferences within the stokehold industries should be listed on a searchable calendar.  This will help with cross-pollination, which is essential right now for the proactive development of shared language and understanding.

There should also be a way for people who are actively working to collaborate to find one another both online and off.  NSTIC can use the conference calendar to encourage/enable “meet-ups” among stakeholders.

Socialization of NSTIC in IT professional communities is essential. These people need to understand it when it becomes time to socialize NSTIC with the public.  They also can be a pool of not-directly-involved stakeholders to be tapped to participate in things like the Community Insight Council.

Measure Shared Understanding

When a diverse group of NSTIC stakeholders are passing the squirm test (page 15), then real collaboration is possible and it will make sense to “spin up” a steering group because there will be broad alignment within the group.

Foster Accountability Frameworks

Trust is absolutely essential in the Identity Ecosystem. People must trust that the information they share will be handled with care, respect and human dignity. This is achieved by having real accountability in the system around the user’s rights. When the system is functioning well and accountability frameworks are followed, then overall systems behavior of the Identity Ecosystem will be trustworthy.

Public Legitimacy is Key to Success

The processes around ecosystem development must also be very open to engender public trust. The NPO must work with industry to develop a strategy for public engagement and socialization.

Release Control to a Diverse Stakeholder Group

If the NPO rushes to set up a steering group before this kind of shared understanding is present in the private sector, large companies who host or provide the identifiers on digital networks used by millions of people (in the US and around the world) will lead it in their own way, primarily as a vendor driven trade association. They have no inherent incentive to create inclusive space, or incorporate key aspects of the strategy like maintaining civil liberties that seem difficult or expensive.

The NPO needs to lead in creating the space for:

  • The private sector with the many different industries
  • Nonprofit and advocacy groups
  • Small and medium sized businesses
  • Most importantly, the average citizen

Once the the stakeholders are collaborating using the shared language and understanding,  the government can “let go” and just be a participant in evolving the Identity Ecosystem.


This post is from pages 51-54 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.

This is the section before: The Importance of Public Legitimacy

This is the section after: Missing Questions about NSTIC Governance

The Importance of Public Legitimacy for NSTIC

The importance of regular people feeling heard and that the processes are broad and inclusive should not be underestimated. A trip to Marin last month made this particularly apparent to me. I stopped at a “groovy organic grocery store” to pick up a snack for the long ride I had ahead of me. Outside were two women with a table of stickers and literature about various progressive causes and issues. They had a sign on a chair saying “STOP THE SMART GRID”. I was interested what their concerns were. Why did they want to stop it.  They were concerned about many things, but in particular the data collection from houses, the use of the data, who had the ability to see the data and what it would be used for.

[Read more…]

Insight for Governance

Stakeholder Engagement with Dialogue and Deliberation

Co-Authored with Tom Attlee, Director of the Co-Intelligence Institute 

The NSTIC governance NOI highlights the government’s role should be in an ongoing way to protect people’s interests. I invited Tom Attlee to co-author this section with me because of his 10+ years of research into a whole range of inclusive citizen engagement processes. The Tao of Democracy is his book that looks at how the best of them effectively synthesize the people’s perspective on whether their interests are being protected well enough.

I worked with Tom Attlee in 2006 to explore which emerging electronic collaborative tools (blogs, wikis, online forums etc.) could be used to augment and complement proven deliberative processes that were developed before the web existed (chart in Appendix 6). They have proven very effective, but also expensive and labor intensive. Based on this work with Tom, I wrote a chapter in the Personal Democracy Forum book Rebooting America on how these methods could be used to gain democratic insight that is deeper then from voting or polling. (text Appendix 5)

[Read more…]

Effective Information Sharing for NSTIC Success

Knowing what groups are in an ecosystem is a key first step but information sharing and coordination between organizations and communities who are participants in an ecosystem is key to making it real.

Identity Commons

The purpose of Identity Commons is to support, facilitate, and promote the creation of an open identity layer for the Internet, one that maximizes control, convenience, and privacy for the individual while encouraging the development of healthy, interoperable communities.


  1. Self-Organization. Enable any working group to self-organize at any time, on any scale, in any form, around any activity consistent with the Purpose and Principles.
  2. Transparency. Fully and transparently disclose the Purpose and Principles of each working group, any requirement of participation, and any license or restriction of usage of its work product.
  3. Inclusion. Conduct deliberations and make decisions by bodies and methods that reasonably represent all relevant and affected parties.
  4. Empowerment. Vest authority, perform functions, and use resources in the smallest or most local part that includes all relevant and affected parties.
  5. Collaboration. Resolve conflict without resort to economic, legal, or other duress.
  6. Openness. Conduct, publish, and archive communications in a manner that facilitates open and trusted interactions within and across all working groups and the public Internet.
  7. Dogfooding. When feasible and appropriate, employ the work product of Identity Commons working groups to facilitate the operation and interaction of Identity Commons itself.

I have heard it said more than once by those seeking to develop tools and systems for this emerging identity ecosystem, that they wish there was just “one place” where it all could be found, where all the technology would be developed.  Given the vast number of organizations, this is never going to be the case, but what we can facilitate is much more robust information sharing systems across technical standards development organizations and communities focused on solving key challenges for a real ecosystem. The NOI asks this question:

1.2. Are there broad, multi-sector examples of governance structures that match the scale of the steering group? If so, what makes them successful or unsuccessful? What challenges do they face?

Identity Commons was originally founded in 2001 by Owen Davis and Andrew Nelson to foster a user-centric identity layer of the web that the people “owned”. (They founded the organization partially in response to the formation of Liberty Alliance which was developing “open standards” for identity, but from a large enterprise perspective rather then a grassroots people’s perspective. They drew inspiration from Dee Hook who grew the the Visa network using innovative organization principles.  They were active in the Planetwork Link Tank discussions (See Appendix 1) that lead to the writing of the ASN paper – an excerpt of this is in Appendix 2.)

In 2007 the communities gathered at the Internet Identity Workshop retained the purpose and principles of Identity Commons but transitioned to become a 501(c)6 organization linking and connecting efforts across a range of different communities and organizations.  Groups working on issues touching on user-centric identity did not have to leave their respective standards body or academic institution to join. Totally independent organizations could also join and groups that had not yet formed as their own organization or subsection of another organization could also join.

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Who are the NSTIC Stakeholders?

The Scope of People

The vision of NSTIC touches all sectors of US society and extends beyond the US because of the international nature of cyberspace. The protocological (from  Alexander Galloway’s Protocol: “The limits of a protocological system and the limits of possibility within that system are synonymous.”) landscape (the range of options enabled by the protocol stack choice) and policy frameworks must be very broad to meet the needs of US citizens and global netizens. Protocol is political because it shapes what is possible in the network (Appendix 11 goes into greater detail).

The number of individual stakeholders for systems of identity online stretches to everyone who uses network systems, and with there now being five billion phones on the planet, that is fast approaching every person on the planet.  The diversity of the world population in terms of life experience is huge (see Appendix 3: People Diversity) . The vast majority of people are not privileged in one or more aspects of life and the freedom to participate in cyberspace with anonymous and psuedonymous identifiers that enable them to transcend or set aside “real world identity” is a key freedom that must be maintained even as more systems-level accountability is developed (To understand these issues please see Appendixes 8: Anti-pseudonym bingo  9: On Refusing to Tell You My Name  and 10: Who is Harmed by a “Real Names” Policy?)

Organizational Stakeholders

I have compiled a list of types of stakeholder types in Appendix 3 representing various interests and points of view in society that are essential to include early on.

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