Ewan told me over lunch that the UK Govt had been defeated in the Commons over an extension of detention without trial, which strikes me as encouraging for the ORG agenda (there's still time to be one of the thousand founding patrons, if you hurry).
This made me think about the difficulty of defending an existing, working organisation like the House of Lords or ICANN against a putative more democratic one. The EU argument to the WSIS that internet routing being controlled by a corporation under US Govt laws is somehow wrong and needs to be fixed is difficult to counter in theoretical terms, but it is a pragmatic fact that ICANN, like Wikipedia or eBay or microformats, works better than you might expect.
Just as the House of Lords often does a better job in revising legislation than the Commons, because of both the lifetime tenure, and varied expertise of the specialists appointed to it, ICANN, as Lessig says 'have developed an internal norm about making as light a regulatory footprint as they can'.
Not every change in the world needs to be addressed by a regulatory strategy, and there’s a very high risk that those who are comfortable with the regulatory world will use levers that are easily available to them to make life uncomfortable for their upstart competitors.
We so easily slide into the notion that the internet is “bad” and needs to be regulated. We’re cutting off the best of ourselves this way; we should be encouraging it to have a life of its own, to catalyze new ways of living and doing business, and only getting in the way when market control leads to an absence of choices and inappropriately high prices.
If only the US equivalent of the House of Lords, the Supreme Court, could get lawyers like Lessig and Crawford appointed, with their scepticism of purely legislative solutions.