The role of Internet governance in sanctions

bzs at bzs at
Thu Mar 10 22:48:03 UTC 2022

On March 10, 2022 at 15:25 mel at (Mel Beckman) wrote:
 > In my view, there is a core problematic statement in this document:
 > “Military and propaganda agencies and their information infrastructure are potential targets of sanctions.”
 > What is a “propaganda agency”. A political party? An incumbent candidate for re-election? The IRS? Anyone the “majority” disagrees with?

There is a notion of knowably lying for some specific effect such as
commercial fraud.

One can often prove someone was knowably lying by their other behavior
or even just the low probability that they could possibly have
believed what they claim.

For example Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's claim that the
Ukrainian hospital they just bombed had been empty for weeks and was
being used as a Ukrainian militia base.

This can not only be fact checked, but it could be shown to some
reasonable certainty that Lavrov could not possibly believe his claims
are true (Lavrov as a stand-in for the Russian govt, it's possible
he's just parroting something he was given.)

Or perhaps not, but one could assess such a claim fairly without
resorting to nihilistic vagaries like "who could know for sure?"

 > Propaganda is in the eye of the beholder, and we’ve seen both sides of the political aisle sling this term in recent elections and legislative debates.
 > I think it is a colossal mistake to weaponize the Internet. The potential for unintended consequences is huge, as is the potential for intended, politically-driven consequences

I tend to agree with that last statement.

Then again a counter-argument would be that the internet has already
been weaponized, from infowars to using it to compromise, blackmail,
and even destroy critical infrastructure.

 >  -mel beckman
 > > On Mar 10, 2022, at 5:03 AM, Randy Bush <randy at> wrote:
 > > 
 > > maybe it is just that i am sufficiently anti-authoritarian that i try
 > > not to have the hubris to set myself up as the authority.  maybe that
 > > in itself is hubris.
 > > 
 > > as i was raised by someone who was a conscious objector in ww2, i can
 > > not bring myself to contribute to weapons etc.  so i have donated to
 > > folk such as which is focused on medical
 > > support.
 > > 
 > > randy

        -Barry Shein

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