Draft Framework for Policy Engagement – Why, When, and How

Over the past few years we’ve become more engaged in public policy issues driven by proposed legislative and regulatory actions that threaten core tenants of the open web. These threats are global in nature and manifest themselves in national legislative bodies, judicial venues, trade organizations, and international treaty setting bodies among others. After engaging in a number of policy issues such as SOPA, ACTA, DNT, jailbreaking, and further seeing a forecast of “more rain” we set out to craft a draft framework that could guide our approach on these issues.

The framework is not meant to be exhaustive nor be a detailed roadmap,  but rather directional in nature.  Hopefully it’s a level set and creates a common point of reference for our community. As time goes on, we’ll naturally iterate and develop the ideas further. At this point we want to test it, incorporate feedback, and see if the approach makes sense. Please add any comments to the governance thread here.

Some key assumptions that inform the framework are:
•    Tech policy can help or hurt the web
•    Key attributes of the open web need to be nurtured and protected
•    All tech policy issues are not the same
•    We can make a difference
•    The nature of the threat will dictate different kinds of responses
•    We remain a project that is primarily focused on building stuff
•    Don’t build what already exists

The framework reflects our current thinking and should answers key questions like:
•    What’s the goal? What are we trying to protect?
•    Can we make a difference?
•    Why do we get involved?
•    When do we get involved and when don’t we?
•    How do we engage?

If you want more color on some of these ideas, take a look at the presentations below where we have begun discussing the broader notions of threats to the open web.

* Open Forum Europe summit presentation by Mitchell Baker
* World Economic Forum presentation by Gary Kovacs
* FISL 2012 presentation “powerful v. empowered” by Harvey Anderson