[ALAC] At-Large: Part of the Private Sector? Part of Civil Society?

Subrenat, Jean-Jacques jjs at dyalog.net
Tue Sep 1 07:46:44 UTC 2015


to follow up on my previous email where I brought up the question of differing linguistic and cultural contexts, I'm glad to repeat that outside of the English-speaking world, "private sector" often means business, industry, commerce. I am aware that in North America and the UK, "private sector" generally describes non-government. (By the way, the US and UK practice of labeling sovereign states as "governments" has its own shortcomings, because in many countries and other languages, "government" is the executive branch elected to govern, whereas "sovereign state", or "state", designates the entire body politic, including all state services, the judicial system, etc.)

So, in many contexts worldwide, accepting the formulation "ICANN to be led by the private sector" would amount to acknowledging that, among theoretically equal stakeholders, business, industry and commerce would in fact enjoy a paramount status. In turn, such an interpretation could only lead (most) sovereign states to react (strongly) by demanding an equivalent enhancement of their powers. In any case, as has been consistently the case in major crises (e.g. world financial crisis in 2008, when some fraudulent banks were "too big to let die"), the general public bears the brunt. In the Internet sphere, the equivalent of the general public is (what I have consistently called) the Global Internet User.


----- Mail original -----
De: "Alberto Soto" <asoto at ibero-americano.org>
À: "Alan Greenberg" <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>, "ALAC" <alac at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Envoyé: Mardi 1 Septembre 2015 03:12:13
Objet: Re: [ALAC] At-Large: Part of the Private Sector? Part of Civil	Society?

Dear Alan, I did a semantic analysis, using the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy. 

Public Sector: all public organizations and agencies, organizations and companies subject to them. 

Private Sector: That is not public or state property, but belongs to individuals. 

Society: natural grouping of people agreed that unit are different from each of the individuals, in order to meet, through mutual cooperation, all or any of the purposes of life. 

Civil society, private sector, citizens and society relationships and private activities. 

In the Latin world, we have two large sectors: the public sector (government) and the (non-governmental) Private Sector. In the latter enters the civil society and non-governmental sectors all we know. 

This is quite consistent with the definition of the World Bank. Although I agree that it should include the end user. 

In Argentina, the Law on Consumer Protection says in his article 1. This law aims to protect consumers or users. consumer is considered to the natural or legal person who acquires or uses, free of charge or for consideration, goods or services as an end in themselves or for their family or social group. 

Here and all over the world, the end user has two defenders. One for when you have problems with goods or services; and we to defend their interests within ICANN. 

But in my opinion, again, the end user must appear as such when the components of civil society are described. 



De: alac-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [mailto:alac-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] En nombre de Alan Greenberg 
Enviado el: lunes, 31 de agosto de 2015 12:59 p. m. 
Para: ALAC <alac at atlarge-lists.icann.org> 
Asunto: [ALAC] At-Large: Part of the Private Sector? Part of Civil Society? 

These two questions seem to be coming up regularly. The current draft proposal of the CCWG-Accountability refers to ICANN being leg by the "Private Sector (as opposed to the Public Sector - Governments), and includes us in the Civil society part of the private sector. 

Looking at definitions can be useful. There are many of both terms. 

The most common definition of the Private Sector says it is everything that is not funded or controlled by government. Many definitions even explicitly list individuals as part of it. That certainly includes us. 

Some definitions talk about three groups, the public sector, the private sector (referring to for-profit organizations) and the "Voluntary Sector". The latter certainly includes the formal parts of At-Large, but really leaves individuals, who are no longer part of ANY of the sectors. 

>From my perspective, that means that if we are part of the "Private Sector", we better be explicitly listed as such. 

I would appreciate hearing how these terms are defined in other languages and cultures. 

The Wikipedia defines Civil Society as "aggregate of non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and will of citizens." Civil society includes the family and the private sphere, referred to as the "third sector" of society, distinct from government and business. 

The World Bank has a more detailed definition: the term civil society to refer to the wide array of non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that have a presence in public life, expressing the interests and values of their members or others, based on ethical, cultural, political, scientific, religious or philanthropic considerations. Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) therefore refer to a wide of array of organizations: community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations”. 

In both definitions, Civil Society is listed as essentially being defines as groups of one form or another. By those definitions, At-large and our components parts are certainly civil society, but the individuals whose interests we defend are not part of civil society per se. 



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