[At-Large] "Business" users (was Re: FW: Our choice for the ICANN Board)

Lerato Mamboleo lerato.ma at yahoo.com
Sat Nov 27 22:31:52 UTC 2010

I am in complete agreement with Evan's view.
As ICANN is trying to move away from the engineering to market perspective,  
this view becomes very important for ALAC to embrace.
- Lerato Ma

From: Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org>
To: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Cc: ALAC <alac at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Sent: Sun, November 28, 2010 1:11:47 AM
Subject: [At-Large] "Business" users (was Re: FW: Our choice for the ICANN 

Hi again,

On 27 November 2010 12:37, Sivasubramanian M <isolatedn at gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > *As more and more at Large leadership positions are filled by people from
> > > > the business constituency, It is becoming very important for ALAC and
> at
> > > > Large to preserve at Large as a user's constituency to TRULY balance
> the
> > > > business stakeholder group. Any leadership position within ALAC and
> at
> > > > Large should be occupied by persons with ample concern for the end
> user.*
> > I must say that I'm perplexed by the nature of this question, and I take
> it
> > personally even though I am not a candidate for Director.
> Please don't.

I've changed the subject because my response no longer has anything to do
with the election of Director. I explain this in the hope of changing some
attitudes -- not about Director, but on larger issues surrounding the very
nature of At-Large.

Here is why I take this statement very personally.

I work for a University, but I also own my own consulting firm and I am a
partner in a startup venture. On travel visa applications my occupation is
just listed as "businessman" or "consultant".

My name has also been put forward to become one of the coming year's ALAC
Officers, which certainly qualifies as an "At-Large leadership position".

So I ask... Am I one of these "people from the Business Constituency" who
needs to be balanced by others from a "user's constituency"? What views have
I expressed in any policy work that would lead anyone to believe that I
don't advocate from a user's perspective by virtue of my being a
businessman? To what extent do my views need to be balanced ... and by what?

I am simply making the point here is that drawing such lines in At-Large
between "business" and "non-business" is needlessly divisive and impedes our
ability to make progress. While Chair of NARALO I made sure that there were
Conflict of Interest guidelines and that all individual users have to submit
Statements of Interest. Employees, owners and agents of contracted parties
may not serve any NARALO leadership position. I don't know what other
regions did but that was our approach. As far as I am concerned, a business
association (not primarily involved with Internet infrastructure business)
has as much right to be an ALS as a non-governmental agency or ISOC chapter,
and deserves as much respect for its views. That is what At-Large is all
about. End-users take many forms and it it dangerous to spend too much
effort segmenting them. The only business users that concerns At-Large are
those that have contractual relationships with ICANN, those who want to have
such relationships, and their resellers and agents.

IMO we need to acknowledge that At-Large means essentially everyone who is
*not* a contracted party. We're all end-users and our voices all count.The
president of Citibank has to use his computer just like you or me, and is
affected by spam and phishing as much as us. IMO segmenting end-users, and
going as far as saying the views of some users must be "balanced" by others,
is what I find bothersome. Please reconsider this approach ... not just with
regard to the Board member, but towards At-Large in general.

- Evan
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