[governance] [JNC - Forum] George Soros comments on Google and Facebook at Davos

Suresh Ramasubramanian suresh at hserus.net
Sat Jan 27 09:14:00 EST 2018

So -  Civil society groups accepting sponsorship or donations is a conflict of interest (never mind all the mechanisms to ensure separation of donors from policy, and the personal integrity of various individuals from a variety of such groups)

This field - like most others at a global level - is sufficiently complex that it requires considerable resources in money and people in order to meaningfully participate (policy analysts who will have a full time job just keeping up with the amount of material involved, and the fast changing trends that are being contended with)

So - does this in fact argue that only the rich are going to be in a position where they can meaningfully contribute to policy development in this field?

Granted the argument that the Internet affects most every individual and organization on this planet, and also granted that organizations previously involved in Internet policy must be encouraged to participate but ..

1. Where do they get money and resources to commit to make a meaningful contribution?

2. What is the point if their participation simply takes the shape of their signing on to boilerplate that's put in front of them by some organization that is much more actively involved?   Doesn't that just make them a stalking horse for a particular and much better funded / resourced organization's point of view?

Granted there might be a few organizations that become more active and commit further resources  and expertise -

1. How many of those aren’t already active in this space across a variety of for a
2. How many of the others have a sufficient availability of inhouse resources to meaningfully contribute?

On 27/01/18, 9:34 PM, "Daniefl Pimienta" <governance-request at lists.riseup.net on behalf of pimienta at funredes.org> wrote:

    At 08:41 27/01/2018, Suresh Ramasubramanian wrote:
    >Why should civil society arrogate to itself a watchdog role and deny 
    >the role or even the locus standi of other stakeholders to comment?
    >Or in other words, why resent the comments or gripe that they come 
    >from Soros rather than from some civil society figure?
    A surrogate answer:
    >From: "Richard Hill" <rhill at hill-a.ch>
    >To: "'Internet governance related discussions'" <forum at justnetcoalition.org>,
    >Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2018 13:59:28 +0100
    >Subject: Re: [JNC - Forum] George Soros comments on Google and 
    >Facebook at Davos
    >I think that Parminder has hit the nail on the head.  In any other 
    >activity, oil exploitation, mining, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, 
    >automobiles, whatever, no civil society organization would accept 
    >money from industry players, nor would they enthusiastically 
    >participate in conferences organized and funded by industry.
    >For the Internet, it is exactly the contrary.
    >Since I don't think that we can get the currently active 
    >organizations to change their habits, we should continue our efforts 
    >to recruit new organizations into the Internet governance 
    >field.  That is becoming easier to do, since Internet now affects everything.
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