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Are we forming the "social sector"? FYIntrospection...

Forwarded-by: [email protected] (Stewart Brand)
To: [email protected]
cc: Frank Fukuyama <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: Cyberspace Security and the Internet Metaphor
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 95 12:12:46 PDT
From: David Ronfeldt <[email protected]>

The discussion has assumed a familiar ring, as though the responsibilities
for and answers to cyberspace security lie in the usual two realms or
sectors: government or market, public or private.

Is that the only range of choice?  It pretty much has been for decades.
But I still say there is a new realm/sector emerging out there now, which,
for lack of a more acceptable term, amounts to what Drucker terms the
social sector.

        "the post-capitalist polity needs a 'third sector,' in addition
        to the two generally recognized ones, the 'private sector' of
        business and the 'public sector' of government.  It needs an
        autonomous social sector." (Drucker 1993)

Many Internet-related NGOs (like EFF) and individuals (like Zimmerman)
fall in this sector.  They aren't government or market; they are nonstate,
nonprofit actors.  And besides just having a lot to say about cyberspace
security issues, they have some roles to play--e.g., distribution of
encryption techniques, watchdog and warning activities.  For now, these
roles are minor.  But my guess is that they will get increasingly bigger,
probably in ways we do not yet foresee.

Whether their roles will soon be as significant as those of government and
market actors is less important than whether they are, and increasingly
will be, contributing something significant to the overall design mix.  My
presumption is that advanced societies develop mixes that distribute "the
solution" across various realms and their actors.

What I would like to know and discuss--and I ask you all--is what these
nonstate, nonprofit actors are doing at present that amounts to their
being part of the solution(s)?