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Nathaniel S. Borenstein

I have been a member of CPSR since the early 1980's, becoming more active in the 1990's, when I served three years on the board and worked on the "One Planet, One Net" campaign. Last year I was program chair for the CPSR Annual Meeting in Ann Arbor. I have also served on the boards of the Institute for Global Communications and Peace Action.

Professionally, I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and have been a researcher and faculty member at Carnegie Mellon, Grinnell College, the University of Michigan, and Bell Communications Research. As an entrepreneur, I founded First Virtual Holdings (later MessageMedia, now part of DoubleClick), and I've written three books, several widely-used software packages (metamail, safe-tcl, and the Andrew Message System), and am the author of the MIME standard for multimedia data on the Internet. Since December, 2002, I have been employed by IBM as a Distinguished Engineer in the Lotus Office of the CTO.

2002 Statement of Candidacy for Board Elections

The unspeakable, barbarous violence of September 11 killed thousands of innocent human beings, but its most damaging effects are only now taking place. Unscrupulous and wrong-headed politicians are exploiting the public's fear and anger in service of a long-standing agenda of increased state control and eroding civil liberties. The Internet is the front line of the battle to protect our freedom, and CPSR has an important role to play.

CPSR must remain a voice that speaks out against routine monitoring of Internet traffic. We must continue to speak out against the use of computer technology to erode personal privacy in the name of ill-considered security concerns. Most important, we must continue to champion the idea of an Internet that is not dominated by either governmental or commercial interests, an Internet that will work to bring the people of the world increasingly closer to each other in an environment of free speech and respectful tolerance.

The pace of change in today's world is an incredible challenge for an organization like CPSR's. Just 18 months ago the US Presidential election provoked calls for using computer technology in elections, regardless of the demonstrated merit of such schemes. Six months ago, terrorist attacks provoked widespread actions to change the nature of liberty and privacy in cyberspace. For CPSR to be effective, it needs to support ongoing program work in many, many areas at once, and to be prepared to shift gears quickly as new issues come to dominate the national and global agenda. As a board member, I would focus on improving CPSR's rapid response capability, through more coordinated planning and greater efforts to enlist the rank-and-file membership to take an active role in support of campaigns on specific issues.

Nathaniel S. Borenstein, Ph.D.

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Last modified July 21, 2005 07:34 PM expired

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The growing importance of civil liberties in a paranoid world: we need organizations like CPSR.