The CPSR Compiler - April 2004
COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS for SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Turning Thoughts to Actions
- Report From The Board Of Directors
- Office Closed April 27-May 10
- Board Elections
- Student Essay Contest Deadline - May 1
- Barcelona Meeting - May 15
- Voting Technology Working Group Report
- PDC 2004 - May 1 and May 7 Deadlines
- Public Sphere Project Report
- Privacy News
- Privaterra News
- CPSR Peru
- Internet Governance News
- CPSR Members at Conferences and in the News
In light of the importance of and strong interest in this year's U.S. presidential election, the 2004 annual conference and meeting will take place in or around Washington, DC. The board aims to combine some of the traditional issue-oriented content with extensive discussion of CPSR's future. Substantial time and attention will be devoted to how to better engage members, support programmatic activity, increase membership and impact, and generally revitalize CPSR. Volunteers are needed to help organize this event. Please contact Paul Hyland, phyland(a)cpsr.org, if you are willing and able to be involved.
Related to this, and as mentioned in the last Compiler, several members have suggested that CPSR develop a "report card" that grades the current U.S. administration on its performance in several policy or issue areas, e.g. privacy, of concern to CPSR. This report card, which would probably involve one or two pages of supporting explanation for each grade, would be formally announced and released in the fall, prior to the election. Ideally, this would take place at the annual meeting. Any member interested in contributing to this effort is invited to contact Stuart Shapiro, sshapiro(a)cpsr.org.
Also as noted in the last Compiler, an inevitable consequence of our decline in membership and a weak U.S. economy has been a drop in income. In order to ensure that CPSR remains financially viable going into the next fiscal year, the board has reluctantly decided to reduce our Managing Director, Susan Evoy, to 3/4 time for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends on June 30. The board also intends to negotiate for a lower rent for the existing CPSR office space, the lease for which expires at the end of the fiscal year.
As part of the larger effort to expand CPSR's membership base, the board would like to develop a small display ad suitable for placement in relevant professional and trade publications. This would occur after the new Web site is operational so as to drive traffic to the new site. We are in the process of identifying target publications. Meanwhile, we are looking for a member with graphic design experience who would be willing to donate some time to assist with development of the ad. To suggest possible target publications or to volunteer to help design the ad, please contact Stuart Shapiro, sshapiro(a)cpsr.org.
Phone: 650-322-3778 Email an appropriate CPSR list (see http://lists.cpsr.org), as in "vote-wg" - the email list with CPSR's voting technology experts; and/or Email cpsr-activists(a)lists.cpsr.org, to solicit help from fellow members with a wide variety of expertise.
Help is usually just an email away.
Members can have access to the candidates, and current and continuing board members, to discuss and debate issues by joining the Elections list via http://lists.cpsr.org/elections
Recent CPSR elections have been decided by a handful of votes. Your vote really can make a difference. Participating in the annual board election represents one of the most fundamental ways in which you can engage and influence your organization.
Your ballot must be postmarked back to CPSR by June 7.
Students can be published and win awards in Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility's Essay Contest.
CPSR seeks papers that will advance its work within its Working Groups and interests.
Participating students and faculty may join or renew their memberships in CPSR for one year for $15 and $25, respectively.
The Essay Contest guidelines are at http://www.cpsr.org/essays/2004/contest.html
Past Winning Essays are at
Spread the word. Now it's easier for Spanish speakers to join CPSR, with our translated secure online membership form at https://secure.privaterra.org/cpsr/join-es.html
Erik Nilsson represented CPSR and CPSR's Voting Technology Working Group (vote-wg) at an invitation-only conference in Chicago on touch-screen/DRE voting issues. Many prominent figures on this issue were there, as well as Civil Rights/Democracy organizations, and others. There was another CPSR member present: Barbara Simons, primarily representing ACM.
The weekend was tiring, but went pretty well. Progress was made on the DRE issue, and CPSR is looked to for leadership on some issues, in part because of our long history on electronic elections issues.
This is going to be an exciting, high-profile project. This should be the most interesting and high-profile work vote-wg's been involved in at least since CPSR sent people to South Africa for the historic 1994 elections. This is a great opportunity to work on an important issue with a GREAT group of collaborators and see results from your work in a very short time. Erik already has some commitments of time and resources to make this happen. We are going to do cool, important stuff! If you are even slightly interested in working on the project, email Erik (erikn(a)cpsr.org) soon. We have to move quickly to get our part of the work organized.
On March 25, Paul Hyland participated in a panel on Digital Democracy at the Internet Commons Congress in Rockville, MD. Paul covered the history of CPSR's involvement in election technology, recent developments concerning HAVA and Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting devices, and problems with their implementation that have already been documented. He also discussed current legislative proposals in the House and Senate to require a voter verifiable paper ballot (VVPB) - Holt Bill (H.R. 2239) and Graham Bill (S. 1980) - and encouraged people to support these pieces of legislation a the federal level, in addition to supporting efforts at the state and local level to require VVPBs. Finally, Paul discussed ways that voters can request or use paper ballots instead of using DREs (including voting by absentee ballot and finding out how to request paper alternatives on election day), and mentioned various open source election software projects that are gaining steam.
Participatory Design (PD) is a diverse collection of principles and practices aimed at making technologies and social institutions more responsive to human needs. A central tenet of PD is the direct involvement of people in the co-design of the (mainly computerized) systems they use.
- May 1 - Art Installations, Environments, Projects, Designs, Demonstrations submissions
- May 7 - short papers, conference workshop submissions
The Participatory Design Conferences, held every two years since 1990, have brought together a multidisciplinary and international group of software developers, researchers, social scientists, designers, activists, practitioners, users, citizens, cultural workers and managers who adopt distinctively participatory approaches in the development of information and communication artifacts, systems, services and technologies.
Lots of Public Sphere Project activities to report. The most ambitious achievement was probably submitting a proposal to the National Science Foundation. The basic plan is to convene a focused interdisciplinary "civic intelligence" workshop with 40 activists and researchers. The next step will be to organize the next Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC) Symposium on the same topic. In late March I gave a keynote address on "Community Networking and Civic Intelligence" at the Community Networking Analysis conference in Brighton, England. This resulted in an invitation to guest edit a special issue of "AI & Society" on civic intelligence. (Please note that "civic intelligence" is NOT particularly related to artificial intelligence except that computers are likely to play a role in either.) The presentation can be found at http://www.scn.org/commnet/Presentations/cna/cna2004.html . In the meantime, the pattern language for democratic information and communication system now has over 250 pattern submissions. We now have an intern working halftime on developing the pattern language. Nearly 20 "editors" have volunteered and a book proposal is nearly complete. Google has now upgraded our pattern language project to fourth place (out of "about 52,600"). Finally, I have been asked to be a GLOCOM Fellow. GLOCOM is the Center for Global Communications which is associated with the International University of Japan.
CPSR signed a letter to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on biometric travel documents.
and Press Release
On March 17, Paul Hyland debated Susan Meisinger, President of the Society for Human Resource Management, on Fox Morning News in Washington, DC. They were discussing a new service of Yahoo! HotJobs to sell consumers their ChoicePoint reports in order to know what potential employers can find out about them, and to use positive reports as a selling point(!).
Paul pointed out that while there may be problems with the extent and the ability to correct ChoicePoint data in the first place, making this information available over the Internet adds security problems -- potentially making a huge amount of personal information available to anyone who is able to collect a few common data points, a boon to stalkers, identity theives, or others who seek to misuse the personal information of others.
Privaterra signed onto a letter about Google's plan to offer a free Web e-mail system with nearly unlimited storage. Robert Guerra is quoted as saying "The public should know the implications." "Google should be much more open and reach out to the community and tell them their policies." See http://www.dmnews.com/cgi-bin/artprevbot.cgi?article_id=27113
As part of Robert Guerra's participation in CFP 2004, he screened "Hactivista" on April 22nd.
"Hacktivista" is the story of three University of Toronto students who travel with their professor to Guatemala and Chiapas to work with human rights organizations and activists on Internet security and connectivity. The students call themselves "hacktivists" -- a new breed of social activists who use technology to fight for privacy and freedom of speech. See http://www.citizenlab.org/hacktivista/ for more info.
Privaterra, an ongoing project of CPSR, which provides technological education and support for civil society organizations (Human Rights NGOs) in the area of data privacy, secure communications and information security seeks assistance in translating several of its training materials into Arabic, Russian and other languages. We also seek assistance to revise and edit materials which we developed last year in English, French & Spanish
If our work sounds of interest, and you'd like to collaborate and/or volunteer to help us, please visit our posting at the UN Volunteers onlinevolunteering site for further details. See http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/membership/join.php?gp_id=7225
Managing Director, Privaterra - http://www.privaterra.org
CPSR-Peru - through Katitza Rodriguez, Beatriz Busaniche and Federico Heinz - attended the Public Voice Roundtable: Consumers and Privacy in South America organized by the Electronic Privacy Information, Center Consumers International (Oficina para América latina y el Caribe), the Instituto de Derecho del Consumidor del Colegio Público de Abogados de la Capital Federal the Foro de Habeas Data. See http://www.thepublicvoice.org/events/buenosaires04/default.html
Bill Drake gave a presentation on "WTO Rules and the Internet" to Working Group I, Governance and Policy, at the Six Meeting of the UN ICT Task Force, the United Nations, New York City; March 26, 2004.
Bill Drake gave a presentation on "Framing 'Internet Governance' Policy Discourse: Fifteen Baseline Propositions," and moderator the break-out group on "Internet Infrastructure" at the UN ICT Task Force's Global Forum on Internet Governance, the United Nations, New York City; March 25-26, 2004.
Bill Drake gave a presentation on "WIPO Rules and the Developing World," at the ICTSD-UNCTAD-IUCN- IDDRI workshop, Development in the Information Age: Intellectual Property, Computer Software and E-commerce, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva; March 16, 2004.
Radio Singapore International featured CPSR, in an interview with Karen Coyle. See http://rsi.com.sg/english/siliconvalley/view/20040415152611/1/.html
CPSR provides a discussion and project space where individuals can contribute to the public debate and design of our global digital future. Through CPSR's chapters and working groups, members focus on regional and civic issues developing the public voice. To insure a democratic future in a time of intense globalization, the voice of the public must command a prominent position on the world stage. CPSR frames and channels the public voice.
The CPSR Compiler is emailed to CPSR members in good standing,who have provided CPSR with their email address.
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Susan Evoy * Managing Director
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717 * Palo Alto * CA * 94302
Phone: (650) 322-3778 * (650) 322-4748 (fax)
Last modified June 09, 2006 03:51 PM