The CPSR Compiler - June 2005
The CPSR Compiler - June 2005 - 3.11 < <
COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS for SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Turning Thoughts to Actions
* BOARD OF DIRECTOR NEWS
* CPSR OFFICE CLOSED JUNE 29-JULY 12
* WEBSITE UPDATE
* CPSR SIGNED ON
* 2004-05 ESSAY CONTEST
* PUBLIC SPHERE PROJECT NEWS
* PRIVATERRA NEWS
* MEMBER NEWS
* MEMBER RECOMMENDATIONS
BOARD OF DIRECTOR NEWS
Madan Rao will be resigning as a CPSR board member effective
July 1, 2005.
Therefore, the Board will welcome all three candidates for the
2005 Board of Directors as board members as of July 1, 2005.
The lowest vote getter will finish out Madan's remaining term,
serving for one year. Ballots will be counted on June 23rd.
The CPSR Office will be closed from June 29-July 12.
CPSR will be migrating its mailing lists and email addresses in
next month. We don't anticipate significant outages, but might
experience several hours of disruptions when we switch the
addresses. Please contact Paul Hyland at phyland at cpsr.org
if you are interested in helping out.
Nancy Brigham ended her short stint as interim CPSR webmaster,
and we are in the process of hiring a part-time webmaster. If you
are interested in the position and we haven't heard from you yet,
please send an email immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org with
"webmaster" in the subject line. Or, if you are interested in helping
us better integrate links to our rich archives (viewable at
cpsr.org/prevsite), please send an email to email@example.com with
"archives" in the subject line. Because of our unreliable email,
please follow up any email inquiries with a phone call to
650-322-3778 to confirm our receipt of your email.
Nancy worked under contract on this project between Feb. 13
June 2. Out of more than 294 hours she spent working as webmaster
during that period, she charged for 200 hours at a heavily discounted
rate, with the remaining 94-plus hours donated to CPSR, as was
previous work time.
Brigham's final report to the Board is partially summarized below:
The site was initially compromised by glitches, design
and the absence of content.
Completed tasks include:
* Did extensive testing of site, identified problems and
worked with vendor to get them fixed. Negotiated with vendor
over terms and scope of their responsibilities.
* Registered volunteers to the site and helped them upload
and events. Recruited web committee, and tried to recruit and
support content managers for issues sections, and local chapters.
* Developed criteria and solicitation for webmaster, and
on grant re-application.
* Worked with staff and vendor to develop registration process
* Improved the design and ordering of news and events, and the
information and naviation in side columns.
* Worked with vendor to create CPSR archived sections
into Plone format and functionality at cpsr.org/prevsite.
* In conjunction with the CPSR Privacy group, created a basic
design for web pages in the Issues Sections. Then applied that
format to most Issues pages and other sections, adding new content
and/or links to archived information.
* Worked with the vendor to create a user-friendly interface
list of members and member pages and repair privacy problems in
the Members area (which members can register to access).
* Created news, events listings, home page feature stories and
other content; recreated and/or repaired many archived pages and links.
* Worked with volunteers DiHuyen Ho and Yamane Shinji to
upload the Compiler and and archived newsletters.
*Registered beta users, dealt with their questions, set up
Work not yet completed includes:
* Full documentation
* Hiring of webmaster.
* Process for future updating of site. Although much of this is easy to
delegate under the Content Management System, we still don't have
volunteers for most news and issues sections.
* Negotiating an agreement for on-going hosting and Plone support.
* Registration process for members still hasn't been
Waiting for proposal and response from vendor.
* Make sure all archived pages are in prevsite and properly formatted.
* Continue to explore feasibility of using more functions
under Plone system.
CPSR SIGNED ON
CPSR is one of more than 40 organizations which signed
in opposition to the proposed privacy exemptions for a new
Homeland Security database. The exemptions would waive the
legal requirements designed to protect individual privacy,
promote government accountability and provide legislative
oversight over government collection of data. The Department
of Homeland Security's (DHS) extensive new database, The
Homeland Security Operations Center Database, is to be
exempt from section (g) of the Privacy Act of 1974, which
would deny individuals the right to make certain that
information maintained by the agency is correct. In addition,
individuals will be denied judicial review of DHS's determinations.
CPSR Signed Onto a letter about HR1201, a bill introduced by
Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) and others on both sides of the aisle,
supporting fair use and adding some consumer protections to
counterbalance the enforcement powers of the content industry.
Recently a group called The Copyright Assembly circulated to
the press what appears to be an open letter to Rep. Rick
Boucher (D-VA) attacking H.R. 1201 (Boucher - Doolittle,
The Digital Media Consumers' Rights Act).
This group grossly mischaracterizes - or at least misunderstands -
this legislation. The undersigned technology companies, trade
and library associations, and interest organizations urge you
to join the bipartisan group of legislators - including Reps.
Joe Barton (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) -- who are
cosponsoring this legislation.
The "Assembly" letter carries two main charges: that H.R.
1201 would "legalize hacking tools;" and that it would
"misinterpret" the Supreme Court's landmark Betamax doctrine
(which the group's members until recently have preferred to
denounce rather than "interpret"). Each is demonstrably wrong.
What the "fair use" provisions of H.R. 1201 would do would be
to (1) protect the existing fair use rights of consumers,
researchers, librarians, and others, as to content that
they have already lawfully acquired, without addressing
"hacking tools;" and (2) codify the Supreme Court's classic
formulation of the right to technical innovation, in the
Court's own words.
The Assembly group seems not to have noticed that H.R. 1201
does not address "circumvention tools." - Rather, it
recognizes, in the context of the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act ("DMCA"), the existing rights of a consumer or other
lawful user, such as a librarian, a student, or a researcher,
to make fair use of content that has been lawfully acquired.
To be sure, H.R. 107, a bill introduced by Reps. Boucher
and Doolittle in the last Congress was criticized as
addressing circumvention tools. However, the sponsors of
H.R. 1201, in direct response to concerns voiced at a
2004 Energy & Commerce subcommittee hearing, have modified
the language to eliminate any chance of H.R. 1201 being so
construed. Nonetheless, the Copyright Assembly continues to
complain about this issue.
The group's objection to the incorporation of the fundamental
Betamax holding into the U.S. Code also seems anomalous now
that these proprietor interests purport to support this
doctrine. That the doctrine was stated in a longer opinion
is beside the point: Traditionally, core copyright formulations
of the courts have been incorporated into the Copyright Act
once they have stood the test of time. The fact that these
major copyright interests now also support the core Betamax
doctrine is evidence that it is time to recognize this
doctrine in our statutory law. The courts can and will
continue to interpret and apply the law.
The undersigned favor a balanced approach to both the
Copyright Act and the DMCA. H.R. 1201 is aimed at and
achieves such balance. We urge Members of Congress who are
concerned about consumers, educators, students, researchers,
librarians, and technologists to join in cosponsoring this
reasonable and important legislation. . ."
CPSR'S 2004-05 ESSAY CONTEST
Eleven essays await review by CPSR members. Submissions
came from undergraduate and graduate students; at eight schools
throughout the U.S.and two outside of the U.S.; and deal with
general issues about the effects of computer technology on society,
as well as Intellectual Property, Privacy and Civil Liberties,
Voting Technology, Women in Computing, and Working in the
Industry issues. Four CPSR members sponsored essays. Two
current CPSR members submitted essays.
NEWS FROM THE PUBLIC SPHERE PROJECT
by Doug Schuler
The most exciting piece of news this month is that the Online
Deliberation Conference / Directions and Implications of Advanced
Computing (DIAC) Symposium, held at Stanford University,
May 20-22, was a great success. Todd Davies, the main
organizer did a tremendous job of upholding the DIAC tradition
of interdisciplinary collaboration to help address social problems.
150 people, including academics from both computer science and
the social sciences as well as practitioners and activists were engaged
in an exciting three day discussion which I'm guessing (and hoping)
spawned many collaborative enterprises. The topics were extremely
diverse -- but always related back to deliberation; there were
presentations and workshops on "the counterculture and virtual
communities," virtual reality, deliberative polling, the use of
television and other media in public decision-making, deliberation
markup using XML and parliamentary software. I was particularly
pleased to meet several creative students who are working on
systems that are complementary to the Public Sphere Project's
e-Liberate and we are planning some work together. BTW, my
presentation, "Working in the small: Striving towards the global"
is available at
There is more information available about the conference on the
web site (http://www.online-deliberation.net/conf2005/) as well
as a blog for conference topics.
Many exciting ideas were advanced, including the possibility of
new society for online deliberation with an international membership.
The next conference is planned for 2007 in Toronto and we hope
that CPSR's Public Sphere Project will be a strong contributor.
Todd also reported that a book is in the works and we'll pass on
additional news about that when more is known.
This conference was the latest in a series of conferences on
Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC),
presented in association with the Public Sphere Project (a CPSR
Initiative). First launched by CPSR/Seattle in 1987, the DIAC
symposia is one of the (if not the) oldest conference series
devoted to the social implications of computer technology.
DIAC 2006 is tentatively scheduled for Brighton, England in
the fall of next year on the broad theme of "civic intelligence,"
a topic that obviously includes deliberation.
Briefly, in other news, I gave two presentations in Europe
(Milano, Italy and Graz, Austria) on the topic of "Civic Intelligence
and New Tools for Civil Society"
I think that the themes related to strong citizen involvement that
Fiorella de Cindio (Brava!) and I introduced were particularly
relevant after the defeat of the EU Constitutional vote in France
and the Netherlands. Fiorella and I are now planning to work
with Antonio De Marco and people here to create an Italian version
of e-Liberate which we will integrate into the Milano Civic Network.
Hans Klein applied for a grant from the Community Technology
Foundation of California as a possible funder for a new CPSR
Since 2001 Privaterra has been an ongoing project of Computer
Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). Robert Guerra,
the project's managing director has given notice that the
project will be leaving CPSR to become an ongoing project
of the Sage Charitable Foundation based in Canada.
CPSR has been happy to be able to incubate this initiative
and we wish the Privaterra team the best in their future
CPSR Computers and Peace Working Group members helped a
reporter with a robotics/military piece.
CPSR BOOTH AT O'REILLY'S OPEN SOURCE CONVENTION
CPSR may have a booth at O'Reilly's Open Source
Convention (OSCON 2005) in Portland, OR, August 1-5.
If we do, and you would be interested in helping at the booth,
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPIC HOSTED PRIVACY CONFERENCE IN DC JUNE 6
On June 6, 2005, representatives of many organizations that
concerns about REAL ID and related proposals met in Washington,
DC to discuss next steps. Bruce Schneier, the author of "Beyond Fear:
Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World," gave a
presentation on the challenges that implementation of REAL ID
presents. Topics included:
* The technology of identification
* Lessons of RFID passports
* An organized response to REAL ID
CPSR MEMBER NEWS
PAVING THE ROAD TO TUNIS - WSIS/CIVIL SOCIETY/ CANADA
By Robert Guerra
I'd like to inform the CPSR membership that Bill McIver and I
recently attended and participated at the following conference:
"Paving the Road to Tunis - WSIS II: The Views of Canada's
Civil Society on the Geneva Plan of Action and the Prospects for
Phase II", which was held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada,
At the event, representatives of civil society, academia and
private sector of all provinces and territories gathered to discuss
issues related to building information societies in Canada as part
of a conference organized by the Canadian Commission for
UNESCO in preparation for the second phase of the World Summit
of the Information Society (WSIS). The results of the conference
will be presented to the Government of Canada so that the
accomplishments made by civil society can be shared with other
delegations at the Summit. The final report of the conference will
be prepared and distributed at the 33rd UNESCO General
Conference in October 2005 in Paris, France, and at the Summit
in November 2005 in Tunis,Tunisia.
Bill McIver was a speaker on the session on Internet Governance
What do we mean by Internet Governance ? Who should govern
the Internet and why? How to ensure that users needs will be taken
into consideration. I was chair of the session - Access to Knowledge,
and chair of the civil society communiquÃ© drafting team.
The document the drafting group has been about a month in the
will be released soon.
Bill Drake is participating in the fourth and final meeting of
United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance, Geneva;
June 14-17, 2005.
Bill Drake was as a discussant at the Centre National de la
Recherche Scientifique Workshop on, Governance, Regulations
and Powers on the Internet, Paris; May 27-28, 2005.
Roy Saltman's forthcoming book, "The History and Politics of
Technology: In Quest of Integrity and Public Confidence," has been
pre-announced on _www.amazon.com_ (http://www.amazon.com) .
It can be found there in the "book" category under Roy G. Saltman,
or under the ISBN 1403963924. The publisher, Palgrave Macmillan,
identifies an availability date of January 14, 2006, and states that
the book will have 288 pages.
The publisher describes the book (on amazon.com) as follows:
"Roy G. Saltman traces the evolution of voting technology,
highlighting how the antiquated systems in use today are a
legacy of the industrial revolution and the early computer
revolution of the 1950s. He also examines the tangled
responsibility of federal, state and local authorities
in facilitating, monitoring, and counting the votes, creating
a disturbing picture of this elemental civic duty."
DOES SUNSHINE DRY UP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?
Thursday, June 16, 6:30/7:30 PM
IP3 and the Atlanta Press Club will co-host a moderated
about the recent attempts to change the Georgia Open Records Act,
including House Bill 218, which would have exempted certain
economic development records from public scrutiny, or what many
media outlets named 'the secrecy bill.'
My apologies if I overlooked any entries for this Compiler
and/or if any of your questions/requests to me have not been
answered.Please feel free to send me reminders, maybe with
the Subject beginning - "NUDGE". Thanks, Susan evoy (a)cpsr.org
The CPSR Compiler is a monthly notice with short updates on recent
activities of our members and opportunities to engage in the
of the public voice through CPSR projects.
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When in doubt about how to get more out of your CPSR
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in getting the most out of your membership.
CPSR-Activists is the main members forum of CPSR, where the
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(c) Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility 2005.
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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 02:32 PM