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2006 Annual Appeal

CPSR Needs Your Support
Please donate to CPSR before the end of the tax year, either through the mail or on our website
(see for info).

Dear Members of CPSR,

I am writing with an end-of-the-year appeal for donations to CPSR, and for membership renewals for those of you who have not renewed recently.

First, to avoid possible confusion, in the next few days members who have not renewed yet this year, as well as those whose due dates are in the first half of 2007 (and who are not life members), will be receiving a similar letter in the mail asking them to renew and donate.  This message, by contrast, is going out to all members (including life members) for whom we have an email address.

In the last six months, we have made some internal changes to make CPSR more effective: moving our office to the San Francisco Nonprofit Technology Center and hiring Dan Krimm in the new, primary staff role of Communication Director. We now need for our members to step up with the financial support that is needed to take advantage of our new location and staff expertise.

The importance of CPSR's activities was underscored in the recent November elections, as voting rights activists around the U.S. built on the model CPSR pioneered over the last couple of years (in partnership with Verified Voting) in our Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS).  Our experience with the EIRS is documented in a report we published this year in our Working Papers series: "Convergent Usability Evaluation: A Case Study from the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS) Project" by Jeff Johnson, Catherine Marshall, and ErikNilsson (  My fellow Board Member Lillie Coney of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C., reports that CPSR's influence in this area has been phenomenal -- demonstrating to voting rights organizations the role that technology can play in making elections honest.

Doing this work required a functioning central office and staff support, which we will also need in a new initiative that the board discussed this weekend at its annual meeting: promoting open spectrum for wireless communications in the U.S. and internationally.

We have also initiated the celebration of CPSR's 25th Anniversary.  CPSR began out of a set of discussions initiated in October 1981. It got its name in June 1982, and was officially incorporated as an organization in March 1983 (  We are planning a few events to mark the 25th Anniversary of the founding years, culminating with a book tentatively planned for publication in 2008, and being spearheaded by board member Bill McIver.  We think this project will help today's technology activists understand the lessons of our experience since the early 1980s, and I want especially to encourage life members to donate to this project.

CPSR has kept busy in the past year, even through a period of changes in board, staff and office.  We became a charter organization in the Save the Internet Coalition, which successfully prevented (for the 2006 session) legislation that threatened net neutrality, and were an active player in several other coalitions in Washington and internationally on issues such as warrantless surveillance, patient and employee privacy, election security and voting rights, free expression and access to knowledge, open document standards, and fair use and personal use rights for digital technologies. In July we sponsored the latest Participatory Design Conference in Trento, Italy.

As the voice of progressive technologists, CPSR has a vital role as both a leader and an endorser of important campaigns.  For example, we are currently in discussions with voting rights groups to develop what is sure to be an influential position on the mandating of paper ballots (as opposed to "voter verified paper records") in purchases of election equipment across the U.S. See the recent article by David Dill for more information on this (

This past Sunday, we completed our annual meetings in San Francisco with a CPSR-sponsored "barcamp" on Technology and Politics, held at the Open Source Applications Foundation office (thanks, Mitch!).  We did this to meet our new neighbors in San Francisco -- technology activists who are working in our issue space.  The CPSR name and reputation helped pull these organizations and individuals together so that we can coordinate our activities on various fronts in the year ahead, and we even signed up some new members for CPSR.

CPSR provides members a unique opportunity to participate directly in discussing and developing positions on increasingly important technology issues and then acting on those issues. Your membership dues and other donations help support our infrastructure for enabling these activities. Whether or not you participate directly in discussion and advocacy, you make a difference by helping CPSR's voice to be heard.

Please take a minute now to donate (and renew if you haven't) either by addressing a postal check to CPSR, 1370 Mission St., 4th floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-2654 U.S.A., or by using our secure web form at


Todd Davies

PS:  Some CPSR email lists require subscribers to be CPSR members in good standing. If you are a subscriber to a list hosted by CPSR, please renew if you have not done so recently.

Created by hdihuyen
Last modified December 20, 2006 08:55 AM

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Technology must be questioned! And the public and politicians are easily misled.