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CPSR-Los Angeles Chapter

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Los Angeles Chapter

A public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others
concerned about the impact of computer technology on society

CPSR Working Groups are largely where CPSR program work is being done these days.
Most interaction is by email with global participation.

This chapter is populated but not currently organizing activities. CPSR members can quickly come to life when approached via to rise to the occassion to:

*answer inquiries
*speak with the press
*create and maintain a web page
*create and use a mailing list
*host conferences, panel discussions, speakers, and/or talks
*meet informally to discuss current events
*present expert testimony
*study a local issue
*write and publish, etc. etc. etc.

CPSR Los Angeles co-sponsored LA ACM programs

Security for Whom?
TCPA and Hollywood vs. Open Computing Platforms

Seth Schoen (Staff Technologist) and Cory Doctorow (Outreach Coordinator) of
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

Wednesday, February 5, 2003
6:30 pm Social, 7:00 pm Dinner, 8:00 pm Presentation

Culver City Ramada Plaza Hotel
6333 Bristol Pkwy

Info: Myles Losch (323) 469-8020

Multi-user computers have for decades featured hardware-based security that preserves their owners' visibility into, and control over, these machines' data and operation. But in 2003-04, the Trusted Computing Platform Alliance (TCPA: Intel, Microsoft, et al.) will offer, at the urging of entertainment firms, a new generation of locked-down PCs that are cryptographically opaque. The goal: to block disfavored uses (legal or not) of copyrighted digital movies, music, etc., by gradually replacing today's PCs and software.

This initiative raises many challenging policy issues; Cambridge University's prominent computer security researcher Dr. Ross Anderson surveys them (with links to diverse views) at

The Computer Society, Engineering Management Society, and SSIT (LAC Chapters) will join the Foothill Section, ACM and CPSR to present a detailed look at this topic by two specialists from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which strives to protect the public's freedom in using information technology. - - - - - - - - - - - -

As EFF's Staff Technologist, Seth Schoen aims to bridge the legal and technical worlds. A programmer from age six and a UC Berkeley alumnus, his earlier career included serving as a senior consultant at Linuxcare, and work at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He reports on Microsoft's 'Palladium' secure OS at Cory Doctorow, as Outreach Coordinator, represents EFF's diverse membership in standardization, regulatory, legislative and other fora. A technology entrepreneur and writer, he co-founded the software firm OpenCola, and is a frequent contributor to Wired Magazine. Doctorow is also an award-winning science fiction author, whose first two books are due out in early 2003. He recently wrote on themes related to his February 5th talk at

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There is no charge or reservation required to attend the program.

The Optional Dinner is $22 with RSVP by Feb. 2 ($25 without); contact John Halbur 310-469-8020

The Innovations Commons"
A talk on Internet Architecture and Public Policy
by Professor Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law School

October 10, 2002

Architectures matter. In this lecture, Professor Lessig will show how the internet's original architecture helped build an "innovation commons"; how this commons is responsible for the extraordinary range of creativity and innovation the Internet has produced; and most importantly, how this commons is under attack. Changes at both the physical and content layer of the network threaten the commons that the original design produced. If allowed to have their effect, these changes will undermine the promise the Internet first offered.

[Architectural factors contributing to the Internet's success include open technical standards; decentralized control; and the "end-to-end principle" which places sophisticated processing at the periphery rather than in the core, as with traditional telephone networks.]

******** Speaker information ********

Lawrence Lessig is a prominent cyberlaw scholar, who before joining Stanford University last year was the Berkman Professor of Law at Harvard. From 1991 to 1997, he was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Cambridge University, and is a 1989 graduate of Yale Law School.

Lessig clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. He teaches and writes in areas including constitutional law, contracts, comparative constitutional law, and the law of cyberspace.

His book, "Code, and Other Laws of Cyberspace," is published by Basic Books. Prof. Lessig's essays appear regularly in the press, and his second book is due this year from Random House. He has consulted extensively with policy makers, testified before Congress, and been active in Internet litigation, e.g. as a Special Master for Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in the Microsoft antitrust case (prompting Time magazine to call him a "leading thinker on how to adapt ancient principles to the new digital age.").

In 1999-2000, Prof. Lessig was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin. He is Of Counsel to the Los Angeles-based law firm of Munger, Tolles and Olson, and also serves on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (

CPSR Chapters are valuable as local geographic groups within CPSR. Chapters should do what they are comfortable with, within the bounds of CPSR's MISSION, Program, and By-Laws, and know that Chapters have value simply by having a presence and contact on our website, and being in-situ consituencies of experts, who other members, the public, and the press can turn to for support and expertise, and who can be called upon to act on issues, organize or attend conferences, and work on projects as they arise. CPSR Chapters can simply meet for coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert to give members some face-to-face contact that easily works into their busy lives. CPSR Chapters can go beyond this to actively educate other members, the public, and the press by serving themselves as speakers and experts; or presenting forums for outside speakers.

If you have questions or are interested in becoming involved with this CPSR chapter, contact:

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Created before October 2004

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Why did you join CPSR?

I want to use my expertise to try to change the way the public sees the whole voting machine mess.