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ILPF 2002 Conference Report

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Report from the September 2002 ILPF conference on Security vs. Privacy

September 18-19 in Seattle

submitted by Tom Cox, CPSR member

The mission of the Internet Law and Policy Forum is to bring together Internet technical experts, legal professionals, and policy makers in a forum where they can exchange information, resulting in better-informed policies regarding the Internet. ILPF organizes such a forum annually; this was their fifth. Attendance was lower than I had anticipated. I do not have the conference registration figures, but I never saw more than 300 at general sessions in the large auditorium. However, representation was truly international, with presenters from Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, and several European nations.

Speakers and panelists were well-qualified,well informed, an overwhelmingly concerned with the potential for loss of privacy in the name of enhanced security after events of Sept. 11, 2001. Notable were presentations by Marc Rotenberg, founder and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Howard Shmidt, Vice Chair of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board

Mr. Schidt appeared on the day of release for comment of the Draft National Strategy for Defending Cyberspace. The 60-day comment period ends in mid-November. The president's approach offers seed money to private industry to fund development of technologies to enhance Internet and computer security. The strategy as presented focuses strongly on detection and prosecution of offenders and offers little guidance or support for prevention. CPSR members who would like to learn more and submit comments are encouraged to visit

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