|Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility|
Answers for Prospective Members
- CPSR's mission
- How CPSR works
- CPSR projects
- Who can join CPSR?
- Membership benefits
- How to become a member
- How to get involved in CPSR
- Activists Handbook
- Privacy notice
CPSR's missionCPSR is a public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others concerned about the impact of computer technology on society. We work to influence decisions regarding the development and use of computers because those decisions have far-reaching consequences and reflect our basic values and priorities.
As technical experts, CPSR members provide the public and policymakers with realistic assessments of the power, promise, and limitations of computer technology. As concerned citizens, we direct public attention to critical choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society.
Every project we undertake is based on five principles:
- We foster and support public discussion of, and public responsibility for decisions involving the use of computers in systems critical to society.
- We work to dispel popular myths about the infallibility of technological systems.
- We challenge the assumption that technology alone can solve political and social problems.
- We critically examine social and technical issues within the computer profession, both nationally and internationally.
- We encourage the use of information technology to improve the quality of life.
How CPSR WorksCPSR members have almost unlimited opportunity to get involved and make change happen as part of one of the most dynamic organizations working for cyber rights and the socially responsible use of computers.
CPSR is a democratically organized membership organization. Unlike many socially-conscious organizations, the work of CPSR is not carried out by a centralized staff. The work of CPSR is largely financed by membership dues, and our accomplishments result from the active involvement of our members around the world, supported by the minimal CPSR staff.
CPSR's areas of activity are developed by, and depend on, the interests of members. Members meet and work mostly virtually, but sometimes locally. Members organize events; write articles, factsheets, web pages, journals and books; speak at conferences and legislative meetings; speak to the press; and educate others about the continual need to consider the impact of technology on their world.
CPSR's ProgramBy sponsoring international, national, and local projects, CPSR serves as a catalyst for in-depth discussion and effective action in key areas. Some current ongoing projects of CPSR are:
- Privaterra - Securing Human Rights
- Public Sphere Project - harnessing
IT's power to foster humankind's inspring potential.
- Voting Technology
Some of CPSR's major projects have been:
- Civil Society Democracy Project
- The National Information Infrastructure (The Internet)
- Civil Liberties and Privacy
- Computers in the Workplace
- Reliability and Risk of Computer-Based Systems
(from our founding in 1981 in response to Star Wars/SDI and
continuing to critique the idea in its latest incarnation - National Missile Defense)
- Community Networks
- Internet Governance
- Computers in Education
- Computers and the Environment
- Intellectual Property
- Voting Technology
- Intellectual Property
- Participatory Design
- Privacy and Civil Liberties
- Weapons and Peace
- Women in Computing
- Working in the Industry
Who can join CPSR?CPSR welcomes everyone who uses, or is concerned about the role of, information technology in society.
Membership benefitsAs a member of CPSR, you are joining an international network of concerned people who are committed to bringing a public interest perspective to all aspects of information technology. CPSR's work covers a wide variety of issues.
CPSR has a reputation for being on the forefront of issues pertaining to the impact of information technology on society, taking action to implement positive examples of the use of information technology such as local community networks as well as participating in local, regional, national, and international policy discussions.
Other membership benefits include:
- Healthcare Coverage Available via CPSR
- Joining with other concerned people to affect policy-making at the local, regional, and national level.
- Access to an international network of people who can provide expertise and well-researched support for progressive positions concerning information technology policy.
- The chance to participate in working groups.
- A quarterly Journal containing in-depth analysis of major issues.
- The Compiler - a monthly e-newsletter of organizational opportunities and news
How to become a memberCPSR is a democratically organized grass roots alliance. Our accomplishments are the result of our membership's activism.
Just fill out and submit the Membership Form.
CPSR's basic membership rate covers only the cost of services. If you want to contribute to CPSR's program work, we encourage you to join at the regular $75 rate. The basic membership is $50. To keep CPSR membership open to a wide range of people, we also offer a student/low-income rate of $20.
Privacy noticeThe CPSR membership database is never sold, rented, lent, exchanged, or used for anything other than official CPSR activity. CPSR may elect to send members mailings with information from other groups, but the mailings will always originate with CPSR.
This page last updated March, 2004 by Susan Evoy.
Created before October 2004