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2002 Appeal Letter

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

CPSR Needs Your Support

Dear Friend of CPSR,

Just weeks after the U.S. elections, we have witnessed the return of the two nightmare technologies that catalyzed CPSR's creation: high tech warfare and the biggest of Big Brothers, the Total Information Awareness program. It is more important than ever that CPSR serve as the voice of the grassroots public interest. Your support can make that possible.

CPSR continues to promote greater democracy and accountability in public decisions over information technology. In its work on global civil society the Public Sphere Project sponsored the seventh highly successful DIAC conference, "Shaping the Network Society: Patterns for Participation, Action, and Change." Privaterra has been busy working with human rights groups to render their communication infrastructure more secure. The summer edition of the CPSR Journal analyzed the dramatic shifting balance of intellectual property rights, a topic also addressed in our comments about proposed amendments to cybercrime and lawful access laws in Canada. This year's annual meeting, "Expanding Net, Shrinking World" brought experts from around the world to Cambridge, MA, to examine technology-related issues in economic development. Our Civil Society Democracy Project (CivSoc) continues to work for legitimate Internet governance. We awarded the Wiener Award to Karl Auerbach for his tireless work as a pioneer of Internet democracy at the otherwise disappointing Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The international dimension of our work is also growing rapidly. This year we welcomed new chapters in Peru and Japan, further extending our reach. Our Board now sports Directors from Ghana, Canada, and Peru. Several of our members have become solid contributors to the planning process for the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS). Our Spanish chapter is about to launch its own version of the Big Brother awards. Our Participatory Design group organized our first major conference outside the U.S., "Participation and Design: Inquiring Into the Politics, Contexts and Practices of Collaborative Design Work," which attracted hundreds in Malmo, Sweden.

CPSR is unique in so many ways. Much of our program work is done by members volunteering in their spare time. Similarly, we rely almost entirely on members to support our operating expenses. Our ability to work as a true grassroots organization is dwindling as membership and financial resources grow scarce in the ailing economy.

Ben Franklin said, "We must all hang together or, assuredly, we will all hang separately." We hope we choose to hang together.

To join CPSR, renew your membership in CPSR, and/or make a donation to CPSR you may use:

Your support this year will help CPSR become the organizational hub of Internet citizenry. Please consider including CPSR in your annual giving. And may 2003 bring you peace, prosperity, and the optimistic energy to continue working for a better world.


Coralee Whitcomb


P.S. For more information about our program, and the highlights of 2002, please see

Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

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International Chapters -

> Canada
> Japan
> Peru
> Spain

USA Chapters -

> Chicago, IL
> Pittsburgh, PA
> San Francisco Bay Area
> Seattle, WA
Why did you join CPSR?

I support critical thinking--including ethical issues--when it comes to decisions about the use of technology. I want more people to have access to learn about technology. I would like to see resources go into finding and implementing technologies that provide the most public good.