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Message From the President: The Year in Review

Dear Members:

It is a pleasure for me to once again have this opportunity to report to you the highlights of the organization for the fiscal year 1997-98. Our activities were many and our impact was significant. I would like to review some of those events with you.

Net Worth, New Work

CPSR's 1997 Annual Meeting was hosted by CPSR/Berkeley in October. The conference "Net Work, Net Worth: Technology & Values for a Digital Age" focused on the impact of how our business model is changing as we enter the "Information Age." Discussions ranged from socially responsible digital commerce to issues around copyright, electronic piracy, and intellectual property.

One Planet, One Net

In August the Board of Directors launched a new program for 1998 focusing on "Internet Governance". The following is a summary of the activities that took place to support the program focus area


"One Planet, One Net: Draft Principles for the Internet Era" were created to provide a foundation for our program work on Internet governance. We felt we needed to define broad guidelines to use as a measure against any specific Internet governance issues that arise. They were submitted to a process of democratic revision, first at the 1997 CPSR Annual Meeting in Berkeley, then through the listserv discussion (, and then in an Internet Engineering Task Force Draft involving the Internet-user community. In this way we are able to take advantage of the democratic process for Internet standards used by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Response to NTIA Green Paper

In August, 1997 CPSR submitted comments to the Commerce Department on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) "Green Paper" (http:l/ relating to proposed changes in the Internet domain names system (DNS). CPSR's proposals focused on maintaining open Internet self-government, introducing competition into Internet domain name administration, separating DNS management from trademark protection, and supporting the continued growth of the Internet itself.

Program Launch

On December 1, 1997 CPSR announced our year-long program on Internet governance. We are implementing a broad examination of the issues in standards development, content development, control of Internet administration, and in access to the Internet. A major focus of the year's activities will be an international symposium in October, 1998 at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology.

Domain Name Resolutions: CPSR Proposals for the new Corporation

CPSR responded in June to the Clinton Administration's "White Paper" on proposing a new non-profit corporation to handle Domain Name Resolutions. The CPSR proposals were based on our NTIA submission in August 1997, in which we called for public interest representation on the corporation's board and advocated open, transparent, and accountable operations.

Internet Engineering Task Force Wins Norbert Wiener Award

CPSR announced on April 27th that our prestigious Norbert Wiener Award would be presented to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) for its tremendously positive role in the evolution of the Internet. The award will be presented at a banquet at the Computer Museum in Boston, in conjunction with CPSR's Annual Meeting in October.

Internet Governance Education Tools

CPSR members created a series of Fact Sheets and a presentation on "One Planet, One Net" as education tools on the topic of Internet governance. The Fact Sheets includes, "What is the Internet", "Who runs the Internet", "Copyright in the Digital Age", and "How do Internet filters work?" All of the fact sheets and the One Net presentation are available on the CPSR web site.

Board Development

The Board of Directors continued to focus on short and long range planning for the organization, and on infrastructure building to achieve these goals. The impact of these activities are already evident in the development of the Internet governance program and in CPSR's overall organizational growth.

New Board Members

On July 1st, the CPSR Board welcomed 2 new members to its board: Ellen Spertus and Harry Hochheiser, both as Directors-at-large. In addition, we welcomed back Coralee Whitcomb as New England Regional Director. Coralee had taken a few years off from the board to build up a public-access based computer facility in Boston called Virtually Wired. Harry Hochheiser was an active member of the CPSR cyber-rights working group before joining the CPSR board. Ellen Spertus is well known for work she has done in the area of Women in Computing.

Chapter Development

To support the Internet Governance program, the national office and members of the Board of Directors visited CPSR chapters to talk about "One Planet, One Net." CPSR members discussed the Principles and Internet governance issues. This feedback was incorporated in the planning for the Symposium and in the draft of the Principles. The chapters that were visited include: Seattle, Denver/Boulder, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Berkeley, and Palo Alto.

Working Groups

This year saw a tremendous growth in CPSR's Working Groups. Thanks to the hard work of the Chapter Development committee, new Working Groups were formed in Ethics, Law, and Community Networks. They join our current groups: Cyber-rights, Civil Liberties, Workplace/Participatory Design, Y2K, and Education. All members are urged to participate in these special interest sections of CPSR.

Website Development

CPSR's web site is undergoing a face lift and content revision which more clearly supports our programs. The site contains all sorts of information about CPSR activities, educational tools, links to on-line resources related to Internet governance, Fact Sheets and an FAQ on filtering. It provides web access to our onenet-discuss electronic discussion list. Members can now join on-line through our secure server.

CPSR has opened a 'virtual' bookstore in cooperation with Amazon.Com. The CPSR Bookstore makes available books by CPSR members and a wide variety of topics of interest to CPSR members. The bookstore even includes a "Member's Choice" section where a CPSR members can submit recommendations. CPSR receives from 5-15% on every book sold from the CPSR Bookstore ( This is a great way to support CPSR's mission and programs.

This has been a busy and productive year. It has been a rewarding opportunity for me to serve as President. The remarkable accomplishments of the past year have been achieved by our members working together for a better and more socially responsible society. I look forward to the challenges of the year ahead. CPSR's strength is in our "grassroots" focus and the dedication of our Board, staff, and members.

Aki Namioka


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