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Message From the President

CPSR Annual Report 1994-1995

Message From the President

Key Areas:

  1. Romkey Gift
  2. the National Information Infrastructure NII - CPSR's Major Focus
  3. Coalition Work
  4. The Electronic Privacy Information Center - EPIC
  5. Conferences
  6. Thinking Globally
  7. Thanks to All!

Message from the President

Dear Members,

Annual reports, by their very nature, present a snapshot in time. This document is no exception.

Because there has been considerable change at Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR) after the close of the 1994-1995 fiscal year - we've hired Audrie Krause as a new fulltime Executive Director, for example - it is tempting to look beyond the twelve-month period of this snapshot and talk about more recent events. I have tried to avoid that and have concentrated instead on the highlights of the past fiscal year.

Romkey Gift

First, on an organizational level, there was the unexpected and generous contribution of 5,000 shares of FTP Software by John Romkey. This gift enabled CPSR's Board of Directors to undertake several new initiatives, including advertising for an Executive Director and setting up an Independent Project Fund. These important new projects were getting underway at the close of the fiscal year.

NII - CPSR's Major Focus

For a second fiscal year, CPSR has continued to focus on the National Information Infrastructure, a project of central public concern and debate. Since CPSR's members have been using - and in many cases creating - the technology of the Internet over the last twenty years, we have an important perspective on the challenges and opportunities presented by the new communication and information technologies. Following publication in late 1993 of "Serving the Community: A Public-Interest Vision of the National Information Infrastructure," CPSR began to develop a second report examining critical issues relating to universal access.

Coalition Work

Beyond our own initiatives, CPSR has continued to play leadership and participation roles in broad coalitions of nonprofit organizations who share an interest in democratizing telecommunications policy. One of the most important of these has been the Telecommunications Policy Roundtable (TPR), a Washington-based coalition of nonprofit organizations that CPSR helped found in 1993. In September 1994, activists from CPSR/Boston developed the first regional TPR organization (TPR-Northeast) by bringing together several Boston-based nonprofit organizations concerned about telecommunications policy. An informal regional TPR has also been established in Seattle.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center - EPIC

EPIC's separation from CPSR, formally completed at the beginning of this fiscal year, marks the second time a CPSR project has grown into an independent entity. The first project to evolve into a separate effort was the 21st Century Project, initiated by CPSR's former Executive Director, Gary Chapman (1985-1991).

EPIC maintained a strong electronic presence through their informative EPIC Alert with CPSR's financial and technical support.


CPSR organized two major conferences during the fiscal year: the 1994 Annual Meeting in San Diego, California and the third biennial Participatory Design Conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Thinking Globally

On an international scale, CPSR has begun to explore the implications of communications technology as it continues to bring human beings from around the world into closer contact with one another. Sister organizations concerned with the social implications of computer technology have sprung up around the globe, often modeling themselves after CPSR. CPSR-GLOBAL, a listserv, has become an important forum for discussions on worldwide issues.

Thanks to All!

All of this was accomplished with parttime leadership and dynamic volunteer support. I want especially to thank Kathleen Kells, CPSR's managing director during the past two fiscal years. Kathleen deserves recognition for her accomplishments during her tenure, including her role in providing considerable structure and stability to CPSR's financial administration. She was preparing to leave CPSR as the 1994-1995 fiscal year drew to a close. Along with the enormous energy provided by Assistant to the Director Susan Evoy, Kathleen was able to put the organization on firmer ground. Among the volunteers, I want to give special thanks to Al Whaley at Sunnyside Communications for providing CPSR's computer services and Grace Mason for the many hours of administrative assistance she has contributed in the National Office.

With the efforts of volunteers, staff members, guest editors, chapter activists and generous donors such as John Romkey, I'm confident that CPSR will continue to build on the strong foundation during the next fiscal year.

Eric Roberts

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