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August 15 Compiler

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

The CPSR Compiler - August 2002 - 1.2

Turning Thoughts to Actions



Join us at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA for CPSR's "SHRINKING WORLD, EXPANDING NET" and the WIENER AWARD on Saturday, Oct.5, 2002 to examine the state of CPSR as a global organization, and ICTs as a global force.

Given the expansion of the net and the shrinkage of the world, how can actions of computer professionals combine the ethical and practical? Design of information and communications technology is art as well as engineering. The combination of art, science, and engineering yields systems and devices with economic and political implications.

The day will include break-out groups to better understand how CPSR members can use our voices, our technical skills, and our organization to make a difference.



CPSR Honors Karl Auerbach:
A Pioneer of Democratic Internet Governance

Over the past half decade Karl Auerbach has both fought for and demonstrated the importance of openness in Internet governance.

Suggestions and contacts for possible sponsors can be shared by sending email to

Jean Camp, CPSR Board Member, is organizing the 2002 Annual Conference and Wiener Dinner at Harvard.


Hans Klein was elected Alternate Chair of the governing panel of, a newly-created organization to promote the user voice in Internet governance.

Hans Klein's latest Cyber-Federalist, "Creating the Illusion of Legitimacy," is available online at:

Herb Kanner, CPSR Board Secretary, hosted a delegation from Turkmenistan that visited with CPSR in Palo Alto on August 13th as part of a U.S. Department of State International project entitled "Internet Policy."

Harry Hochheiser, CPSR Board Member, was quoted by Wired News about the settlement between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Microsoft: "It leaves the whole basic model very much in place. It doesn't say anywhere along the line that this is a bad idea and collects far too much data about people and is far too privacy invasive."

Robert Guerra, CPSR Board Member and Director of CPSR's project to secure human rights - Privaterra - has conducted workshops in New York.

Robert Guerra and Bill McIver's notes from their participation at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva will be available soon.

Robert is also now on the program committee for CFP2003 - Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference in New York in April.

Jim Youll resigned from the CPSR Board on August 9.

The CPSR Board is pleased to announce the election of Paul Hyland, effective August 19, to fill the position left vacant by Jim Youll's resignation. Since Jim's position had more than two years to run, our bylaws require that the position be up for a membership vote at the next scheduled election in 2003.


CPSR this summer was fortunate to have the services of a legal intern, Wen-Hsin Lin, from Cornell University Law School. Hsin contributed two important pieces of work to our developing intellectual property efforts
- CPSR's amicus brief in the matter before the California Supreme Court of DVD-CCA v. Bunner, a case challenging the use of California trade secret law to squelch the reverse- engineering and distribution of DeCSS code
- An article entitled "The Trouble with Software Patents" for the forthcoming issue of the CPSR Journal.

Stay tuned for more news on the IP working group as it coalesces, and contact Paul Hyland at if you are interested in becoming more involved with issues of copyrights and patents and their effects on computer technology and the Internet.


The Pattern Language project of the Public Sphere Project now has a new main page and the listserve is up and running. We have two publication projects in the works. Take a look at the new page!


In Memorium: Kristen Nygaard, CPSR's 1990 Norbert Wiener Award Winner died August 9th. To read his obituaries, and/or express your feelings and thoughts about him, see


Call for Research Papers
"Computer/Ethics Implications Post 9/11"

Many of the computer professional ethics codes encourage review and reflection - the year's anniversary of September 11th seems an opportune time for another look at how the terrain on some issues might have changed.

Some of the questions that come to mind that could be explored:

Are the general moral imperatives outlined in the various codes of ethics and professional conduct pages adequate to cover 9/11 repercussions?

Is there a "clash" of individual ethics, collective ethics, or privacy issues, as we face the realities of our nation being at war?

Does "homeland defense" have ethical or privacy parameters that need to be explored?

Is the "Patriot Act" morally/ethically valid?



"CPSR Turns Twenty," the Summer 2001 Journal

Edited by Aki Namioka
Includes articles by Sever Ornstein, Terry Winograd, Bob Wilcox, Erik Nilsson, Jeff Johnson, Doug Schuler, and Nathaniel Borenstein.

The issue focuses on answering the questions --

What were the issues that motivated the founding of CPSR ?

What were some of the questions we faced as Computer Professionals?

How can CPSR activists influence policy?




Speaking of which, the Publications Committee needs rejuvenation. Besides the constant need to keep the website current, we have a specific need for attention to CPSR's Suggested Reading/Authors/Powell's Bookstore pages. We need periodic featured selections and new books. If you wrote a book that we don't have listed at please provide, author, title, ISBN, and publication date.



Grand Prize Winner:
Tu Tran, Graduate Student at Mills College for
"Computer Forensics and Your Rights"

2nd Round Winners:
Leah S. Roderman, Graduate Student at Mills College for
"Technology and the Very Young: Lapware, Smart Toys, and Beyond"

Kinari Patel, Undergraduate at Princeton University for
"Business Method Patent Policy: Preserving Innovation in the Internet Environment"

Karen Korhorn, Undergraduate at the University of Illinois - Urbana/Champaign for
"Steganography Uses and Effects on Society"

Brenda Ashmore, Undergraduate at University of Wisconsin -
Parkside for "Changing Careers to Information Technology"



The CPSR Compiler is a monthly notice with short updates on recent activities of our members and opportunities to engage in the development of the public voice through CPSR projects.

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CPSR provides a discussion and project space where individuals can contribute to the public debate and design of our global digital future. Through CPSR's chapters and working groups, members focus on regional and civic issues developing the public voice. To insure a democratic future in a time of intense globalization, the voice of the public must command a prominent position on the world stage. CPSR frames and channels the public voice.

(c) Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility 2002. Redistribution of this email publication - both internally and externally - is encouraged if it includes this paragraph.

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Susan Evoy * Managing Director
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717 * Palo Alto * CA * 94302
Phone: (650) 322-3778 * (650) 322-4748 (fax)

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To support campaigns that raise awareness of technological uses and abuses that have significant societal effects.