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The Compiler - October 2003

CPSR Compiler Oct 2003

Working Groups
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

The CPSR Compiler - October 2003 - 2.4

Turning Thoughts to Actions






CPSR BOARD MEETING 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Watertown Hotel, 4242 Roosevelt Way NE

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 24th 6:00- 9:00 p.m.
Watertown Hotel, 4242 Roosevelt Way NE

Free and open to the public

CPSR is becoming a somewhat globalized organization. Already we have individual members in over twenty seven countries, chapters on four continents, and a new Board of Directors comprising almost half non-U.S. residents. There is reason to believe that in the years come, the global sphere will be the source of many new and members. At the same time, some of CPSR's most active members in the U.S. and abroad are already involved in international policy debates, including the United Nations' World Summit on the Information Society.

The globalization of CPSR's membership and involvements creates both exciting opportunities and daunting challenges for the organization. How can we best capitalize on the former and manage the latter? Come join an intensive, action-oriented discussion of these issues to be held in conjunction with CPSR's annual conference!

1. Brief remarks by globally engaged members to set the stage:

William J. Drake
Director, the Project on the Information Revolution and Global Governance; Senior Associate, the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development; Switzerland

The World Summit on the Information Society
William J. McIver, Jr.
The State University of New York at Albany; USA

Cooperation and Alliances between CPSR and Other Civil Society Organizations
Hans Klein, Georgia Institute of Technology; USA

Industrialized vs. Developing Country Member Interests and Priorities
Madan Rao,; India

Building International Membership and Chapters
Katitza Rodriguez, Privaterra; Peru

2. Discussion

Potential Outcomes and Action Items

1. WSIS. Coordinating CPSR's participation at the December 2003 conference in Geneva.

2. United Nations. Discussion of possible CPSR participation in other social, economic and policy discussions related to information and communication technology.

3. Working Group on Global ICT Policies. Possible establishment of an interest group to coordinate CPSR involvement in global issues, including WSIS.

4. CPSR Cooperation with Other Civil Society Organizations. Possible expansion and formalization of our relationships with other-oriented public interest groups in the U.S. and abroad.

5. Building International Membership and Chapters. Possible action and guidelines, including with respect to organizational finances.

6. Other Action Points We Might Identify . . .


For discussions leading up to this session and the board meeting, members are encouraged to participate on the cpsr-activists list. To subscribe, use


CPSR members interested in attending the December WSIS meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of CPSR's delegation, should write to


Daybreak Star Cultural Center, Discovery Park

International Technology Conference Studies Public Participation and Corporate Accountability in Local Cable Negotiation


CPSR's annual conference in Seattle this year -"GETTING THE TECHNOLOGY YOU DESERVE" - explores the future of regional media and communication technology in Seattle, and other municipalities around the country. The conference will focus on the threat of monopoly in high-speed internet access and what computer professionals and the public can do to prevent that.

The one-day conference will be held Saturday, October 25, 2003 at the Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Discovery Park, and will feature a broad range of local and national speakers including national consumer advocates, local technology gurus, public access advocates, as well as local and federal elected officials. Confirmed featured speakers include Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Dirk Koning of the Alliance for Communications Democracy. For agenda and speakers, see

Major topics to be discussed at the conference include the growing roles of cable technology and broadband data networks in local information and communication infrastructures, and the public policies associated with them. There is a serious threat that the US is drifting toward a cable company monopoly over high-speed internet access (or a cable & telephone company duopoly).

In contrast to many of the smaller ISPs that are being driven out of business, cable companies have a history of restricting the resale of bandwidth (or even giving it away for free, as in free neighborhood wireless networks) and may be interested in charging a premium for the Virtual Private Networks that are the key to widespread telecommuting.

Seattle, San Francisco, and other major cities will be renegotiating their cable franchise contracts in the next two years. CPSR conference participants will take part in a mock franchise hearing, considering the various business and civic interests at play in these complex negotiations, using Seattle as a case study for designing an ideal community-accountable franchise contract.


In June, when the FCC released new rules deregulating media ownership, they prompted an unparalleled outpouring of public opinion, congressional outrage, and more-than-usual media coverage. The future design of cable technology and broadband policies stand to have as great or even greater impact on the everyday lives of US residents.

Cable franchise policy alone will affect local pricing for cable television and broadband services; access to broadband technology and unfiltered, unencumbered Internet use; freedom of speech, including public access to community media production and distribution; and local corporate accountability, among other concerns.

Municipalities across the country have demanded substantial public benefits from cable providers in return for a monopoly or near-monopoly presence in the community (as Comcast enjoys in Seattle and several cities nationwide). In other cities, free broadband networks for schools, libraries and nonprofits, improved public access television facilities, rate caps, open access guarantees and other public benefits have all been negotiated into cable franchise contracts.

CPSR hopes to raise public awareness that cable franchise terms are no longer just a matter of the price of Basic Cable or whether you will be able to watch Canadian television. Regional cable franchise policy may be the most important factor determining whether people (and in many cases businesses) will have unrestricted access to high-speed internet connections and what that access will cost.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25th - 6:00-7:00 p.m.* (note earlier time)
Daybreak Star Cultural Center, Discovery Park

Free and open to the public

The CPSR-Activists list is discussing the direction of CPSR as the lead up to the Board Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 25th - 7:00-9:00 p.m. * (note earlier time)
Daybreak Star Cultural Center, Discovery Park


Mitch Kapor, founder of the Lotus Corporation, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and recent founder of the Open Source Applications Foundation, will be honored at the annual Norbert Wiener Award Dinner, Saturday evening. OSAF's mission is "to create and gain wide adoption of Open Source application software of uncompromising quality."

For more information about Mitch Kapor and/or CPSR's Norbert Wiener Award, see


SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26th, Morning
Watertown Hotel, 4242 Roosevelt Way NE

CPSR BOARD MEETING, continued from Friday



Sunday, October 26, 2003
12:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Baskin Engineering, Room 152
University of California - Santa Cruz

CPSR is co-sponsoring a forum on electronic voting that will present several perspectives on the current controversy surrounding electronic voting systems. While many computer scientists argue that the results from such systems are unverifiable and vulnerableto tampering, some election officials seem unconcerned. Tens of thousands of these voting machines are now being deployed across the U.S. and will be used to count about 40% of the votes in 2004 .

This is event is free and is open to the public. For more information, contact See


CPSR signed onto the Statement of the Civil Society in Response to the WSIS Draft Declaration Presentation to Sub-Committee 2, September 22nd. See

CPSR Japan held their second Annual Meeting on September 26th.

The CPSR Seattle Chapter met on September 23rd.

CPSR Spain announces the Second Edition of the BBA Spain to be held in Pamplona (Iruña in Basque), on the 24th of October, 2003. As in the first edition, it will be held on a "hackmeeting", a yearly reunion of hackers like those of our Italian friends. The official webpage is at,in spanish, but we're also working on the English version
Hackmeeting's webpage, where more information about the event can be found, including travel information, location, etc.

Bill Drake gave a presentation on "The Internet, Innovation, and International Institutions," at the International Congress on Sustainable Management in Action, Geneva; September 4-6, 2003.

Bill Drake drafted new language on global ICT policy that was approved by civil society's ICT Global Governance Caucus and forwarded for possible inclusion in the civil society declaration at the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society in December. He also co-authored the Caucus' text responding to the intergovernmental draft declaration's provisions on the same during the third WSIS preparatory committee meeting in Geneva, Sept. 15-26.

Hans Klein hosted Gigi Sohn of Public Knowledge at a forum on file swapping and intellectual property rights on Sept 23 at Georgia Tech. They also explored opportunities for greater collaboration between CPSR and Public Knowledge.

Hans Klein participated in a planning session of the Non-Commercial Users Constituency of ICANN. CPSR was one of the first NGO's to join this renewed entity for input into ICANN policy processes.

Peter Neumann was on the Lehrer News Hour commenting on electronic voting on September 15th.

Andrew Clement participated in the 'Biometrics Forum' of the Canadian government as part of their 'public debate' around their proposed national ID card, on October 7-8.



Two international videoconferences connected about 100 information society stakeholders from 13 countries to attendees at the third Preparatory Committee Meeting for the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) last month in Geneva. Supported by the Development Gateway, Global Development Learning Network,and other partners, the videoconferences were dedicated to the theme: "WSIS: Promoting National Action for a Dynamic and Inclusive Information Society."

The videoconferences provided a first-hand account from PrepCom-3 attendees in Geneva as they also facilitated the sharing of experiences and ideas among the participating countries on how information and communication technologies (ICT) can support development efforts. In addition, they helped advance work by multi-stakeholder focus groups in each country on action plans for active national participation in WSIS in December and helped connect local communities to the WSIS process.

There was a strong consensus among participants on the need to move from ICT pilots and visions to large-scale implementation in order to bring the fruits of the information revolution to the masses. There was similar consensus on the need to fully engage women, disabled, and youth in this process.

The following countries participated: Bolivia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Namibia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Venezuela. Among the participants were representatives of government, the private sector, donor agencies and civil society -especially organizations working with women, indigenous leaders, youth, and the disabled.

The first videoconference, in Spanish on September 16, gathered participants from five Latin American and Caribbean countries.The second, in English on September 17, included five countries in other regions. Several Country Gateways facilitated the videoconferences locally - -

The Center for Internet and Society's Packets newsletter -a bi-monthly publication written by Stanford Law School students who are members of the Stanford Law And Technology Association (SLATA). "Our purpose is to provide the legal community with concise descriptions of recently decided cyberlaw- related cases,and to point to the original decisions. We will distribute short summaries of the cases in the electronic version and host longer, more detailed summaries, as well as a keyword searchable archive of past Packets on the CIS website. The publication is distributed over the CIS mailing list." The current issue and a keyword searchable archive of past packets can always be read at: - - For more:

Salon has an interesting article about the struggle between voting activists and voting industry representatives in tryingto produce an IEEE standard for electronic voting. Rebecca Mercuri and David Dill are quoted, among others.

David Dill's latest newsletter about electronic voting has interesting stories from around the country.



"Community Networking and Community Informatics: Prospects, Approaches and Instruments. Part 1: Global Experience "(St. Petersburg, CCNS, 2003) in English and Russian.Editors: Michael Gurstein, Michel Menou and Sergei . To order a hardcopy/copies, contact

The Editors of the new Journal of E-Government invite submissions for articles, book reviews, and commentaries for the first four issues of the Journal. Papers may be on any aspect of e-government ranging from local to national and international initiatives and developments. All submission, style and other information may be found online at

A new journal - eGovernment Quarterly (eGQ) - calls for papers.The journal seeks to cross the academic/practitioner boundary by publishing high quality articles in the area of eGovernment by and of interest to both groups. See

Simon Rogerson and Terry Bynum seek help in suggesting ways for improving or enriching their related website for "Computer Ethics and Professional Responsibility"

Please email Simon with suggestions at

Job postings are periodically sent to CPSR members subscribed to job-listings. A Senior Software Systems Analyst position, paying $80,890 with Complete Business Services of San Francisco will be posted October 16. To subscribe to the list to get this posting and others, use


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.

To report news for future issues, send a sentence or two (and URL if available) to

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 2003.
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Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
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Phone: (650) 322-3778 * (650) 322-4748 (fax)

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Why did you join CPSR?

I care about the issues that CPSR concerns itself, and I don't have the resources or time to address them personally.