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CPSR Newsletter Vol 18, Number 4
Volume 18, Number 4 The CPSR Newsletter Fall 2000

Annual Meeting Notes
Steve Teicher
By law, 501(c)(3) membership organizations must hold a meeting once a year to discuss the state of the organization and to plan for the year ahead. Traditionally, our official annual meeting is held the day after the conference portion of the Annual Meeting weekend. This year we had one of the most productive discussions I've ever attended.

- Coralee Whitcomb

The State of CPSR

CPSR President Coralee Whitcomb opened with a summary of how we fared in the past year.

Coralee stated that his is a new era for CPSR. She became president two Julys ago at what was a tough time for CPSR. We were out of money and we did not know if we were going to survive. We did survive. We now have money in the bank and in the reserve account. We revived the news letter and we started PING as a paper vehicle.

We never had a means to let people know what is happening. Our newsletter was research material. We have now published two issues of PING and we have had a great response. Dara O'Neal and Susan Evoy were responsible for getting PING out.

We had a wildly successful DIAC conference in Seattle. It was one of which we are very proud. We also will have a PDC, an event which occurs every two years. PDC does their own organizing and they are always very successful. We make a number of efforts to try to include others. We have tried to take steps in every case to be better at communications.

Coralee said that our name recognition is on the increase. She said that we are very happy about our current status. It wasn't until about 7 years ago that other organizations became involved in social responsibility issues pertaining to telecommunications. At that time, the increase in attention of the Clinton administration drew other groups, including the ACLU and EPIC, into the fray. Before that time, when someone needed a quote they came to us.

Now we have to move ourselves into a different role. To do this we need a bigger membership and other things to more clearly define who we are. We have the wherewithal to do new program work.

CPSR Members

Membership Committee Chair Netiva Caftori asked if we could go around the room and identify ourselves. This is what I heard:

Lawrence Interested in war and peace. He said that he wanted to write a letter to every high tech executive suggesting that we give every Palestinian a pc and access to the Internet.

Christy Lives in Yorktown, Va. She works for a small college in Florida which has branches on military bases. She is also chair of the American Library Association Privacy Committee. She noted that she has been working on privacy for a long time. Christy also wondered why UCITA did not come up because of the terrible law that came up in Australia.

Steve Works at U of Penn working on info security as an employee. He is interested in privacy and weapons and peace.

Mark Went to UC Berkeley School of Information Management and Systems. Now he is working as a librarian at a medical school. He is very much interested in privacy and also in using the Internet for organizing.

Robert A cognitive psychologist and now Dean of Social Sciences. He is interested in enlightening the academic community on the importance of privacy.

YJ from Korea. She said it is unnatural for them to think about privacy in Asia so she is interested in what we think here. She has been working in an Asian Internet community. How can we help people who do not speak English to get on the net? She also wanted to respond to the ICANN activity. At the moment she is living in Singapore.

Ashok Introduced himself as VP of International Marketing at Brightmail.

Dave From Disappearing Inc. Looking at how changes in media affect communications.

John Now working at AT&T labs. He does software systems engineering for IT base services. He has had a continuing interest in social issues. He read 1984 in 1964 and it had a great effect on him. He has a long standing interest in how to keep computers from being used against the everyman. He was quite impressed with the weekend.

Kwami Works for African IT Reservations and Conferences. He is an IT generalist and writes for several journals. He has also worked on IT in government and written several policies for Ghana. Netiva mentioned that we have 8 members in Africa and this time the Board should approve the formation of a chapter in Ghana.

Mike Located in DC. Chief Privacy Officer in a company providing ultra security in B2B space. Has been a member for several years.

EB With Global Network Practices. He works with Mike above. They provide ultrasecure plumbing.

Larry They have wired schools all over Harlem and the Bronx. NY State is requiring, as a condition for licensing, that teachers be able to make use of the Internet. About 20% of his time is spent helping to create curricula that aid teachers in teaching kids. How do you tell your ten year old kid about privacy?

E from Japan He majored in medical informatics and bio-ethics. He is interested in privacy in medical records and DNA.

Miles Worked on ACM policy on Information Privacy, and chair of LA Chapter on info policy and co-chair of IEEE Computer Society. He is concerned about free speech, including reverse engineering, as a human right.

Dave He was a telecommunications and systems engineer, and then went to law school. Works with policy makers on different issues. He was part of the working group that wrote a white paper that led up to ICANN.

Bev Concerned about the role of faculty in modeling responsible ethical behavior. She did a survey of teachers to find out if they had experience in dealing with ethics issues.

Tom From MIT. Had been a member of the CPSR Board for years. Now he is a member of the Boston Chapter.

Keith Co-Chair of the Privacy Working group with Scott Vowels. Chief privacy officer at a company. Also co-founded privacy Sees the privacy group as a bridge between EPIC and some of the business groups.

Essay Contest

Netiva described the essay contest and its current status. [ Read all about it at ]

Defining the Chief Privacy Officer

Keith Enright described the current project of the Privacy Working Group to describe the job of a Chief Privacy Officer in an enterprise. He began his working career at

Although he recognizes a close association with EPIC, he thinks we should shape ourselves in a slightly different manner. Businesses view CPOs as people who limit their liabilities. EPIC will view the CPOs with much suspicion. Keith sees CPSR as a mediator between the views of EPIC and industry. Now the Privacy WG is talking with CPO's at different companies and working on a set of guidelines for CPOs that helps make the position broader than that of a liability limiter.

His presentation sparked an energetic give and take revealing not only an incredible interest throughout the group but also a great deal of experience and expertise. The ongoing CPO discussion takes place on the list, Please feel free to join in. We are aiming at presenting the final product at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference (CFP) [ ] in early March.

Scott Vowels has plugged himself into many privacy forums. He is trying to introduce an ethical voice into these forums. He mentioned many groups in which he is involved. He hopes that they will have the core values of a privacy advocate group and the implementation strength of corporate actors.

He was on a panel last weekend at the American Privacy Council in Washington DC. He said he told the APC that CPOs are mostly PR people. At the moment this council is lacking the non-profit voice.

Scott says that there is a tremendous amount of momentum behind this project.

The paper will want to represent real core values and it will be read in Fortune 500 companies by the CPO and above. We have a group that has technically competent people and people who are practiced at policy advocates.

Scott told how Karen Coyle helped him improve the paper that is being developed by the Privacy Working Group.

Keith noted that privacy has aspects of a property right, but he noted that lawyers have had 500 years of history at property work and that limiting privacy to being a property right would produce results that we do not like.

There was a question on the international arena. Keith said that this is outside of his area.

Ashok said that one of the thing that he observed yesterday was that America has poor privacy laws; this is hampering business with Europe. (Note that Ashok is talking about the requirement in the European Union that a country have privacy laws and an enforcement mechanism to be in compliance with EU commercial rules.)

Christy Vernon said that she does cram courses on how to do searching on computers. She noted that in one of those courses, one of the women noted that in the shipyard the guys spend about 20% of their time looking at porn. Christy wanted to know how to deal with it. There was a lot of advice for Christy from the audience that essentially suggested that what is being viewed on screens is only relevant if it hampered work.

Someone asked how we would deal with the differences in policies and opinions. Coralee said that we would not be able to resolve differences, but we could identify them and cause there to be dialog on them.

Netiva said that we should remember the comments of yesterday that we have two years to get some new laws passed. She also noted the paper [ Email is Not Private ] that was written by herself, Mark Teicher, and Steve Teicher about email privacy.

The specific things that are happening in the privacy area are something like:

  • CPO paper
  • FAQ
  • Data Protection Act
  • Insert Privacy Concepts into IT Education

The CPO paper will have:

  • Introduction
  • Core Privacy Values
  • Def of the CPO Position
  • Case Studies
  • Brick and Mortar
  • New Industries
  • Medical
  • CPO Best Practices

This will give companies one way to evaluate CPO candidates.

The working outline is available on egroups and has corrections suggested by Karen Coyle.

Keith wants to delegate sections to people who want to draft it.

Annual Meeting 2001

Finally, the group tackled the annual meeting for next year. As you may know, CPSR has its 20th birthday next year--coincidentally, the year "2001." Nathaniel Borenstein, of the Michigan chapter, led the discussion, as the Michigan chapter is organizing the event. We're planning to have an especially grand meeting next year to reflect upon 20 years of telecommunications activism as well as looking forward to the issues of the future.

There was a general discussion of possible themes including: privacy, high points of the twenty years of CPSR, information warfare, Internet governance, the two aspects of privacy--the right to be left alone and the right to restrict personal information, reliability, Son of Star Wars, the future to 2010 or even 2020, and a collection of workshops.

Suggestions for themes and topics should be sent to Nathaniel,

Tentatively, this is to be a two-day conference, from Friday noon to Sunday noon. We think the theme can be described as "Nurturing the Intellectual Commons, 1981 to 2021"

New Chapter in Ghana

Kwami Ahiabenu, II wants to hear about ideas for the new chapter. What are some of the lessons that they can learn?

CPSR Board of Directors Chair Hans Klein said that his experience at organizing is that it is good to start off with a project that, as a by product, organizes the chapter. If you say we are going to do a small conference then this becomes a goal that is interesting and exciting and gives the focus to something that really matters to people. Hans says that the event can be quite small. The important thing is that the event must be successful.

Coralee said that she would steer clear of any regular commitment, such as an on-going meetings or newsletters as these things seem to be burn people out with little gain.

Kwami indicated that the people in Africa who started the chapter have computers and have access to the Internet. He said that there are both English and French speaking people. The French only respond to stuff from France.

Kwami said that there is a potential for 100 CPSR members in Ghana. The potential in the rest of Africa is unlimited.

There might be some way to get a liaison between Open Source and groups in Africa.

Netiva moved that we charter an African chapter.

I seconded it.

Jean called the question

There was no objection to the formation of an African Chapter.

ICANN Summary [ The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ]

Hans Klein began with the Civil Society Democracy Project [ ].

Hans asked how many people are ICANN at-large members. Board Members Herb Kanner, Coralee, Glenn Manishin, Jean Camp, and Hans raised their hands. Glenn and Jean said that they got their PIN but could not vote.

He briefly described the working of the Internet. He said that DNS is the central control point of the Internet. It is perceived that ISOC went over to the dark side by creating special deals with telecom companies.

ICANN is the organization that manages the domain name system. Since they have this control they can make regulations and policy that control the domain name system. It makes rules about who gets to compete in the domain name system, etc. In the future the ICANN policy making process is likely to grow.

It was noted that if the number of domain names is allowed to grow, there is a danger of devaluing some of the existing names. The reaction of the audience is "so what." The problem is that some organizations, both companies and individuals, have paid big bucks for names. A willy-nilly devaluation of this "property" is not taken lightly.

Hans said that the first concern of ICANN was the protection of Intellectual Property. ICANN tried to disenfranchise its non-corporate members by the way that board members were selected. There was an attempt to rewrite the bylaws to eliminate non-corporate users altogether. After some protest they decided to allow the election of 5 of the 9 from at large and then 4 later.

There was a question of whether IETF had a seat. The president of the ICANN staff is also a member of the board. Ester Dyson is currently the chair of the board. She plans to step down and will likely be replaced by Vint Cerf. Industry has moved very aggressively but they could not eliminate non-corporate users altogether even though they tried. The 5 are elected by regions, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe.

Hans described the election results including the election of Carl Auerbach from North America. The registrar of domain names in Ghana was elected for Africa, a Fujitsu lawyer resident in Washington, DC for Asia, and a guy from the Chaos Computer Club for Europe.

The ICANN annual meeting on Nov 12-16 will initiate a study to decide on the next 4 slots.

Hans suggested that people look at the Civil Society web site for additional information on ICANN

What's inside...

© Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717
Palo Alto, CA 94302-0717
Tel. (650) 322-3778
Fax (650) 322-4748

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