Personal tools


CPSR Newsletter Vol 18, No 2
Volume 18, Number 2 The CPSR Newsletter Spring 2000

Working Group and Chapter Reports by Netiva Caftori

Some good news from across the country:

  • DIAC is meeting in May in Seattle (DIAC 00: Shaping the Network Society: [ ]) and promises to be a huge success.

  • Our next annual meeting is being planned for Philadelphia on October 7-8.

  • The board is meeting next in Palo Alto in June, hoping to meet some local members.

  • The board met last in February in D.C. and met there many members and friends of CPSR.

  • In my Midwest region Minnesota just held a joint CPSR/MnIPS Meeting dedicated to ethics. Chicago met with David Maher from ISOC to talk about ICANN, and Michigan is planning their annual meeting in May with me and Coralee visiting.

  • Two new chapters were just formed: Ohio and Canada, our first international chapter. (No chapter pages, yet -CM) Thomas J. Froehlich and Susheel Gupta are the contact persons.

  • Georgia Tech graduate students Dara O'Neil and Rob Orr officially founded the student chapter of CPSR this winter. Welcome and good luck to them all...

Working Group on Computing and the Environment (WGCE)

Position Paper on the European Union Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

Ralph Grove and David Matusow


The disposal of electrical and electronic equipment presents a growing problem in the form of air, soil, and water pollution resulting from dumping and incineration of this equipment. This pollution includes many highly toxic chemicals that threaten human health and the environment. The proposed European Union Directive on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) proposes to mitigate this threat through environmentally beneficial changes in the production and disposal of a wide range of electronic equipment within the European Union. The CPSR/WGCE supports the WEEE and the principle of increased producer responsibility for the disposal of electronic goods on which it is based. This paper presents a brief introduction to the problems associated with the disposal of electronic equipment, an overview of the WEEE directive, and a statement of the position of the CPSR Working Group on Computing and the Environment.

Full report available at [ ]

Michigan Chapter

The Michigan Chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility has had a busy year. On May 5, 1999, the chapter had an informal meeting at the house of Kurt and Anita Lauckner in Ann Arbor to honor Netiva Caftori, our mentor and friend. Several guests were in attendance. Photographs from this event can be seen by following the link from our home page at [ ]

During the fall and winter 1999-2000, there was an active discussion regarding whether we should be active in the decision of several area communities regarding the awarding of broad bandwidth franchises. Some of this discussion was via e-mail, but other comments are on the electronic conference ???(reference)????

On February 22, 2000, the town of Holland, Michigan had a local election to determine whether funding should be denied the Herrick District Library unless they installed software filters to protect minors and others from pornography. CPSRMICH played a passive role in this election, but kept abreast of the efforts of the Families for Internet Access through our liason, Scott Vowels. Duane DeVries, with roots in Holland, also made a trip to the library. The ballot proposal was defeated.

Concurrently with the ballot measure in Holland, State Senator Mike Rogers introduced a bill in the Michigan Senate to require software filtering in libraries. CPSRMICH wrote a letter to Sen. Rogers expressing our concern about unreasonable expectations from software filtering. The Michigan Library Association had several conversations with Sen. Rogers. As a result, Sen. Rogers modified his bill to allow various methods to protect minors from pornography and to exempt libraries from civil suits if they made a good faith effort to comply with the law. Sen. Rogers replied to CPSR's letter with a letter of his own recognizing the concerns of the Chapter and explaining the changes in the bill.

As of this writing, plans are underway to have another social gathering. Coralee Whitcomb, President of CPSR, has been invited and has indicated she would like to come. Netiva Caftori has also been invited and expects to be here. A date for the event is not yet determined, but will likely be in May.

John M. Dwyer
Associate Professor
Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Detroit Mercy
Chair - CPSR-Michigan
(313) 993-1061

Cyber Rights

We can't call the Cyber Rights working group really an organized force, but a half-dozen individuals collaborate on various projects and have something to show for their efforts over the past year. We've also handed over some of our major issues to new working groups on high bandwidth and domain names.

  • Privacy

    In Boston, we've had meetings about bills protecting medical records. Unfortunately, this effort didn't go too far because there was a lot of uncertainty about how national efforts would affect state efforts and whether any bill could realistically be passed at either level. We currently lack the time to comment on the 150-page Clinton Administration proposal.

    We're hot on the trail of the P3P specification, which we're identifying as not helpful to the cause of individuals' privacy. We've been in touch with critics of the spec (EPIC) as well as supporters (the team writing the spec, and CDT). See [ ] for a FAQ.

  • Broadband

    As a group, we haven't done much in this area, which is a hot topic right now because of the cable modem controversy. The organization is seriously and about evenly split between the two sides on the cable debate. A new group, the High Bandwidth Working Group, has split off to work on such issues.

  • Domain names

    We followed this issue and made substantial contributions to the debate for a long time: see [ ] for a list of formal papers. A new working group was formed, mostly from CPSR members who were in the Cyber Rights group, to continue following the issues.

  • Censorship

    We expressed support for the current ACLU lawsuit against "CDA II" (the Child Online Protection Act), but could not formally join the lawsuit for procedural reasons.

Andy Oram

What's inside...

© Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
P.O. Box 717
Palo Alto, CA 94302-0717
Tel. (650) 322-3778
Fax (650) 322-3798

the end [ top ] Newsletter Index
Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

Sign up for CPSR announcements emails


International Chapters -

> Canada
> Japan
> Peru
> Spain

USA Chapters -

> Chicago, IL
> Pittsburgh, PA
> San Francisco Bay Area
> Seattle, WA
Why did you join CPSR?

We need voices like CPSR in the national and international debates about technology.