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

CPSR Ethics Working Group Newsletter, Spring 2000 [ continued from page one ] Elizabeth A. Buchanan, Ph.D.
& Netiva Caftori, D.A.

I attended the 1995 CPSR conference called "The Good, the Bad, and the Internet," and was hooked--I was so excited about the ethical and social issues being discussed, I had to become a member. Since then, I arranged a lecture with former Midwest Director, Jim Davis, for the graduate students in the UWM Library and Information Science program, spoke with Netiva, Flo Appel, and Marsha Woodbury on "Ultimate Responsibility: Ethics Questions about Computers in Our Schools," at the Second Annual Ethics and Technology Conference at Loyola University, and developed the Ethics Web pages.

My plans include rejuvenating the Ethics Speakers Bureau and initiating online ethics rounds, with lead speakers and ongoing dialogues. In this age of the Internet, we can take advantage of the lack of spatial restrictions and hold asynchronous conferences at weekly intervals. In addition, I'd like to publish two newsletters each year. I'd appreciate your feedback about these ideas, and any others you'd like to see initiated in the Working Group.

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at the UWM School of Library and Information Science, and have developed courses on ethics, which to my delight, have become very popular. I've published and spoken about ethics, information imperialism, gender and representation in computing, and ethical issues in technology and education. I am currently researching the ethics of qualitative research in online environments. I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with my systems/automation librarian husband and our four cats. I am pleased to introduce the contributions to this newsletter, which were selected by Netiva and myself, and edited by Chris Mays and Herb Kanner, who donated their time and keen skills to make this a valuable and interesting publication.

Netiva Caftori and Alfred Bork talk about how to handle some of the major ethical problems of the world concentrating on violence. Their remedy is education of our children through computer software.

Herman Tavani provides us with an overview of PETs and the ethical implications of these, while Cynthia West offers a look at power and technologies. Cynthia's new book will be coming out this year and deals with many of the significant ethical issues facing IT and IS professionals; it promises to be a great read! Diana Sanders and Sonya Shepard offer a survey of intellectual property policies in institutions of higher education, while I present a brief overview of emerging ethical issues in distance education, with a call to arms to begin discussing the ethics surrounding web-based education.

CPSR members may join the Ethics Working Group listserve discussion directly through [ /cpsr-ethics ] or by sending an email to [ href=""> ]. To join CPSR, use the secure online membership form at [ https://swww.i ]. Also, for online resources, check out the web page at [ ogram/ethics/ethics.html ]; The Working Group is always looking for additional resources to include, so drop a line if you want to share your site or other resource.

On behalf of the Ethics Group, enjoy the newsletter! We look forward to hearing from you.

-- Elizabeth Buchanan, Ph.D.

Cover, Digital Mythologies Digital Mythologies: The Hidden Complexities of the Internet
by Thomas S. Valovic
From the Inside Flap: Surf the web. Ride the information highway. Log on to the future. Corporate ad campaigns like these became pervasive in the 1990s, and will doubtless continue into the new millennium. You're either online, or you're falling behind the times-at least, that's what the media tells us. Since the beginning of the 1990s, when the Internet gained widespread popularity, it has been heralded as one of the most revolutionary technologies ever. Commentators expected it to redefine how we communicate, do business, and educate our children. Conversely, other pundits vehemently attacked this technology. Naysayers of "cyberlife" emerged with their warnings of how the Net provides an uncensored, around-the-clock venue for pornography and inaccurate, simplified information; it is rife with opportunities to violate our right to privacy. In Digital Mythologies, Thomas Valovic hopes to raise the level of discussion by giving a full and balanced picture of how the Net affect our lives. Digital Mythologies asks hard questions about where information technology is taking us. Through anecdotes drawn from his experiences as former editor-in-chief of Telecommunications magazine, the author gives readers a peek behind the scenes of the Internet industry. He explores the underlying social and political implications of the Net and its associated technologies, based on his contention that the cyberspace experience is far more complex that is commonly assumed. Valovic explores these hidden complexities, and points to fascinating connections between the Internet and our contemporary culture.

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

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