The CPSR Newsletter
Volume 9, No. 4 COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Fall 1991
An Analysis of the Gulf War One Year Later Jonathan Jacky--CPSR/Seattle Introduction
CPSR has been critical of many U.S. military policies, especially those regarding weapons technology.
Now that a war has been fought with some of those much-criticized weapons, CPSR members may wish
to review what actually happened. Very little useful information was released while the war was in
progress, but in the year since the war ended some has begun to trickle out. The full story of the war
has yet to be told, but enough has emerged to justify this brief analysis.
This article describes some aspects of the conduct of the war, emphasizing the role of technology. It does
not discuss the political context of the war, whether the war was necessary, nor how the war played on
the American domestic scene, which have all been discussed at length elsewhere.
An Unexpected Outcome
The war ended so quickly, with so few allied casualties, that many have already forgotten how
surprising the outcome was. Few doubted that the allies could eventually defeat Iraq, but many people
expected months of fighting and thousands of American deaths. This was a reasonable expectation based
on the military performance of the U.S. and Iraq in the 1980s.
Since the war it has been said that Iraq was not a serious adversary at all. This was obvious to no one
before February 1991. In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran, and waged one of this century's largest wars, after
the two world wars. The Iran-Iraq War lasted eight years and was much more destructive than the
1991 Gulf War. The earlier war took well over a million casualties (perhaps as many as three million,
including a million deaths, according to some reports) and Iraq spent about as much fighting Iran as the
allies spent later to defeat Iraq (about $70 billion). The war ended in stalemate and Iraq gained nothing
of significance, but its military inflicted three or four times as many casualties as it suffered.
The United States waged several military campaigns in the 1980s, with varying success. The 1980
hostage rescue attempt in Iran and the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing were disasters, and when 28
aircraft were sent against Syrian positions in Lebanon to retaliate for the barracks bombing, two were
shot down. The 1983 invasion of Grenada involved 7,000 Americans; it took them two days to reach the
American students whose rescue provided the putative motive for the campaign. It took about as long as
the Gulf ground war to subdue the tiny island, and about half the casualties (about 120 wounded and 20
dead) were caused by accidents and friendly fire. In 1986 when eighteen aircraft were sent on a
bombing attack on Khadaffi's compound in Tripoli, one was lost, five dropped out because of technical
failures, one dropped its bombs on the wrong neighborhood, and only two actually made bombing runs
against the target. When the U.S. Navy went to the Persian GuH in 1988 to protect international
shipping from possible Iranian attacks, 37 American sailors died when the U.S.S. Stark did not protect
itself from two Exocet missiles apparently fired in error by an Iraqi aircraft, and the U.S.S. Vincennes,
believing itself under attack from an Iranian fighter plane, shot down a passenger airliner, killing 290
civilians. Only the December 1989 Panama campaign was considered an unqualified military success.
Although it has been argued that the force used in Panama was vastly disproportionate to the task of
arresting Manuel Noriega, the lessons learned by military planners were that gradualism and mere
adequacy do not pay; larger operations are more likely to succeed than small ones; and too much force is
better than not enough.
Extrapolating from these experiences, a major war between Iraq and the U.S. seemed likely to last
months and cost thousands of American lives. A computer modelling exercise performed by Joshua
Epstein of the Brookings Institution, which was widely reported in December 1990, predicted a
twelve- day ground war with 15,000 allied casualties, including about 3,500 dead. Many who were
critical of the buildup felt the study was optimistic. The Center for Defense Information predicted
10,000 American dead, and a week before the war began Senator Edward Kennedy repeated a
widely-circulated report that the U.S. military had procured 45,000 body bags. Some predictions were
even more apocalyptic. The only group that went on the record with expectations of few casualties was
the American public. Polls revealed that among the majority of Americans who supported the war, most
expected fewer than 1,000 American deaths.
In fact, the outcomeÑabout 300 allied and 100,000 Iraqi deaths, a ratio of over 300 to 1Ñis almost
unprecedented in the history of warfare; one must turn to the colonial wars of the 19th century to find
such lopsided contest. How did it happen?
The War Against Iraq's Army
The allies fought the war to expel Iraq's army from Kuwait. We know they succeeded, but very little has
been revealed about how this was accomplished. Most news coverage during the war dealt with events of
peripheral military importance, such as Iraq's Scud attacks, while the central campaign was and
remains largely unreported. Until participants write candid accounts of the campaign, we are left to
infer what must have happened. It is not difficult to make some basic conclusions from what
information has been released. Before the war, General Colin Powell said of Iraq's army, ``We're going
to cut if off, and then we're going to kill it." In rough outline, that is about what happened, and Powell's
statement was more literally true than many people realized.
The popular conception of desert warfare since Rommel has been the tank duel, and General
Schwarzkopf's triumphant press conference at the war's end reinforced that tradition. But most of the
Iraqis who were killed could not have died in the tank battles that occurred during the four-day ground
war. The allies destroyed about 4,000 Iraqi tanks, armored vehicles and artillery pieces; assuming
each had a crew of five, all killed, this still accounts for only about 20 percent of the Iraqi deaths. The
military importance of the tank battles is not clear; they may have been "mopping-up'' operations
rather than the decisive events.
The majority of the Iraqi casualties must have been caught in the open or trapped in their defenses by
allied aircraft and armor. It must have been a slaughter, and public sensibilities have been spared a
clear account. A few reports have trickled out of Iraqi soldiers being mowed down by helicopter gun
ships or buried alive in their trenches by bulldozers.
But the winning weaponÑthe one that proved most decisiveÑwas probably the B-52 fleet, constructed
more than a generation ago to deliver a doomsday attack on an immense Soviet empire. While precision
"smart bombs" dominated the news coverage, almost all (93 percent) of the 95 kilotons of explosives
dropped by the allies during the war were non-precision "high death" weapons designed to spread
destruction over large areas, often dropped from great altitudes by B-52's and even C-130 transport
planes. Most Iraqi casualties probably died in this bombing, crushed by the concussions of "dumb" iron
bombs, sliced by lethal metal fragments from cluster bombs, and burned or suffocated by fireballs
from fuel-air explosives. It is probable that most Iraqi casualties had already occurred, and the Iraqi
army was largely destroyed, before the ground war began.
The War Against Iraq's People
The precision weapons that so dominated news coverage during the war were mostly used against targets
in the interior of Iraq, including populated areas such as Baghdad. The mission of the "smart" munitions
was to destroy specific buildings and other targets without completely destroying the neighborhoods
that contained them. This was largely, though not universally, successful; there are many news photos
of individual buildings reduced to rubble and girders but surrounded by largely intact neighborhoods. A
foreign antiwar delegation who toured Baghdad, expecting that Western news coverage was grossly
misrepresenting the effects of the air campaign, were surprised at the small amount of damage they
Of course, plenty of bombs hit residential neighborhoods. Visitors to Iraq estimate that about two to
four thousand Iraqi civilians were killed by allied bombing during the war. However, the allies did
refrain from using area bombing from high altitudes and other methods that were used against the Iraqi
army in Kuwait, which could have reduced Baghdad in the same way that cities were destroyed in World
War II, leaving square miles of rubble and tens of thousands of deaths after a single raid.
As a result, there has been much self-congratulation in the U.S. for the prosecution of the war in a
"humane" manner, and some praise for new weapons technologies for making this possible. For
example, Georgetown University ethicist Father J. Bryan Hehir told The New York Times, "For most of
the 20th century, technology seems to have given us increasingly indiscriminate warfare. We may be
seeing a new generation of weapons in which at least some of them have reversed this pattern." A few
days after the bombing began, The Wall Street Journal said simply, "Advanced weapons spare
Two kinds of precision weapons were used against Iraq. Some "smart bombs'' locked onto a laser beam
that illuminated the target (until the bomb impact, this beam was held on the target; its source could be
in the same airplane that drops the bomb, another airplane, or even on the ground near the target).
Other "smart bombs" were guided by a TV camera and also required the crew to remain near the target
until impact. Cruise missiles were launched from ships at sea, then reached their targets hundreds of
miles away without human guidance by relying on, successively, inertial guidance (using internal
gyroscopes and accelerometers), terrain following (using internally stored digitized maps) and finally
terminal guidance based on a digitized image of the target.
Smart bombs and cruise missiles can strike within a few meters of their intended targets if everything
works correctly. In many cases they did, and some of these examples were televised over and over.
Sometimes they miss. In one case, twenty-four sorties were needed to get one hit on a bridge. At one
site, foreign visitors filmed four craters (with demolished buildings) arranged in a straight line past
the end of an intact bridge.
About seven percent of the 95 kilotons of bombs dropped by the allies were precision-guided; of these,
82 to 86 percent are claimed to have struck their targets. Of 297 cruise missiles that were launched,
the Navy says 80 percent hit their targets; about half the rest crashed or were shot down, and
apparently the rest went astray. These performance figures are actually better than most expected; in
particular, the cruise missiles performed much better than would have been predicted from widely
reported test failures that occurred in the early-to-mid 1980s. (Or perhaps these figures were
inflated in the same way as the Patriot'sÑsee below).
However, the misses represent about five hundred one-ton high explosive bombs, many landing among
densely populated neighborhoods. They could account for much of the observed damage and many of the
two to four thousand Iraqi civilian deaths. in contrast, the Iraqi Scud attacks against Israel comprised
about two dozen 500-pound warheads and killed one person.
There has been much self-congratulation for causing so 'few" civilian casualties in the bombing, but
the information which is essential for evaluating this claim is not available. Those considering the
morality of the bombing in the light of traditional moral doctrines such as "just war" theory would ask
whether the number of deaths was in proportion to the beneficial effects achievedÑpresumably the
benefit being the overall saving of lives achieved by a shortening the war. But we don't know whether
the bombing in civilian areas was effective in shortening the warÑif that was one of its goals.
In fact, we don't know what the goals of the urban bombing were at all; in particular, it is not clear
what role the bombing played in defeating the Iraqi army in Kuwait. Not much, according to
researchers. William Arkin, a former Army intelligence officer now an analyst with Greenpeace,
visited Iraq and performed the most thorough analysis of the bombing to date. He concluded that the
destruction of targets in Iraq had little appreciable effect on Iraqi troops facing allied forces.
Indeed, water supplies and other civilian infrastructure were badly damaged in the bombing; it is
difficult to see how this could have assisted the allied campaign in Kuwait. Is it possible that hundreds of
Iraqi civilians died in a failed attempt to assassinate Saddam? There were also hints from officials
before the war began, that bombing would attempt to destroy Iraq's nuclear weapons effort. Events since
the war have demonstrated that this was not achieved either.
It is possible that one intended effect of the bombing was to create hardship in Iraq that would persist
long after Kuwait was retaken in order to punish Iraq. If so, that has certainly been achieved. The infant
mortality rate in Iraq has increased three- or four-fold. Arkin estimates that 70,000 to 90,000 Iraqi
civilians have died from hardships such as inadequate medical care and poor food distribution caused by
the bombing. Such estimates can be questioned because it is difficult to separate the effects of the
ongoing embargo of Iraq, the civil war that occurred in Iraq after the allies stopped fighting, and
deliberate Iraqi government actions intended to punish rebellious subject populations such as the Kurds
and Shi'ites. Nevertheless, postwar estimates of war-related deaths suggest that congratulations for
humane conduct are not warranted.
In February 1992, a Defense Department report stated that failure to communicate targetting
restrictions resulted in heavier damage than was intended to Iraq's civilian infrastructure. The report
said the intent of attacks on Iraq's power distribution system was to disrupt communications and cause
short-term difficulty. However, enormous damage was done to to some power plants, including
destruction of large generators that may take years to replace. This has resulted in long term shutdown
of sewage treatment and water purification plants.
The War Against Iraq's Weapons
News coverage during the war emphasized the duel between weapons technologies, especially between
Iraq's Scud ballistic missiles and America's Patriot anti-missile defense. The story that has emerged is
so different from whet was reported during the war that it merits review here.
In summary, both the Scud and the Patriot were employed mainly as psychological weapons; the Patriot
was the more successful in that role despite its failure to prevent many Scud warheads from hitting
Iraq's missile was a variation of the Soviet Scud-B, originally deployed with Soviet forces in Europe in
1967. The original Scud-B carries a 400 kilogram warhead about 300 kilometers with an accuracy of
about only about 1,000 meters. The Soviets supplied the missile to many nations, but it is not difficult
to build Scuds. Several Third World nations, in particular North Korea, now manufacture and export
close copies; other nations, including China, Brazil, Taiwan and others now manufacture or plan to
manufacture missiles with similar capabilities. A single Scud costs between half a million and a million
dollars. During its war with Iran, Iraq developed and used a variant of the Scud called the Al-Husayn,
which achieves a greater range of 500 kilometers by reducing the warhead to about 250 kilograms and
decreasing the accuracy to thousands of meters.
Due to its small payload and poor accuracy, an Iraqi Scud can only be used to drop a single 500 pound
bomb at random somewhere in an area as large as a city. As a result, most Scuds used by Iraq killed no
one. Nevertheless, sustained bombardment can achieve considerable psychological effect. Occasional hits
gradually push the death toll higher, while constant air raid alarms wear down everyone's nerves and
emphasize the home military's powerlessness. During March and April 1988, Iraq used these tactics to
advantage against Iran, launching hundreds of Scuds at Teheran, killing over one hundred people and
creating panic. Reportedly over 1 million Iranians, including Khomeini and other leaders, fled Teheran,
and the bombardment is thought to have played a role in convincing Iran to agree to a cease fire with
The Patriot began development in the United States in 1967 as the SAM-D. It was originally intended
for a dual anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic missile role; in fact, it was intended to counter the then
just- deployed Scud. In 1973 the anti-missile role was dropped. In 1976 the SAM-D began flight
testing and was renamed Patriot. Late in the Carter administration it went into production. In 1983 its
anti-missile role was restored; only about $160 million of the $12 billion Patriot program was
devoted to adding antimissile functions, which were accomplished by changing the software and
providing a different warhead. In 1985 the Patriot was deployed with U.S. forces in Europe, and in
1986 the anti-missile modifications were added. Anti- missile tests were performed between 1986
The Patriot depends on a ground-based radar to detect and track incoming missiles. Computers in the
ground station estimate the incoming missile's ballistic trajectory and calculate where the Patriot
should be aimed to intercept it. When a Patriot is launched, it is initially steered by radio control from
the ground; a small on board homing radar takes over steering when the missile approaches the target,
and detonates the warhead when the target is nearby. A Patriot battery costs in the range of $75 million
to $200 million and each missile costs about $600,000.
The Patriot was developed in cooperation with Israel, which builds some components for the ground
station. However, Israel declined to acquire any Patriots before the Gulf War.
Most people had never heard of the Patriot before the war, and it was one of the war's surprising
successes. A Patriot exploding in the night sky over Dahran was one of the most frequently televised
images of the war. Indeed, many Patriots were successfully launched and did succeed in exploding in the
air near incoming Scuds. The official estimate says that 90 percent of Scuds launched into Saudi Arabia
were successfully intercepted. After Patriots were delivered to Israel, the U.S. claims 44 percent of
Scuds targeted there were successfully intercepted; the lower figure was said to be due to less
experienced crews and a shortage of anti-missile warheads. It is not clear how many Patriots were
launched to achieve each interception; apparently at least two Patriots are launched at a time. It
appears the U.S. and Israel launched about 150 Patriots during the war, attempting to intercept several
Despite the apparent interceptions, the Patriot proved to be ineffective as a population defense against
Scuds. The first evidence that the Patriot was not as successful as claimed appeared in the Israeli
newspaper, Ma'ariv, which reported that after the Patriots were introduced, the number of people
injured per Scud attack increased by about 50 percent and the number of apartments damaged increased
about threefold. The single Israeli death occurred after the Patriots were deployed. (Americans recently
saw television news footage from Saudi Arabia, showing a crater, a demolished building and a corpse
being carried from a scene created by an "intercepted" Scud.)
It became clear that U.S. authorities were counting as an ``interception" any incident in which a Patriot
exploded in the sky near a Scud. But when a Patriot approaches a Scud and explodes, the Scud warhead is
usually not destroyed. Instead, it continues to follow more or less the same trajectory and explodes on
the city below. Other fragments of the Scud and Patriots may also contribute to the damage. The Israelis
attempted to record interceptions on video, and the videos are now circulating in the defense
community. In every case where an interception was recorded, the Scud warhead was not destroyed. The
same phenomenon was observed by the U.S. during Patriot tests against American Lance ballistic
missiles. And recently Americans could see it for themselves on the evening newsÑin slow-motion news
footage of an "interception," the Scud warhead is seen exiting the explosion along nearly its original
It is worth noting that claims about Patriot performance were corrected only after evidence became
available from sources other than the official ones.
There were also cases where the Patriots failed more dramatically. Early in the war, two Patriots were
accidently launched from the air base at Incrilik, Turkey when American aircraft were returning from
sorties in Iraq; the aircraft took evasive action and were not damaged. This incident has not been
explained. The largest single incident of American casualties in the war occurred when a Scud struck a
barracks in Dahran and killed 28. Although a Patriot battery was present, none were launched. An
investigation revealed that the cause of the malfunction was a software problem.
Military Lessons of the War
The clearest military lesson of the war was that in conventional warfare, First World powers have an
overwhelming advantage over Third World powers. Many Third World nations have acquired modern
weapons and other equipment from First World powers. The Gulf Wars showed that they may be able to
use those weapons against other similarly equipped nations, as Iraq used its weapons against Iran, or
against subject populations like the Shi'ites and Kurds, but they are of little use against the First World
powers that provided them in the first place.
The reason is not primarily that the First World powers reserve the latest and best generation of
weapons for themselves, although that probably helps. The real reason is that modern weapons can only
be used effectively when they are supported by an infrastructure of technology and people which is
much deeper, more expensive, better trained and better organized than Third World nations can
The war also revealed that the technology does best against fixed targets that can be mapped in advance.
Despite complete command of the air, the allies were not able to prevent Iraq from launching Scuds
even on the last day of the war. And despite bombing every known bunker where he might be found,
some with custom weapons designed specifically for the purpose, allied forces were unable to kill
Moreover, the First World cannot realize its full advantage in small-scale operations; it must assemble
a certain critical mass to use its power effectively. When the United States sends one or two dozen
aircraft against a Third World target, as it did in Lebanon in 1983 and Libya in 1986, it loses one or
two. A similar attrition rate would have destroyed the allied air forces before the Gulf War ended, but
in the GuH War the attrition rate was about one aircraft lost per thousand combat missions. The reason
was that early in the Gulf War, bombers were preceded by unmanned gliders and drones to unmask the
Iraqi radars, then by anti-radiation missiles and helicopter gunships to destroy the radars, then were
escorted by electronic jamming aircraft, and finally accompanied by another group of aircraft sent to
create a diversion nearby. This was operationally effective, but the same advantage cannot be achieved
in small scale shows of force or assassination attempts. Moreover, weapons accuracy which is
acceptable during full-scale war might not be considered acceptable in smaller actions.
The war also revealed the limitations of military power as an instrument for causing political change.
Iraq's military was thoroughly defeated, but the same rulers remain in power, unrepentant.
Despite the advantages of First World powers over Third World powers, it should not be expected that
any war between them would end as quickly and as lopsidedly as the Gulf War. Particular circumstances
gave the allies even greater advantages. Iraq's completely defensive role (once it had seized Kuwait)
enabled the allies to build up and begin the offensive on their own schedule. The flat and eerily denuded
desert terrain was ideal for the operation of many allied weapons. Ironically, the major decision that
minimized allied and civilian casualties was Iraq's, which massed its defenses outside the most densely
populated part of Kuwait. If Iraq had chosen instead to spread its army among the buildings of Kuwait
City, the allies would not have been able to so easily use the techniques they did to kill the Iraqi army.
Instead, they would have had to choose between pulverizing Kuwait City (and many of its inhabitants)
or fighting from block to block, a modern-day Stalingrad. The war might have lasted appreciably longer
and killed many more allied soldiers and Kuwaiti civilians. That scenario would have provided a much
more difficult test of the claim that high tech saves civilian lives.
Military Consequences of the War
A military consequence of the war will be the development of more effective anti-missile weapons,
intended to actually accomplish what the Patriot was initially represented as having accomplished. This
mission will seem pressing now that the war has demonstrated that Scud-class missiles that are widely
available in the Third World can be effective psychological weapons and it is impossible to destroy them
all on the ground before they are launched. An effective population defense against Scud-type missiles
can probably be built by increasing the effectiveness of the antimissile warhead and ensuring that the
interception occurs further from the defended site. This can probably be accomplished for no more
expense than we are accustomed to seeing in military programs. The U.S. and Israel are already far
along on a Patriot successor called Arrow, and an entire series of generations beyond that is already on
the drawing boards.
Finally, I will offer a few words on a different topic entirely: the political consequences of the war for
American domestic politics, in particular for activist organizations like CPSR.
It has never been an easy thing to oppose official foreign or military policy, and now it will be even
harder. The Gulf War was won, and the Cold War was also won, on the U.S. administration's terms after
following administration policies. In this arena, things turned out better than anyone dared expect.
Critics who have said that our leaders don't know what they're doing and were headed for disaster won't
find much of a hearing now.
Among the generation that came of age during the Vietnam War, many people acquired a deep-seated
anti- militarism and distrust of official authority. This has provided a lot of the energy and a
particular style for a whole host of activist organizations, including CPSR. That stance is not shared by
many in the older World War 11 generation, or the younger GuH War generation. It is becoming
increasingly associated with a segment of a particular generation and a particular e, a in recent
As a result, I think we'll see military matters recede as a viable subject for grassroots activism. Most
people will be willing to grant experts the benefit of the doubt and assume they know what they're
talking about. Debates will go on, but in a milieu of "insiders" and experts, and will only rarely will be
noticed outside this milieu. Some CPSR members are well equipped to participate in these debates and
the organization as a whole may wish to as well, but I don't expect this kind of activity to have a lot of
popular grassroots appeal, though it may appeal to some donors and foundations (who aren't grassroots
at all). I expect activists will concentrate more on domestic politics, economics and other close-to-
The one remaining military issue that may leave room for grassroots activity is the resource issue:
what are we willing to spend to remain the world's pre-eminent military power, now that no enemies
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William J. Broad, "As Antimissile Era Dawns, Planners Eye Panoply of Weapons," The New York Times,
February 5,1991, p.B5.
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Times, Jan. 9, 1992, p. A8.
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Times, February 10,1991, p. E5.
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Arabia," GAO/IMTEC-92-26, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., February 1992.
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23, 1992, p. A1.
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14, 1991, p. A4.
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Grenada," Seattle Times, December 31, 1989, p. A1.
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10.83, also January 29, 1991, on Patriot accidental launch from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, January
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1990, pp. 34-40.
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No. 3, Winter 1991/92, pps. 119- 171.
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Times, May 20,1991, p. A1.
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Mind of a Missile," Newsweek, February 18, 1991, pps. 40-43.
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York Times, October 22 1991, p. A7.
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May 1991, pp. 21Ñ24.
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Ecotech 1991: A Summary Jeff KaplanÑCPSR/Palo Alto
The following is a summary of the Ecotech Conference held November 1 4th through 1 7th, 1991, at the
Monterey Conference Center, in Monterey, California. The concept behind the conference was to bring
leading figures from business and the environmental movement together in a dialogue aimed at finding
ways to use our existing institutions as a starting point for dealing with the environmental crisis.
(CPSP Board of Directors member Cathy Cook, CPSR member Paul Saffo, and CPSR Cambridge Office
Director Gary Chapman served on the advisory board of the EcoTech Conference Ed.)
The overall quality of that dialogue was very high. The sessions covered an enormous variety of issues
ranging from market economies, global warming, the Third World and technology to species extinction,
indigenous peoples and the need for a fundamental shift in western consciousness.
Because of the great breadth and depth of the discussions, I have approached this attempt at a summary
with some trepidation. Since I found the proceedings personally compelling, this report shows the effect
my personal filtering even more than might normally be the case.
For purposes of this summary I have identified five basic threads of the dialogue:
1) Stating the problem: It seemed to be the consensus among environmentalists and many of the
business people that we have ten or at the most twenty years to effect a massive restructuring of our
society if we are to avoid an environmental catastrophe. The world has already suffered serious and
irreparable losses to both the natural environment and human cultural diversity.
2) Business and the economy: Much of the discussion revolved around ways to avoid over-reliance on
governmental regulation by building environmental concerns into the price structure of the market.
Most, although not all, participants appeared to believe that we cannot rely on market mechanisms
alone to effect the kind of deep structural changes that must occur. Markets are never really free. They
are deeply embedded in a political, social and cultural context. Market values are inextricably linked to
Several speakers mentioned the fact that business people are becoming much more aware of just how
serious the environmental crisis really is. In the recent past most businesses did little more than
comply with anti-pollution regulations, if that. Now business people are seeking ways to incorporate
environmental thinking into our economic structure. It has become a matter of deep personal concern
to many senior executives. Nevertheless, there are all too many who continue to resist such notions.
3) Technology: There were several threads within the technology discussions. One was the outlook for
various alternative technologies that could be used as substitutes for more harmful ones currently in
use. Another was the use of technology to help us understand the problem through modeling and other
techniques. There were vigorous discussions about getting trapped in our technology and the dangers of
looking for a technological fix. And finally there was a warning that radically new technology may be on
the horizon and that we must make a careful, conscious choice as to how we should use it, or if we
should use it at all.
4) Political and social context: There was considerable debate about what the role of politics could or
should be. There were numerous references to the complete paralysis and lack of understanding in
Washington. Several people were concerned that human institutions will not be able to change rapidly
enough. Many felt that some form of decentralization will be essential and that the nation-state is
rapidly becoming an anachronism. Others emphasized the importance of the political process, whether
it be centralized or decentralized, and pointed out that the governments of the Western nations still
have enormous influence in the world. One thing seemed very clear: the industrialized world must come
to terms with the legitimate aspirations of the developing nations.
5) The spiritual dimension: Many participants felt that there are serious flaws in our cultural fabric
which have led us to create this mess in the first place. We live in a state of consciousness that is
divorced from nature and if we do not work towards deep personal changes, any external efforts we
make will be doomed to failure.
It was not only the content of the discussions that seemed significant. The conference participants also
paid attention to process as well. At the end of the first session a woman went to the podium to point out
that the conference was set up in such a way that mostly male experts were sitting on stage explaining
things to people in the audience.
There seemed to be a general consensus that these were indeed issues that needed to be recognized.
Several people acknowledged that the conference organizers did make good faith efforts to get more
women speakers and that there were almost as many female attendees as male. The conference members
restructured the informal evening meetings to be open discussions rather than question and answer
sessions directed to the experts as the conference organizers had originally planned.
Below are summaries of a more or less representative sample of the sessions. All of the them are
available on audio and/or video tape from sources I have listed below. If you want only one tape, I
suggest the one of the closing discussion titled Useful Views of the 90s: The Results of our Group
Scenario Planning Process. Most of the threads from the dialogue that took place over the three and a
half days of the conference are represented in that session.
Paul Hawken (Smith & Hawken): Doing Good Business
Hawken called for a major shift in how people in business see themselves in relation to their customers
and their employees as well as the environment: "Either we re-vision [business] or we will walk the
human race to the undertaker." He considers the current concept of development to be "predation." In
his view business should support individuals re-establishing their connection to the web of life. We
need a new economy of process and relation.
He called for companies to institute eco-audits and social-audits to augment traditional financial
auditing. The results of these audits should be released to both the board of directors and the public. He
also suggested that companies create a covenant with their customers to form a mutual, interactive
relationship instead of treating people as "wallets disguised as human beings."
He described a corporate bill of rights for employees that would include the right to participate in
decisions of substantive importance in the business and the right to do work that does not damage other
people or the environment.
Peter Schwartz (Global Business Network): Business as the Engine of Environmental Improvement
Peter Schwartz said that there has been a big change in attitude in the last !en years. Business
executives used to frame environmental questions in terms of stake holders issues: whose financial
interests were likely to be affected? Now many more of them are stating their own personal concern.
He mentioned three areas of difficulty for executives frying: to understand the situation of their
business in an environmental context:
1 ) Scientific. There is often uncertainty as to what to do.
2) Time lag between an action and visible results makes intelligent decisions difficult. The results of
lowering CFCs to reduce ozone depletion will not be visible for years, for example.
3) Stakeholder conflicts. Stockholders and others who have a voice in the company may not be as
interested in the environment as they are in short term profit.
Peter believes that environmentally sound practices are also good business practices. The main
impediments are psychological and philosophical rather than technical. The U.S. is still behind Europe
in realizing this. The orientation in this country towards a short term investment horizon is an
important problem. We also need to find ways to incorporate damage to the environment into accounting
systems. Many of the most competitive companies come from countries with the toughest environment
standards such as Germany and Japan.
Hardin Tibbs (Arthur D. Little): Industrial Infrastructure as Ecosystem
Tibbs discussed the concept of "industrial ecology" which involves designing industries as interlocking
elements whose relationships resembles those found in natural systems. Industrial ecology would
redefine the concept of ``waste." By-products from one industrial process would be a source material
for another. Industry would move away from an "extract and dump" pattern to one which is truly cyclic.
It would also seek technologies which use ever smaller amounts of materials and energy while
minimizing the release of by-products into the natural ecosystem.
Hardin cited an example of this concept in Denmark where an electric power plant, an oil refinery, a
pharmaceutical plant, a plasterboard factory, a sulfuric acid producer, cement producers, local
agriculture and district heating were all tied together in a way that resembles a natural food web.
Industry would still be removing some material from the natural environment and releasing other
material into it. Industrial ecology would require that very careful attention be paid to the how these
processes effect the ecosystem.
John Holdren (University of California, Berkely): Energy and the Environment
John Holdren's talk concentrated on the relationship between energy production and global climate
change. In the last century, humans have become a global geochemical and ecological force. The
atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases has increased from 25 to 100 percent over pre-
industrial levels. Most of that increase is due the burning of fossil fuels.
The richest countries, comprising 23% of the world's population, account for three fourths of all fossil
fuel consumption and two thirds of energy use overall. The poor countries rely mostly on various forms
of biomass. The poor countries suffer from insufficient energy supply and pay the highest costs for
energy in terms of degradation to health and the environment.
If poor countries try to get rich the way the industrialized countries did, by burning fossil fuels, the
results will affect all of us. For that reason we must strive for energy equity by greatly increasing
energy efficiency world wide and switching to non-fossil fuels. We must also control population growth.
International cooperation is critical. Neither the poor nations nor the former Soviet bloc countries
have the resources to make the necessary changes without outside help.
The meeting featured a panel discussion on energy.. The primary topic of discussion revolved around the
question of what we can do to improve energy efficiency. The panel members included:
Amory Lovins (Rocky Mountain Institute):
Lovins' basic point was that it is possible to achieve very large increases in energy efficiency while
maintaining or even improving our standard of living. Energy efficiency is much cheaper than energy
production both in terms of financial costs and damage to the environment. He also pointed out that
technology and market mechanisms alone will not be enough. People will need to make significant life
He described technological advances that can help save a great deal of energy in electrical end-use and
automobiles. He also called for the re-structuring of market mechanisms to provide incentives for
taking advantage of those advances.
The rate structure for utilities can be set up so that they receive some of the cost savings from energy
conserved by their customers when they take energy conservation measures. In California, PG&E is
already operating under such an arrangement. He called for the creation of market in "negawatts" where
electrical energy reductions could be sold as a commodity. He also suggests "feebates" for cars in which
customers would either pay a fee or receive a rebate depending upon the energy consumption of new
cars they purchase.
Lee Schipper (Lawrence Berkeley Lab):
Lee Schipper was somewhat more pessimistic in his outlook than Amory Lovins in that he sees the
inertia of the existing technical infrastructure and social institutions as a major obstacle to a rational
energy policy. Almost the entire auto industry is still oriented towards building bigger and more
powerful cars for example. We need to discourage inefficient energy use by dramatic price increases in
cars and energy prices. Unfortunately the political will to do so does not seem to exist in this country.
Warshall looked at energy from a perspective outside our industrial system. He wove the idea of energy
as an organizing force into a number of diverse examples. From a biological point of view, we cannot
look at energy as isolated from anything else such as land, water or cash flow.
He also pointed out that our society must move away from its dependence on growth and towards an ethic
of development. By development Peter means "an increasing intricacy in ecosystems, in the human body
or in a society. You could have no increase in gross national product, no increase in profits and still
Indigenous people held nodal points of energy, such as places of tectonic movement, certain mountains,
or the headwaters of great rivers, as sacred places. People have also gotten energy from knowing
animals. He suggested that we need to revive the tradition of sacred sites and sacred animals as symbols
to help focus human energy in our attempts to create a society more in touch with nature.
Global climate change is causing species in wildlife reserves to seek homes elsewhere, a process that
was common in other epochs but is now hampered by humans blocking their paths. We need to provide
safe passage corridors for species on the move or they are likely to die out.
We must also become more conscious about what we eat. We need to emphasize food sources that are low
on the food chain and hence more efficient in terms of converting the energy of the sun into forms
biologically usuable by humans. We will also need to emphasize food crops which make more efficient
use of solar energy and water.
He suggested that individuals and companies should seek to understand the web of energy that sustains
them in terms of plants, animals and water and take responsibility for it. For example, a company
which generates hydroelectric power from a river should regulate its use of water so that the river
could go back to its natural flow.
Chellis Glendinning: The Limits of Technology:
Chellis Glendinning examined some psychological aspects of our technological culture. We have been
living with modern technology for at most six generations. The culture that is associated with that
technology emphasizes a mental orientation that is mechanistic, linear, and abstract. This way of
experiencing the world is built into our political and social institutions. We must now question that
Because we are so emeshed in technology and because of our abstract way of thinking, we tend to lose
touch with the kinds of experiences which have formed the basis for human satisfaction for most of our
history: human contact amongst family and community and a sense of connection to the natural world.
These are part of what Glendinning called "primary satisfaction." Instead we try to find satisfaction
through technology and institutions based on technology. These are never really fulfilling so, having no
sense of an alternative, we keep trying to get what we need through the same channels. The result is an
addiction to technology. If we are to be successfuI in dealing with the ecological crises we will also have
to deal with our own addiction.
Michael Rothschild (Cambridge Meridian Group): Bionomics
Rothschild believes that markets are much like biological systems in the way different parts of the
system interact with each other. Competition, symbiosis, parasitism and other relationships found in
ecology are also displayed in market economies.
He gave as an example a study done of bumble bees called "Bumble Bee Economics" which carefully
measured the energy and material economy of bumble bees and put the information into the form of a
balance sheet showing energy losses and gains. Just as in business, the bumble bees cannot afford to run
at a net loss.
One key feature of markets and biological systems is that the relationships are non-linear.
Governmental regulators and others who attempt to control markets do not realize this and their
attempts at intervention almost never have the effects they intended.
The failure of the centrally planned economies of the Soviet bloc is an example of the failure of linear
thinking applied to a misguided attempt to control an economy. The communist system was based on an
abstraction that never really existed and was doomed to failure. Markets economies on the other hand
are based on facts and work best when interfered with the least.
Michael suggested that the free market could easily take environmental effects into account by the
establishment of pollution credits. These credits could be traded so that a company that polluted less
could sell its credits to a company that polluted more. There would then be a financial incentive for
companies to pollute as little as possible.
Peter Calthorpe (Calthorpe Associates): Environmentally Conscious Design and Planning
Peter Calthorpe discussed his work as an urban planner. He tries to design urban and suburban areas in
a way that will encourage a sense of community amongst the people living there. He pointed out that our
cities and towns take form through long-term planning that is controlled by political processes and not
as a sole result of market forces.
The ideas of architects such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright formed the basis for the design of
much of our urban landscape. The result has been places that are not built on human scale. People are
forced into their cars because there are no shops or offices within walking distance and because
crossing large arterial roadways is too dangerous. Freeways and busy streets cut segments of the
community off from each other, reinforcing divisions of class and ethnicity.
Peter then showed slides of projects he has worked on. They provided for small town centers that are
walking distance for people living in the community. The street patterns are arranged so that traffic
would be light in the residential areas. Small parks are positioned so that children could walk to them
without having to cross busy streets. Peter also tries to mix single family homes and rental units in the
Most suburban homes are architecturally dominated by the automobile. The front of the house is taken
up by large garage doors for example. Peter prefers to build houses with a porch in front and place the
garage to the back or side. Housing contractors tend to resist this idea, fearing that they will lose money
because people will not want to buy such houses. Peter says that his experience has been just the
opposite. Neighborhoods designed for people rather than cars become known as safer, friendlier places
and the houses there more highly valued.
Eric Drexler (Foresight Institute): Nanotechnology
Drexler described how advances in the ability to manipulate the structure of matter at the molecular
level may lead to a radical new technology that will make our current industrial economy obsolete. The
first practical applications may be ready in as little as fifteen years. Researchers at IBM have already
succeeded in positioning individual atoms (they arranged them so that they spelled ``IBM").
The ability to control the placement of individual molecules will revolutionize our methods of
fabrication. It will make possible the creation of new materials with characteristics completely beyond
anything feasible today as well as improvements in energy efficiency of several orders of magnitude.
Drexler told how it may be possible to build machines that are microscopic in size and which can
assemble themselves into larger units. Devices could also be constructed out of proteins and used in any
number of biological applications. Nanotechnology will enable us to imitate two essential
characteristics of life: the ability of entities to build themselves up from the molecular level and the
capacity for self-replication.
Drexler believes that it should be possible to use this technology in a benign way. However a headlong
rush towards development, especially one motivated by national rivalaries, could have disastrous
Fritjof Capra (The Elmwood Institute): How to Eco-Audit your Business
Fritjof Capra described an approach to evaluating the environmental and societal aspects of a business
that he developed with colleagues and which they call an "eco-audit." They took as their starting point a
set of criteria developed in Germany during the 1980s known as "ecologically conscious management"
which grew out of a atmosphere of collaboration between environmentalists and business people in that
country. The "eco-audit" expands the European model to include the concepts of "deep ecology" as
developed by Arne Naess and Warwick Fox.
The eco-audit is based on three principles of deep ecology. The first is that of the world as living
system. Deep ecology rejects the mechanistic paradigm and methods based solely on quantification.
Companies must view themselves in terms of their relationship to nature and human society and not
simply as economic entities. Second, deep ecology rejects an anthropocentric world view and insists on
the intrinsic value of all creatures. Third, deep ecology calls for sustainability. It rejects the idea of
Capra defined three types of products: those that are too dangerous to be produced at all, those that
purchasers can recycle themselves, and those that contain some toxics such as a TV set. Customers
should lease rather than buy the third category of product and return it to the manufacturer for
recycling when it wears out.
The philosophy underlying the eco-audit concept implies a shift from selling things to serving people
and a change in emphasis from things to relationships. The production of goods would be more labor-
intensive and tend to increase the level of employment. Several large companies in Germany have
adopted the principles of the eco-audit and it is gaining acceptance in this country. A step-by-step
workbook is available through the Elmwood Institute in Berkeley, California.
Godfrey Reggio: Anima Mundi
Godfrey Reggio presented his newest film Anima Mundi (His best known previous work is
Koyaanisqatsi). A discussion between Reggio and the audience followed the screening of the film. This
session was by far the most difficult for me to summarize. In an attempt to clarify some of the issues
discussed, I have taken the liberty of inserting two paragraphs of my own comments.
The film showed us the animal world in its incredible diversity and vibrancy. Reggio wished that the
animals would speak to us and touch our vulnerability in a place that is beyond our learning. If we let
them touch our hearts then perhaps we can use that experience to find the unity we need to remain here
It is important that we see the diversity of life, for it is through diversity that we may find unity.
Reggio contrasted this with the unfortunate path we seem be on. We are creating a mass technology and a
global world which is destroying diversity and the fabric of life.
It is our nature as humans to seek unity. Our problem is that we have empowered our tools to find unity
rather than looking for it within our hearts. Instead we use technology to insulate ourselves from the
terrifying aspects of nature. We are addicted to technology. The irony is that while we claim to be using
our tools to understand nature, it is those very tools that are destroying nature.
The way out of our dilemma lies in some form of decentralization. For it is not technique per se that is
the problem but rather technique applied on a mass scale, by a mass society. We function better in
smaller units. We need to create tools that can help us build and sustain a more humane society.
We must also learn humility. Our knowledge is very, very limited. In our tradition, we believe that
what we can detect with our senses is what is real. And what we cannot detect is not worth considering.
But we cannot see death and if we look directly at the sun it will blind us. We must learn to accept and
indeed to treasure the mystery of life. For Reggio to be human "is the opportunity to feel my own
existence in a way that allows me to create something that is unique ... to be human, ultimately, is to
I believe it might be helpful to point out that Reggio's emphasis on feeling and individuality is the
antithesis of the scientific frame of mind which seeks laws that are universally valid and testable
through the observation of external phenomena. In this he is part of a long standing poetic tradition in
Western culture which has opposed the growing domination of human life by the scientific mentality.
This was a central concern to the romantic poets of the nineteenth century, and to Mary Shelley in her
story of Frankenstein. More recently, e.e. cummings wrote ``for me nothing impersonal or measurable
matters but for science measurability and impersonality are everythingÑand finally that to know
anything equals (by my values) to be merely undead; whereas to feel something is to be alive."
I also want to suggest that this poetic perspective is an ecological one in that it values the uniqueness of
the individual. Each flower, for example, although part of a greater whole, is unique. That uniqueness,
that diversity, not only between species but also amongst individuals within a species, is an essential
characteristic of the natural world.
Reggio pointed out that the less industrialized nations of the southern hemisphere have much to teach
us, far more than we have to teach them. For in those societies, despite poverty end shorter life spans,
It is possible to experience the joy of being able to create your own life. This awareness could inform us
in our efforts to create a more convivial way of living.
It is possible that we may be able to solve our environmental problems by technological means alone.
But to do so would only further cut us off from our ability to seek a human existence. We are still
trapped in the myth of the neutrality of our tools and think the issue is our use or misuse of them. It is
a triumph of means over ends, of our own inventions over our humanity.
Our crisis then, is the death of nature from the point of view from which we live life. Nature itself of
course is still alive but we live in a state of estrangement from ourselves and all living things. Until we
see that, we are wasting our time trying to solve the environmental crisis.
How to order tapes:
Good Company Media Productions
500 Euclid Ave.
Boulder, CO 80302
Sounds True Recordings
735 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302
If you have any comments, you can reach Jeff Kaplan via Internet e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Inside CPSR" is a recent addition to the Newsletter, begun in the last issue. Its purpose is to
supplement the main body of The CPSR Newsletter and to inform members about what is going on in the
national organization and in the chapters. For content, especially on chapter and regional activities, we
rely on CPSR members. Send news items for future issues to email@example.com. "Inside
CPSR" is edited by a rotating staff of editors: Doug Schuler, Jeff Johnson, Paul Hyland, and Ivan
Milman. This issue was edited by Jeff Johnson.
National News Cutbacks at CPSR: Volunteers Meet the Challenge
After wrestling with a severe financial crisis for more than a year, the CPSR Board decided in October
that there was no alternative to cutting back on staff in the Palo Alto office. Since November, CPSR
Office Manager Nikki Draper has been the lone paid staff member, facing a workload that formerly
required a staff of three. Nikki has done an outstanding job in difficult times, and we have also been
fortunate in having a dedicated corps of volunteers who have put in the extra time necessary to get the
work done. Paul Czyzewski and Joe Karnicky of CPSR/ Palo Alto have coordinated ``volunteer days" each
Saturday. Over the last few months, about fifteen people have dedicated one or more Saturdays to
sending out renewal notices, responding to requests, maintaining the member database, filling orders,
and generally keeping the office running. CPSR President Eric Roberts, with help from Western
Regional Director Lesley Kalmin and Finance Committee member Dave Redell, has kept up CPSR's
financial accounting over the period and is coordinating the transition to an outside payroll and
accounting service set to begin soon. Other volunteers include former CPSR President Terry Winograd,
who has taken on responsibility for fundraising, CPSR Treasurer Rodney Hoffman, who is coordinating
the development of the 1992 budget, and CPSR Chair Jeff Johnson, who has developed a list of CPSR
members who can act as resources on various aspects of the CPSR program. We expect that the need for
volunteers in the Palo Alto office will continue through the foreseeable future, although the hiring of a
new National Managing Director should allow a scaling back of volunteer work. The Managing Director
position is expected to be filled by April 1st.
Recent Foundation Grants Help Support CPSR Projects
The last issue of the newsletter reported that The 21st Century Project, headed by Gary Chapman,
Director of CPSR's Cambridge office, received a $100,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Since then the 21st Century Project has received more funding, a $25,000 grant from an anonymous
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Project, headed by Marc Rotenberg, Director of CPSR's Washington,
D.C., office, recently received two grants: $20,000 from the J. Roderick MacArthur Foundation to
support litigation on freedom and privacy in computer networks, and $20,000 from the Deer Creek
Foundation to support grassroots work on privacy protection.
These grants show that major foundations have confidence in the work that CPSR has done and plans to
do. However, the grants are restricted, funding little in the way of general organizational costs. For
that, we still must rely on CPSR members and supporters.
CPSR Scheduled Events
Upcoming CPSR events for 1992:
March 18 Second Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy (CFP-2); The George Washington
University, Washington, D.C.
April 24-25 Conference on Computers and Social Change; Northeastern University, Boston, MA
May 2-3 Conference on Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC'92); Berkeley, CA
May 5-7 CPSR Information Table at ACM CHI'92 (Conference on Computer-Human Interaction);
Monterey, CA; volunteers needed (see below)
November 6-8 Second Conference on Participatory Design of Computer Systems (PDC'92); Cambridge,
For additional information on any of these events, contact CPSR at (415) 322-3778, or
CPSR Booth at Conferences
Having a CPSR table or booth at computer industry or academic conferences is a good way to let more
computer professionals know about the organization. Organizers of conferences (as opposed to trade
shows) often allow organizations like CPSR to have an information table at little or no cost, or at least
to place information flyers on a general information table. If you plan to attend a conference, consider
volunteering some time at the CPSR table or, if no one else is doing it, arranging for a CPSR table or
CPSR information to be there. Information for distribution at conferences is available on request from
the Palo Alto office, (415) 322-3778, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers are needed to help staff a CPSR table at CHI'92, May 5-7 in Monterey, CA. If you are
planning to attend CHI'92 and can spend an hour or two at the CPSR table talking to interested people,
please contact Jeff Johnson (email@example.com) at (415) 857-7661.
On-Line Newsletter from CPSR D.C. Office: CPSR Alert
The CPSR Washington Office publishes an electronic newsletter called CPSR Alert. The purpose of the
newsletter is to keep CPSR members and other subscribers informed on the activities of CPSR's
Privacy and Civil Liberties program. If you are not receiving CPSR Alert and would like to, send e-
mail to Marc_Rotenberg@washofc.cpsr.org.
The Berkeley chapter had a Holiday Potluck, where the primary topic of discussion was how to get more
members active in chapter activities. Ideas for new chapter projects were also discussed.
CPSR/Berkeley has two active working groups. The Freedom, Privacy and Technology Working Group
features well-known and articulate speakers on civil liberties and privacy issues as they relate to
information technologies. John Perry Barlow, author of "Crime and Puzzlement" and co-founder of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation, spoke at the December meeting. The January speaker was Howard
Rheingold, co-host of the Information Conference on the
Well, co-editor of the current "Questioning Technology" issue of Whole Earth Review and author of a
recent book on "virtual reality." The Peace and Justice Working Group is busy laying plans for
developing a "Technology Platform", a sample political platform for promoting information technology
oriented to human needs.
CPSR/Boston had a booth at the Northeast Computer Show for three days in November. The booth drew a
lot of attention and got positive feedback from all those who listened. Somewhat distressing was the
realization of how few people had heard of CPSR. Luckily, CPSR was mentioned that week in a story in
Time magazine so we could display our credibility.
The Technology Policy Working Group continued its series with a January talk by Robert Kuttner, a
nationally syndicated columnist on economic affairs, and then a February meeting with two experts on
technology and labor. Charley Richardson, director of the Program on Technology and Work at the
University of Massachusetts at Lowell, and Elaine Bernard, executive director of, the Trade Union
Program at Harvard University, addressed emerging issues of technology deployment in the workplace.
These meetings have been well attended and they provide a good forum for discussing The 21st Century
Boston chapter chair Coralee Whitcomb is also chair of the second annual Computers and Social Change
Conference this year (see CPSR Events, above). This conference is intended to serve as a model to other
cities as a means of coordinating area activist and nonprofit groups (as cosponsors) with regard to
technology issues. It is sponsored primarily by the Boston Computer Society, but we hope that chairing
the event will increase the visibility of CPSR in the Boston area.
Next November the second conference on Participatory Design (PDC'92) will take place in Boston.
Chapter members are gearing up for a big organizing effort this summer.
The November meeting of the Chicago Chapter featured a report by long-time CPSR activist Lee
Ravenscroft on Chicago-area projects on responsible and not-for-profit use of technology. One such
project is CompuMentor, run by the Information Technology Resources Center, which provides
nonprofit organizations with assistance in using network software, databases, e-mail, spreadsheets,
telecommunications, and multimedia presentations. Two chapter projects were initiated at the meeting:
1. Develop an exhibit showing the abuses of computers, primarily with respect to privacy. The exhibit
will be made available to local museums. The first museum targeted is SciTech in Aurora, Illinois. This
project is a continuation of a project started several years ago with the Peace Museum in Chicago. 2.
Collect telephone switching equipment for either a rural Central American village or a popular
organization in a larger city. This would include teaching our counterparts in Central America how to
use and maintain equipment that CPSR members donate and install.
At the November meeting of CPSR/Los Angeles, a videotape from the conference on Computers, Freedom,
and Privacy was shown: "Computer Crime, Law Enforcement, and Civil Liberties." This is a tape of a
panel featuring Kapor, Zenner, Rosenblatt, Gibbons, Figallo, Beckman, Rasch, and Denning.
At the February meeting, Dr. James E. Katz of Bellcore spoke on "Personal Information in
Telecommunications Networks: Tradeoffs Between Privacy and Other Important Values" (co-sponsored
with LA ACM, and IEEE SIT). As Dr. Katz is a proponent of Calling Number Identification (CNID) and
some members of the chapter oppose it, the discussion was lively.
CPSR/Madison had a potluck dinner in December. The January meeting was on "virtual reality."
Members viewed a videotape debate on the topic and heard a talk by Steve Wyker, a University of
Wisconsin-Madison professor in Industrial Engineering.
CPSR/Madison will be helping to administer a software training program for the Wisconsin Community
Fund which helps non-profit organizations with computer training.
In March, CPSR/Madison and the Madison Data Processing Managers Association (DPMA) will have a
joint meeting on information privacy.
At the December chapter meeting, members viewed and discussed a CPSR video of a panel discussion on
Knowledge Navigator,'' an Apple Computer video showing the company's vision of computers as
Instead of a Christmas/Channukah/solstice party, CPSR/Palo Alto had a holiday benefit concert. An
audience of about 100 people, including members of CPSR/Palo Alto and Berkeley as well as members
of the general public, munched free baked goodies, sipped hot mulled cider, and enjoyed the guitar
music of Richard Royall `'Duck" Baker and the political satire of Ian Shoales (of Duck's Breath Mystery
Theater). The concert, organized by Jeff Johnson with the help of several other members of the Palo
Alto chapter, made about $1,600 for CPSR, and resulted in several new memberships.
In December the Palo Alto chapter meeting consisted of a talk by Steve Fram and David Caulkins from
the Institute for Global Communications, which operates PeaceNet, EcoNet, ConflictNet, and, in Moscow,
GlasNet. In January, members heard about recent developments within Physicians for Social
Members of the Palo Alto civil liberties study group testified at a state Senate Judiciary Committee
hearing on privacy, held on December 17. Chris Hibbert spoke on privacy issues with respect to
government. Todd Newman spoke on regulation of databases used by businesses. Mary Connors submitted
a written statement. The statements made on behalf of CPSR were well-received, and Senator Lockyer,
chairing the hearing, seemed sympathetic to the pro-privacy arguments.
CPSR/Portland has been participating in hearings conducted by the Oregon Public Utility Commission
on Calling-Number ID (CNID) and other proposed telephone services. CNID allows the recipient of a
telephone call to determine the number from which they were called. Members of CPSR/Portland have
submitted written and oral testimony, suggesting a package of modified CNID and other services that
will better meet the privacy needs of phone users. A very favorable proposed order was issued in late
December by the PUC, proposing, in effect, to accept almost all of CPSR/Portland's recommendations.
CPSR/Portland is also contemplating an event on computerized vote-counting in cooperation with the
Oregon Graduate Institute and others.
In recent months, CPSR/Seattle has elected two new officers and begun a search for a new chairperson.
The two new officers, Stuart Williams as treasurer and Frank Brown as secretary, have added fresh
positive energy to the chapter. We hope that once the new officers have settled in, we will be able to
concentrate on more long-term projects for the chapter.
In November, Jonathan Jacky gave a talk about technology and the Gulf War, which was videotaped. A
summary of the talk (written by Aki Namioka and edited by Jonathan Jacky) is available by e-mail.
Send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December, CPSR/Seattle held its annual Winter Holiday Potluck. One purpose of the potluck is to
encourage non-members who are interested in CPSR to come and chat informally with some of the
members. As usual we had a good time talking to old friends and meeting new potential members.
CPSR/Seattle and the local chapter of the American Society of Information Science (ASIS) are
organizing a joint public panel discussion on "Information and Public Policy." The panel, which will be
held in February, will include a member of CPSR, people who have worked on state legislation, and an
expert on national information policy issues.
Finally, two members of CPSR/Seattle, Aki Namioka and Doug Schuler, finished editing a book on
participatory design (Participatory Design: Principles and Practices, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates,
1992). The book was an off-shoot of the Participatory Design Conference (PDC'90) that was held in
Seattle, and contains chapters written by many of the participants from the conference and other well-
known researchers in the field.
News From The 21st Century Project
Now that CPSR's 21st Century Project is at least partially funded, work is underway to promote the
Project's vision of a new agenda for scientific and technological research and development. Project
leaders have been working on a variety of fronts and especially working on issues that are arising as
part of the 1992 Presidential campaign.
Meetings in Washington, D.C.
In early February, 21st Century Project steering committee members helped organize and participated
in a series of meetings in Washington, D.C., that helped get word of the Project's purpose to
representatives of national organizations, trade unions, and to members of Congress.
On February 2nd, The 21st Century Project and the Campaign for Responsible Technology co-sponsored
a meeting in Washington that explained to public interest and environmental activists the two-year
campaign surrounding SEMATECH, the Austin, Texas, research facility on semiconductor technology
that is partially funded by the Pentagon. (See the article on SEMATECH and toxics in the Summer 1990
issue of The CPSR Newsletter.) The agenda of the SEMATECH campaign includes a demand that some
portion of SEMATECH's research program be dedicated to research on environmentally responsible chip
fabrication. The campaign has also asked for community, environmental, and labor representation on
SEMATECH's Advisory Council. Representatives of the coalition conducting the campaign around
SEMATECH met with SEMATECH management in May 1991. Little progress was made dealing directly
with SEMATECH, so the campaign took its case to Washington. (The January issue of Technology Review
magazine featured an article on the SEMATECH campaign and mentioned CPSR.)
The February 2nd meeting was attended by over 40 people, about twice as many as anticipated,
representing over 25 organizations. Participating in an afternoon discussion of the SEMATECH
campaign and its implications for national work on science and technology policy were representatives
of Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Rainbow Coalition, the National Environmental Law Foundation,
the Environmental Defense Fund, the Institute for Policy Studies, the National Toxics Campaign, the
Toxics Use Reduction Institute, the Texas Center for Policy Studies, PODER (People in Defense of the
Earth and Its Resources) from Austin, the Midwest Environmental Center, Communications Workers of
America, FIRR (Federation for Industrial Retention and Renewal) and many other organizations.
Response to the SEMATECH campaign was uniformly positive and the discussion was very productive.
The group also discussed the importance of the SEMATECH campaign as part of the program of The 21st
Century Project, and five members of the Project's steering committee attended the meeting.
The next day, February 3rd, a group of people from the Campaign for Responsible Technology, The 21st
Century Project, and CPSR met with leaders of several trade unions, including the current president of
Communications Workers of America, Morton Bahr, who serves on the national advisory board of the
Project. Participating in this meeting were other senior officials of CWA, the Steelworkers, and the
Industrial Union Department. And contributing significantly to the work of the SEMATECH campaign was
Ralph DeGennaro, legislative director of Friends of the Earth and a former congressional staffer. Ralph
helped the assembled group add language to the reauthorization legislation for SEMATECH (the facility
is up for its five-year renewal of funding in the budget currently under consideration in the Congress).
The new, proposed language includes a clause that requires SEMATECH to spend no less than ten per cent
of its federal government subsidy on research leading to pollution prevention in the semiconductor
fabrication process. (At past levels of funding, SEMATECH has received $100 million per year in
government support; in the FY 83 budget its funding has been cut to $80 million per year.) The drafted
language crafted by campaign participants also includes environmental, community, and occupational
safety and heath representation on the SEMATECH Advisory Council, which is currently made up of
Pentagon officials and executives from the semiconductor industry. The new language includes a
technical assistance grant to the community surrounding SEMATECH, the largely Hispanic and
African-American community that until recently knew next to nothing about the facility; and also
provides a "right to know" clause about environmental hazards posed by SEMATECHÑcurrently the
facility is exempt from Freedom of Information Act inquiry because of the potential for exposure of
trade secrets. The "right to know" clause would allow the public access to information about
SEMATECH's impact on the environment without jeopardizing the participant companies' trade secrets.
On February 4th, the traveling group of SEMATECH campaign activistsÑa group including Rand Wilson
and Ted Smith of both the Campaign for Responsible Technology and The 21st Century Project; Gary
Chapman and Joel Yudken of the Project and CPSR; Paul Hyland of the CPSR Board of Directors; and
Antonio Diaz, Susanna Almanza and Mary Williams from AustinÑtook their case to Capitol Hill in a
meeting sponsored by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Although the turnout of
congressional staffers at the meeting was disappointingly small, the group did manage to get to some key
staff members representing important offices. There were expressions of tentative support from
representatives of Congressman J. J. Pickle, for example, in whose district SEMATECH resides; also
from the staff member of the committee who deals with SEMATECH; and from the House Armed Services
Subcommittee on Research and Development, chaired by Congressman Ron Dellums of Berkeley,
California. The impression that came out of meetings with staff members of Congress is that the
addenda to the authorization language drafted by the SEMATECH campaign coalition has at least a fighting
chance of approval. If this happens the coalition will have scored a major victory. Future developments
on this issue will be reported in The CPSR Newsletter and circulated through electronic media.
Meeting with Jesse Jackson
Another interesting meeting that was organized at the last minute and as an impromptu discussion
brought together a small group from the SEMATECH campaign and The 21st Century Project with the
Reverend Jesse Jackson, head of the Rainbow Coalition and "shadow Senator" of Washington, D.C. The
group explained the SEMATECH campaign and 21st Century Project coordinator Gary Chapman
described the Project to Reverend Jackson. Jackson listened attentively and endorsed both campaigns
very strongly. He asked what he could do to help, and Chapman told Jackson about a press conference co
sponsored by CPSR on February 12th at MIT (see below). Jackson showed some interest in
participating in a press conference, if not at MIT perhaps at some future date. CPSR and the Campaign
for Responsible Technology will continue to keep the Rainbow Coalition informed of their work in order
to facilitate cooperation if that seems useful. The meetings held in Washington demonstrated several
things about the importance of the campaign surrounding SEMATECH and its relation to The 21st
Century Project. The group that organized the meetings showed that very clear connections can be made
between organizations with very disparate agendas and programsÑthe SEMATECH campaign can unite
environmental, public interest, peace, and trade union organizations in a unique way. Second, there was
a very tangible and understandable link between local concerns and opportunities in national policy. The
presence of community activists from Austin, who spoke eloquently of what they would like to see
happen in Washington to help improve life in their neighborhoods, was one of the highlights of the
meetings. This is what The 21st Century Project is trying to demonstrate, and this was an excellent
example. Third, there was a feeling among the participants at these meetings that there is a potential
for a new kind of activist politics that seizes the initiative in directing government investments toward
the public interest. Instead of always being opposed to govemment programs, the public interest
community can actually insert itself into the policymaking process to take command of the character of
government programs, especially their local character. This is a different approach than what
characterized a lot of public interest activism in the 1980s, in which there was a gulf between national
and local activists and in which most of the campaigns were defensive. The new feeling that is starting to
surround the SEMATECH campaign, as an example of this new approach, is one of real optimism and
The National Technology Initiative
Prior to President Bush's State of the Union address in January, there were rumors floating around
Washington that the President would announce a major new program of support for high technology,
something called the National Technology Initiative (NTI). The policy package was reported in a
biweekly magazine called Washington Technology on January 9th, several weeks before the speech. The
leaked details of the NTI included reforms of technology transfer between government-funded
laboratories or research programs and the commercial sector.
Bush did not mention the NTI in the State of the Union address. He merely said that the administration
has committed $76 billion to government supported research and development. He neglected to mention
that 57% of this figure is for military R&D which is unlikely to contribute significantly to the long-
term American innovation.
The announcement of the NTI was put off until February 12th, when the program was described by a
high-level delegation of administration officials to an audience of high tech executives assembled at MIT
in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Three cabinet secretariesÑfrom Commerce, Transportation, and
EnergyÑas well as the director of the National Institutes of Health travelled to MIT for what was
described by White House press officials as the first of a series of "town meetings" designed to explain
new administration initiatives supporting technology transfer. These so-called "town meetings,"
however, are for an audience invited by the White HouseÑin the MIT case, an audience derived from
5,000 high tech executives, and participants paid $95 to attend the MIT meeting. There are as many as
nine follow-on meetings planned for all regions of the country; the second was in Austin, Texas, on
CPSR co-sponsored a press conference at MIT on the day of the NTI meeting, along with two Cambridge-
based organizations, the Council for Responsible Genetics and the Institute for Peace and International
Security. Other organizations participating in the press conference were Jobs For Peace, the Rainbow
Coalition, Physicians for Social Responsibility, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear
War, and a student peace organization from MIT. The points covered by the press conference included
¥ The end of the Cold War is an unprecedented historical opportunity for reorienting science and
technology to peaceful and environmentally responsible goals, yet more than half of the President's
budget for research and development continues to go to military projects.
¥ Our country is in the midst of an educational crisis of grave significance. We need a technology policy
that is "needs-driven," not "technology-driven." Our national needs include a workforce that is highly
skilled, capable of taking advantage of new technologies, and given opportunities for constant
educational improvement. A visionary and responsible technology policy would make education its
uppermost priority. Technology should serve education, not vice versa, so we can produce smart people
using appropriate technology, not smart machines used by stupid people. This is not the case with the
Bush administration program.
¥ We need a technology policy that addresses urgent environmental problems. President Bush's
program will weaken environmental protections, when we should be investing in scientific research
and technologies that will help preserve the environment.
¥ The rationale used by the Bush administration for investments in commercially viable technologies is
"economic competitiveness." This is rhetoric inappropriate to today's interdependent
world. It is belligerent and environmentally negligent. We should replace it with a rhetoric of "global
cooperative development," which stresses the responsibility we have to international equity, global
environmental quality, and cooperation.
¥ We need a science and technology policy that speaks to young people with a vision of improving the
world through scientific and technological ingenuity. The President's science and technology policy is
simply a dry collection of tax breaks, subsidies, regulatory relaxation, and pork-barrel support of
narrow industrial sectors. We need a science and technology policy that supports and revitalizes the
concept of the public interest and provides inspiration to young people.
Unfortunately, very few reporters turned out for the press conference, but then the administration's
meeting didn't get much press coverage either. One reporter remarked that the "town meeting" looked
very much like a campaign ployÑthe MIT meeting took place just six days before the New Hampshire
primaryÑand it didn't provide any hard news for the business pages. The New York Times and The Wall
Street Journal both passed up the story of the National Technology Initiative. CPSR was mentioned in a
story about the NTI in The Boston Herald Jesse Jackson sent a statement to the organizers of the press
conference, which was passed out to reporters.
Meeting with Officials from the Commonwealth of Independent States
On February 24th and 25th, Gary Chapman participated in a meeting with eight members of the
parliaments of three newly-formed republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The meeting
was sponsored and organized by the Palo Alto nonprofit Global Outlook and by The Defense Budget
Project, based in Washington, D.C. The meeting took place in Washington. Representatives from the
parliaments of Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan met with a small group of Americans to discuss the
economic conversion of the former Soviet Union's vast military-industrial complex. Appearing on
panel discussions dealing with various issues of economic conversion were staff members of Congress,
the director of the Pentagon's Office of Economic Adjustment and officials of state economic development
Chapman spoke on the conversion of research and development policy on a panel discussion with Charles
Zracket, former head of the MITRE Corporation. Chapman described The 21st Century Project and there
was a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the Project's purpose on the part of the CIS representatives.
There may be opportunities for some collaboration between Project volunteers and two of the
Washington meeting participants, one a member of the Russian parliament and also a member of the
city council of St. Petersberg, and the other the head of the Russian parliament's defense budget
The 21st Century Project Logo
Logo for The 21st Century Project, designed by Coco Raynes Graphics, Inc, in Boston. This design was
the result of a democratic process of choosing from severel alternativesÑ members of the Boston end
Palo Alto chapters participated in the selection.
Finally, after a lot of discussion by CPSR members in Boston and Palo Alto, The 21st Century Project
has a logo, which appears above. It was designed by Coco Raynes Graphics, Inc., in Boston. The logo will
appear on new stationery, business cards, envelopes and labels, and it will be used in the design of a
brochure and other Project publications. A brochure about The 21st Century Project should be
available by April.
For more information about The 21st Century Project, contact Gary Chapman at CPSR, 19 Garden
Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, Telephone (617) 864-7329, and by Internet electronic mail at
Judge Backs Secret Service in Sun Devil Litigation
U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan upheld the decision of the Secret Service to withhold search warrant
materials associated with the agency's controversial Operation Sun Devil investigation. Ruling from the
bench in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by CPSR, the judge accepted the government's
contention that release of the requested documents would interfere with the Secret Service's ongoing
investigation of alleged computer crime.
CPSR had argued that disclosure of the documentsÑ search warrant applications, executed warrants and
inventories of seized propertyÑwould not hamper legitimate law enforcement interests. The Sun Devil
raids were conducted in May 1990 in 13 cities across the country and have not, to date, resulted in any
indictments. Similar documents are routinely available from judicial clerks' offices and are considered
to be public records.
While noting that the government has not alleged a conspiracy in the Sun Devil investigation, the judge
ruled that the requested documents, when viewed in the aggregate, might reveal heretofore undisclosed
aspects of the investigation and hamper the government's efforts. Such a "compilation" of information,
according to the judge, would be likely to interfere with the investigationÑthe standard the government
must meet to justify the withholding of law enforcement records under the FOIA.
CPSR plans to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
For more information, contact CPSR's legal counsel, David Sobel, at the CPSR Washington Office,
(202) 544-9240, or via Internet electronic mail at email@example.com.
Son of S.266
The FBI has just reintroduced a proposal to expand the scope of wire surveillance in the digital
network. A similar proposal last year, S.266, was opposed by a broad coalition of industry groups,
professional organizations and civil libertarians. The current proposal raises similar concerns about
the proper scope of wire surveillance and the future of communications privacy in the digital network.
CPSR has called for public hearings to explore the potential impact.
International Computer Security Guidelines
CPSR was recently asked to join the OECD Expert Group on the Security of Information Systems. The
OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ) is an international organization with
24 member nations. It played a leading role in the development of privacy guidelines in the early
1980s. These principles are followed by many organization around the world. Now the OECD is
developing international guidelines on computer security.
CPSR attended a meeting of the expert committee in Paris, France, and raised a number of public
interest issues including privacy, information access, and risk and reliability. CPSR was one of the
delegations that successfully pushed for adoption of a principle affirming the importance of democracy
and a free society in the design of information systems.
Senate Hearings on the Misuse of Social Security Numbers
Senator Daniel Moynihan (D-NY) held hearings in late February on the privacy of Social Security
records and the misuse of the Social Security Number. CPSR testified at the hearing along with Morton
Halperin from the ACLU and Evan Hendricks from the U.S. Privacy Council. Senator Moynihan
expressed interest in several CPSR proposals, including the creation of a Data Protection Board and a
study by the National Research Council on privacy-enhancing technologies. Congressman Gallo (R-NJ)
has since introduced a bill to restrict the buying and selling of social security numbers.
Policy Roundtable Meeting on Public Access Computer Networks
The fourth CPSR Public Policy Roundtable was held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
in late February. This was supported by grants from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the
Rockefeller Foundation. This meeting focused on the development of Local Civic Networks and brought
leading network developers from around the country to explore new forms of democratic participation,
emerging civic computer network, and multi-media innovations. For more information about the
meeting, contact CPSR staff member Richard Civille at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CPSR Litigation Efforts Continue
CPSR litigation efforts are moving forward on several fronts. The Secret Service just revealed that
there was a dispute in the mid-1980's between the Justice Department and the Treasury Department
over who would be responsible for computer crime investigations. The outcome of that conflict has some
bearing on the Operation Sun Devil investigation. In another FOIA lawsuit, CPSR requested information
about the sale of computer systems used for domestic surveillance in Singapore, Thailand, the
Philippines and South Africa. The Commerce Department recently replied that the United States had no
policy in this area. On a related topic, an article in Computer and Society by Harold Highland questions
the decision to provide a Smithsonian Award to the government of Thailand. For information about CPSR
litigation activities, contact David Sobel at email@example.com.
Privacy Briefing for Russian Human Rights Advocates
Leonid Volkov, a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Russian Federation Supreme Soviet and
Margarita Petrosian, a leading Russian human rights attorney, recently stopped by the CPSR
Washington Office to learn more about privacy protection and information laws in the United States. The
new constitution of the Russian Federation will contain a specific provision for the protection of
privacy. The meeting was organized by the Human Rights Project Group in New York
CPSR Influences CNID Decisions
CPSR's influence can be clearly seen in three recently proposed public utility decisions regarding the
controversial telephone service, Calling Number Identification (CNID; often called "Caller ID"). In
Oregon and California, CPSR testimony helped motivate a "proposed order" by a Public Utilities
Commission judge. A proposed order is a recommendation by the judge who conducts the hearings,
gathering evidence and opinion regarding what the PUC's final ruling should be. Proposed orders carry
a great deal of weight and are usually followed, but need not be.
In December the Oregon PUC issued a proposed order that permits telephone companies to offer CNID
services to customers, with several restrictions. Telephone companies must offer both per-line and
per-call blocking to all customers, free of charge. Line blocking is to be offered through a ballot mailed
to all customers. Customers who do not return their ballots will get per-call blocking, unless they
subscribe to unlisted or nonpublished telephone service, in which case per-line blocking will be the
The proposed order also requires that Anonymous Call Rejection (ACR) and Selective Call Rejection
(SCR) be offered if CNID is offered. CPSR suggested the commission consider CNID, line-blocking, ACR,
and SCR as a package of services that permits telephone users to negotiate over telephone privacy, much
as people do in other contexts, such as answering the door. The OPUC refers to this process as a
The order also plugs `'information leaks', that CPSR identified: cases in which blocked numbers might
be revealed by other phone services or on phone bills. Finally, the order designs a new "Random False
Identity" service, for use by "organizations that provide counseling services to victims of domestic
CPSR/Portland CNID project leader Erik Nilsson described the proposed order as "a reformulation of
CNID from privacy principles."
In California, a judge recommended that permission to offer CNID be denied entirely. He found that:
"...the feature, even with blocking, would constitute an unwarranted intrusion of privacy in violation of
federal and state constitutional provisions," and that "Caller ID service would not be in the public
interest because the significant detriments associated with the feature would offset the scant benefits it
offers to only a small minority of customers." He based his assessment of CNID's limited benefits on:
¥ CNID's provision of inaccurate information for call-screening purposes;
¥ Other new phone services (e.g., Call Trace, Call Return, Call Block) as well as answering machines,
which provide call screening and deterrence without disclosing telephone numbers;
¥ Very low subscription percentages in states where CNID is available, and Pacific Bell's own estimate
that at most 5% of Californians would subscribe.
Both in its conclusions and in many of its particulars, the judge's proposed order follows
recommendations and arguments made in the testimony of PUC hearing participants Jeff Johnson (CPSR
Chair) and Robert Ellis Smith (editor of The Privacy Journal) The judge called upon phone companies
to develop alternatives to CNID that are more helpful to residential users and less of a privacy threat:
"We agree with Johnson and Smith that caller name identification can overcome many of the objections
to number identification."
The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities ruled that consumers must be offered free per-line
blocking by New England Telephone, a position that was advocated by CPSR in hearings before a panel of
the DPU. CPSR/ Boston chair and national board member Coralee Whitcomb testified before the panel
with testimony written by CPSR Director-At-Large Ronni Rosenberg.
CPSR's work on CNID is a good example of the influence that a professional public interest organization
can have on important policy issues. CPSR has helped set the terms of the debate on Caller ID across the
nation. The New York Times recently said in an editorial, "This technology now advances from state to
state, raising privacy problems that cut in all directions." It has been CPSR's grassroots work,
supported by the national staff and leadership, that has made the public, the press, and policy makers
aware of these privacy problems.
Notes from the CPSR Board Eric Roberts-CPSR President
In my column in the last issue, I talked a little about financial realities for CPSR and the difficulties of
trying to run a nonprofit organization in recessionary times. In 1991, we were forced to undertake
some painful measuresÑincluding staff reductions and other cost-savings programsÑto ensure CPSR's
financial viability. Over the last five months, we have run the national office with one part-time staff
person and a lot of work by volunteers. It has not been an easy time, but CPSR has survived, and we
have managed to increase our cash reserves to the point where we could hire someone to provide much
needed administrative leadership.
I am extremely pleased to announce that, after an extensive search process that turned up many
excellent candidates, CPSR has hired Evelyn Pine to fill the new position of CPSR Managing Director.
Evelyn comes to CPSR from her position as Executive Director of Berkeley's Community Memory
Project, where she has worked since 1989. Prior to her work at Community Memory, Evelyn spent
five years at the Foundation for Community Service Cable TV, most recently as its Deputy Director. We
believe that Evelyn brings to CPSR the experience and the energy level necessary to build CPSR as an
organization, and we are very happy to welcome her to the national staff
I am also happy to report that Nikki DraperÑwho, as our one part-time staffer, kept the office going
over these last few monthsÑhas accepted an offer from the Board to take a full-time position as
Assistant to the Director. In her new capacity, Nikki will be taking on expanded responsibility for
media work and chapter outreach.
Over the next year, we plan to concentrate the energy of the national office on rebuilding the
organizational infrastructure, with a particular focus on expanding the membership and revitalizing
the chapters. Over the last couple of years, many of the chapters have lost some of their momentum, and
the national officeÑstruggling with its own financesÑ has not been in a position to offer much
assistance at the grassroots level. By making chapter and membership work a national priority, the
situation should improve substantially over the next few years. We welcome innovation and
participation among the membershipÑthat's what CPSR is all about. So if you have ideas about
programs or how to increase our membership and visibility, please let the CPSR leadership know.
If you move...
Be sure to notify the CPSR National Office at P.O. Box 717, Palo Alto, CA 94302-0717, or (415)
322- 3778, or by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to get involved in a CPSR chapter?
CPSR has chapters around the United States that could use your help. If you'd like to get involved in a
chapter, or start one, you can contact the CPSR Regional Representative in your area. Regional Reps are
members of the National CPSR Board of Directors, and they're each elected by members in their region.
Their responsibility is to build chapters in their regions, and to help stimulate CPSR activity as well
as represent the region at Board meetings. So get in touch with your Regional Rep and find out what you
can do to help.
New England Coralee Whitcomb (617) 625-7691
Mid-Atlantic Paul Hyland (301) 270-2382
Southern Ivan Milman (512) 451 -1585
Mid-Western Patti Lowe (414) 962-9612
Northwest Doug Schuler (206) 632-1659
Western Lesley Kalmin (415) 857-9261
Created before October 2004