The CPSR Newsletter
Volume 9, Nos. 1-2 COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Winter-Spring 1991
Professor Laurence Tribe Computers, Freedom & Privacy A Report on the Conference Jim WarrenÑ
"The Constitutional Convention of Cyberspace" is how one news commentator described the First
Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy (CFP), held March 2628, 1991, in Burlingame,
California, near the San Francisco International Airport. It was sponsored by Computer Professionals
for Social Responsibility and a dozen cosponsoring groups.
CFP has already been referenced in congressional and legislative meetings, and one piece of state
legislation initiated at the conference has already been proposed in California (to modify the
evidenciary process in computer-related searches and seizures).
As of this writing, more than fifty articles and stories based on this small first-time event have
appeared internationally. Four months after it concluded, feature articles reporting discussions at CFP
or quoting extensively from it continue to appear in national periodicals.
One television segment and a number of radio segments from the conference have already been
broadcast. Others are in preparation, including segments in a thirteen-part radio series on privacy.
Registrants included representatives from an alphabet soup of federal agenciesÑFBI, CIA, NSA, IRS,
OMB, US AG, NIJ, NIST, DoJÑplus the Navy Investigative Service, the Office of Consumer Affairs, the
Senate Judiciary Committee, and others. Participants came from the California Department of Motor
Vehicles, the California Judges Association, several district attorneys' offices and various state and
local police departments, nationally. Still other attendees were indicted or convicted "crackers and
convicted "phone phreaques."
There were attendees from the ACLU, the American Library Association, the First Amendment Congress,
various BBS systems, Privacy International, organized labor, the libertarian Cato Institute, and so on.
There was a broad spectrum of privacy advocates, corporate attorneys, defense attorneys, civil
libertarians and some of the nation's leading civil liberties attorneys.
Business and industry representatives attended from a range of companies that included Pacific Bell,
Boeing, Dun & Bradstreet, Equifax, TRW, Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems, Hewlett-Packard and
numerous other computer organizations.
Although there were less than 420 attendees, more than 80 were from the national and international
press, including The New York Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The Wall Street Journal, The Los
Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, and The San Jose Mercury News. Others came from Time,
Germany's Der Spiegel, a Netherlands magazine, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post, The Houston
Chronicle, The Village Voice, Scientific American, and numerous computer and communications trade
It would be difficult to summarize the conference in an article suitable for The CPSR Newsletter. No
magazine or news stories have adequately covered the wide-ranging discussions that took place at the
conference, even though some periodicals used three to four pages to describe just one session.
The printed proceedings are the best reference source. They offer comprehensive, edited transcripts of
the panelists' discussions and speakers' or-site remarks -- and much of the provocative Q&A with the
audience. They are expected to be available by mid-September from IEEE Computer Society Press, Box
3014, Los Alamitos CA 90720-1264; (800)272-6657 from outside of California;
(714)821-8380; fax/(714)82 -4010.
"Gavel to gavel" audiotapes offer rich, exciting drive-time listeningÑand are more complete than the
edited print proceedings. Tapes of the fifteen conference sessions are available from Recording, Etc.,
633 Cowper Street, Palo Alto CA 94301; (415) 327-9344; (800) 227-9980 from outside of
California; or by fax at (415)321-9261.
And, as the next best thing to having attended the event, professionally produced, broadcast-quality
videotapesÑ both highlights tapes and library editions covering the full ConferenceÑare being produced
by Sweet Pea Productions, Box 912, Topanga CA 90290; telephone (800) 2354922.
CFP had fifteen single-track sessions. Here are some of the highlights of the opening session, plus a
listing of the speakers, panelists and some of the topics of the other fourteen sessions:
The Constitution in the Information Age
Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe was the opening speaker. One of the best-known
constitutional experts living today, he is often mentioned as being the Democrats' first choice for a
Supreme Court nomineeÑ if they ever again get a chance.
His talk, "The Constitution in Cyberspace: Law and Liberty Beyond the Electronic Frontier," concerned
the implications that the "rapidly expanding array" of technological development is posing for our
As one instance, he pointed out that remote, televised court testimony, recently validated by the
Supreme Court, "gives the defendant virtually everything the [Bill of Rights'] Confrontation Clause
guaranteesÑeverything, that is, except confrontation." Professor Tribe gave other examples involving
virtual reality, telecommunications, electronic trespass, electronic publication, computer search and
seizure, and so on. He mentioned that "By last spring, up to a quarter of the Treasury Department's
[Secret Service] investigators appear to have become involved in evesdropping on computer bulletin
boards around the country" trying to track several young computer "hackers."
From his examples, he concluded that, "Without further thought and awareness of just the kind this
conference might provide, I think the danger is clear and present" that "the Constitution's core values
[may] be transmogrified or metamorphosed into oblivion in the dim recesses of cyberspace." This is
especially so "in an era when we pass more and more of our lives in cyberspace, a place where, almost
by definition, our most familiar landmarks are rearranged, permutated or indeed disappear
altogetherÑbecause I think there is a pervasive tendency, even among the most enlightened, to forget
that the human values and ideals to which we commit ourselves may indeed be universal and need not
depend, at least not entirely, on how our particular cultures or our latest technologies carve up the
universe that we inhabit. It was my very wise colleague from Yale, the late Art Leff, who once observed
that, even in a world without an agreed-upon God, we can still agreeÑeven if we cannot prove
mathematicallyÑthat napalming babies is wrong."
Professor Tribe warned, "The Constitution's architecture can very easily come to seem quaintly
irrelevant, or at least impossible to take very seriously, in the world as reconstituted by the
microchip." He then identified and discussed "five axioms of constitutional law" and "how they can adapt
to the cyberspace age":
"There is a vital difference between government and private action."
¥ "The constitutional boundaries of private property and personality depend on variables deeper than
social or economic utility and technological feasibility."
"Government need not control information content, as such."
¥ "The Constitution is founded on normative conceptions of humanity that simply are not subject to
disproof by advances in science and technology. "
"Constitutional principles should not vary with accidents of technology."
From his axioms and his analysis of various related Supreme Court decisions, he concluded that what
was needed is a "27th Amendment, which I think should be proposed for at least serious debate in 1991.
[It] would read simply:
"This Constitution's protections for the freedoms of speech, press, petition, and assembly, and its
protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and the deprivation of life, liberty or property
without due process of law shall be construed as fully applicable without regard to the technological
method or medium through which information content is generated, stored, altered, transmitted or
Trends in Computers & Networks
Peter Denning, former ACM President and founder of the Research Institute for Advanced Computer
Science discussed "Computers Under Attack," offering comments based on the 1990 ACM Press book by
that name, of which he is editor.
John Quarterman, author of The Matrix from Digital Press and a networking consultant, addressed "The
Matrix as Volksnet"Ñissues of network access and useability by and for the general public.
Peter Neumann, ACM SIGSOFT Chair and a SRI International researcher, discussed "Computers at Risk:
The NRC Report and the Future," of which he was co-author under the National Research Council.
Martin Hellman, co-inventor of public-key cryptography, well-known DES critic and a Stanford
information science professor, examined "Cryptography and Privacy: The Human Factor."
David Chaum, founder of the International Association for Cryptographic Research and a long-time
proponent of cryptography for protecting individual's private business, outlined techniques and uses
for completely secret financial transactions in "Electronic Money and Beyond."
Dave Farber, an international leader in networking and a University of Pennsylvania professor,
addressed, "Will the Global Village be a Police State?"
International Perspectives & Impacts
Ron Plesser, former general counsel of the congressionally-mandated U.S. Privacy Protection Study
Commission and now with the Washington law firm of Piper and Marbury, chaired this session and was
its opening speaker. He outlined the history and current status of the European Community Privacy
Directive that is expected to have a global impact on privacy protection.
Tom Riley heads Riley Information Services in Canada. He has sought abolition of England's Official
Secrets Act and has been "on the current edge of information and privacy issues" for over twenty years.
He provided considerable insight into the issues, players and conflicts shaping the EC Privacy
Directive, followed by comments about other nations' freedom-of-information laws and attitudes.
David Flaherty authored Protecting Privacy in Surveillance Societies and is a professor at the
University of Western Ontario, an expert in American constitutional law. He gave "a speech that I think
George Bush should have given, if he had been here at this conference," outlining privacy initiatives for
Rob Veeder heads the U.S. Office of Management and Budget's Information Policy branch within its Office
of Information Regulatory Affairs and, for years, directed many of "the privacy issues and also some
freedom-of-information issues" within OMB. He discussed both freedom-of-information and privacy-
protection issues, legislation and prognosis from his perspective at OMB.
The session included discussion of "offshore data-havens," as well as mention of United Nations and
Personal Information & Privacy-1 & 11
Both of these sessions were chaired by Lance Hoffman, a computer science and electrical engineering
professor at The George Washington Univerisity. Hoffman is chairing the Second Conference on
Computers, Freedom & Privacy, to be held in Washington D.C., March 18-20,1991. The first session
had two speakers, followed by a debate. The speakers were Janlori Goldman, a Washington attorney with
the American Civil Liberties Union who directs the ACLU's Project on Privacy and Technology, and John
Baker, Senior Vice President of Equifax and in charge of consumer, public and government affairs.
Equifax, TRW and Trans Union are the three largest providers of credit data and other personal
information in the nation.
The debate was between Marc Rotenberg, Director of the Washington office of CPSR and a former
counsel to the Subcommittee on Technology and Law of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has often
testified before congressional committees regarding privacy and computer security laws; and Alan
Westin, Professor of Law and Government at Columbia University, author of Privacy and Freedom, a
book that "is considered by most experts to be the leading scholarly work on privacy issues in the new
high-technology society." Westin was also a leading force in the creation of the Privacy Act of 1974,
and academic advisor for the 1990 Louis Harris National Survey of Public Attitudes Toward Privacy,
sponsored by Equifax.
With Marc Rotenberg in favor and Westin opposed, they debated: "Should individuals have absolute
control over secondary use of their personal information?" Or, to put it another way: "Resolved: No
organization shall make secondary use of personal information without the individual's affirmative
Speakers in the second privacy session included Dr. Willis Ware, a Fellow with the RAND Corporation.
Trained as an electrical engineer, Dr. Ware wrote the Department of Defense report that essentially
launched the field of computer security in 1970. He chaired the Health, Education and Welfare
committee report that led to the Privacy Act of 1974, was Vice Chair of the Privacy Protection Study
Commission, and currently chairs the Computer Systems Security and Privacy Advisory Board of the
National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Another speaker was Tom Mandel, Director of SRI International's Leading Edge Program, and of their
VALS programÑa multi-decade Values and Life Styles longtitudinal study of consumer beliefs, values
and behavior in the United States. He was followed by Evan Hendricks, author of Former Secrets and of
Your Right to Privacy, and editor and publisher of Privacy Times, a Washington-based newsletter
providing detailed reports on privacy issues.
Network Environments of the Future
The first of two conference banquets featured a talk by Eli Noam, a professor at Columbia University
and Director of their Center for Telecommunications and Information Studies. Noam also served two
years as a member of the New York Public Utilities Commission. He is an internationally-known expert
in telecommunications policy and regulation, has authored several books on the subjects in the U.S. and
Europe, and has recently joined the National Advisory Board of CPSR.
Professor Noam's talk was entitled, "Reconciling Free Speech and Freedom of Association," outlining a
number of the issues, players, conflicts, ramifications and possibilities surrounding speech and
regulation in telecommunications, both nationally and internationally.
Law Enforcement Practices & Problems
Chaired by Glenn Tenney, who has organized and chaired the Hacker's Conferences for half a decade, this
session's speakers were:
Don Ingraham, whoÑby definition of drafting the first-ever search warrant for magnetic media over
20 years agoÑ is the most senior computer-crime prosecutor in the nation. He teaches high-tech
crime law to prosecutors and police, nationally, and is an Assistant District Attorney for Alameda
County, on the east side of San Francisco Bay.
Bob Snyder, a Detective with the Organized Crime Bureau of the Columbus, Ohio, Police Department,
who has been investigating computer-crime for over eight yearsÑ"which makes him also one of the
oldest" computer-crime investigators.
Don Delaney, a senior Investigator in the Major Case Squad of the New York State Police, who has less
than a year's experience investigating computer crime, but who has led some of the best-known
investigations of such crimes conducted by his agency.
Dale Boll, the Deputy Director the the U.S. Secret Service's Fraud Division, the agency that conducted
the 1990 "Operation Sun Devil" raids that, essentially, prompted the creation of the conference.
Law Enforcement & Civil Liberties
Dorothy Denning, who chaired this panel discussion, was with Digital Equipment Corporation's Systems
Research Center in Palo Alto and has recently joined Georgetown University as chair of their Computer
Science Department. Dorothy is a specialist in computer security, authored Cryptography and Data
Security, received the 1990 Aerospace Award as Distinguished Lecturer in Computer Security, was a
consultant for the defense in the Craig Neidorf case and has conducted research in why "crackers"
crack, presenting her results at the, 1990 National Computer Security Conference.
Speaker Sheldon Zenner was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for eight years, a federal prosecutor in Chicago,
and is now with Katten, Muchin and Zavis. He was defense counsel for Craig Neidorf, one of the computer
hackers arrested in the "Operation Sun Devil" raids.
Mark Rasch is with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in Washington, and was one of
the two U.S. attorneys who prosecuted Robert Morris, Jr., in the Internet worm case.
Cliff Figallo is manager of The WELL, the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link, which hosted the 1989 Harper's
magazine "Hacker's Forum" and has been the teleconferencing site of considerable discussion of related
issues. Figallo has significant experience with managing and protecting a publicly-accessible system,
and was "mostly [there] because we have concerns about the possible overuse of law enforcement and
its possible effects on the electronic community."
Sharon Beckman is an attorney with Boston's Silverglate and Good, litigation counsel for the Electronic
Frontier Foundation, and represents Steve Jackson Games, the target of one of the Secret Service's
search and seizure raids in Austin, Texas.
Ken Rosenblatt is a Deputy District Attorney for Santa Clara CountyÑ"Silicon Valley"Ñwho handles
many of their high-tech crime cases.
Mike Gibbons is a Special Agent in Charge with the FBI in Washington, D.C., and has been with the
Bureau for about seven years. He was the primary FBI contact in the international computer cracker's
case described by Cliff Stoll in The Cuckoo's Egg.
Mitch Kapor is co-founder of the Electronic Frontier 'Foundation andÑas founder of Lotus Development
Corporation and recipient of the DPMA's 1990 Distinguished Information Sciences AwardÑis also a
recognized leader in the computer industry.
Legislation & Regulation
Bob Jacobson chaired this session. He is former Principal Consultant to the California State Assembly
Utilities and Commerce Committee. He authored Access Rights to the Electronic Marketplace, and is now
Associate Director of the Human Interface Technology Laboratory at the University of Washington in
Jerry Berman is an American Civil Liberties Union attorney and director of the ACLU's Information
Technology Project in Washington. He had a major role in drafting the federal Electronic
Communications Privacy Act.
Craig Schiffries is a Congressional Science Fellow and the only scientist serving on the staff of the
Senate Subcommittee on Technology and Law, for Senator Patrick Leahy.
Bill Julian is Chief Counsel for the California State Assembly's Utilities and Commerce Committee.
Steve McLellan is Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Washington State Utilities and Transporation
Committee and former staff counsel to the Joint Telecommunications Committee of the Washington State
Elliot Maxwell is Assistant Vice-President for Corporate Strategy in the Pacific Telesis Group, one of
the major telecommunications groups created in the court-mandated break-up of AT&T.
Paul Bernstein is a private attorney, a columnist for Trialmagazine of the Association of Trial Lawyers,
newsletter editor of NewsNet, and sysop for LegalNet and the LawMUG BBS.
Computer-Based Surveillance of Individuals
Susan Nycum chaired this session. She is a partner in the law firm of Baker & McKenzie, based in Palo
Alto, a well-known specialist in intellectual property, and has often spoken on privacy-protection
issues. Judith Krug is director of the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom and
executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, "which serves as the First Amendment legal
defense arm of the ALA." She addressed privacy of library records, access to information and the FBI's
monitoring of library patrons. Karen Nussbaum founded the first local group of office workers in
Boston in 1973, and is now executive director of "9to5," the National Association of Working Women.
She is president of District 925 of the Service Employees International Union and and co-author of
Solutions for the New York Workforce: Policies for a New Social Contract, and 9to5ÑThe Working
Woman's Guide to Office Survival. She is also a member of the CPSR National Advisory Board. She
provided a number of examples of technology-based workplace monitoring. Gary Marx is a professor of
sociology in MIT's Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He has authored several books, including
Protest and Prejudice and Undercover: Police Surveillance in America, which recieved the Outstanding
Book Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. David Flaherty, who spoke in the session
on "International Perspectives," spoke, also in this session.
Security Capabilities, Privacy & Integrity
The second banquet of the conference featured William A. Bayse, Assistant Director of the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, who is in charge of their Technical Services Division, including the NCICÑthe
computerized National Crime Information Center. Before his current career with the FBI, he worked
for NASA and the Army, and has degrees in mathematics, physics and computing.
His talk was entitled "NCIC-2000: Balancing Computer Security Capabilities with Privacy and
Integrity," in which he outlined the current NCIC system and some of the FBI's plans for its major
upgrade in the next several years. These included support for processing digitized photos and
fingerprints, taken at any local police patrol car and transmitted to Washington "while-you-wait."
There was extensive discussion with the audience, especially concerning the uses and security of NCIC-
2000, and questions about the FBI's continuing efforts to expand their authority and record-keeping on
Electronic Speech, Press & Assembly
Eric Lieberman chaired this session and offered opening comments. He is an attorney specializing in
constitutional litigation and civil liberties with Rabinowitz, Boudin, et. al., in New York City. He is
general counsel to the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, and has done legal work for the
Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Panel member Jack Rickard publishes Boardwatch magazine, perhaps the definitive magazine
addressing the "emerging cottage industry of electronic bulletin boards, system bulletin boards, and
electronic on-line services."
John McMullen has been in computing since 1962, was Director of Data Processing for Dean Witter and
later for Morgan Stanley, and is now a computer consultant and a reporter for NewsBytes.
Dave Hughes is founder and general partner of Old Colorado City Communications, an international
consultant on low-cost networking, as well as a well-known advocate of robust on-line services for the
public. He is a retired Army colonel who was an advisor to the Secretary of Defense. He was
instrumental in detecting and publicizing e-mail surveillance conducted by the president of the U.S.
Council of Mayors against fellow Colorado Springs city council members.
Lance Rose is co-author of The Syslaw Book and an attorney with Wallace & Rose in New York City,
specializing in electronic funds transfer, electronic publishing, and sysop legal issues.
George Perry is General Council for Prodigy Information Services and discussed some of the issues and
views surrounding private-sector online services for the public.
[A member of CDCÑthe Coordinated Defense Council or "Prodigy Protestors"Ñwas scheduled to
participate in this session, but was prevented from attending due to illness, and we were notified too
late to schedule a proper replacement.]
Access to Government Information
Harry Hammitt chaired this session and was one of its speakers. He is editor and publisher of Access
Reports, a Washington-based newsletter that focuses on Freedom of Information Act cases and covers
government information policy in general.
David Burnham is co-director of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) in
Washington, which aids access to computerized governmental records and databases. He was previously
a New York Times reporter and is the author of The Rise of the Computer State and A Law Unto Itself:
The IRS and the Abuse of Power. The latter was based on extensive analysis of IRS practices and internal
evaluations including records obtained through prosecuting over a dozen FOIA requests. Burnham is also
a member of the CPSR National Advisory Board.
Katherine Mawdsley is Associate University Librarian at the University of California at Davis and
current President of the California Academic and Research Librarians.
Rob Veeder, who spoke in the session on Legislation & Regulation, also spoke in this session.
Ethics & Education
Terry Winograd chaired this session. Winograd is past president of CPSR, and a professor of computer
science at Stanford, where he helped design and teach courses on computers, ethics and social
Richard Hollinger is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Florida who has
researched deviant behavior, particularly in the workplace, and including computer crime.
Donn Parker is a senior consultant with SRI International, and is perhaps the best-known specialist on
computer crime and information security in the nation.
Dorothy Denning, who chaired the earlier session on Law Enforcement and Civil Liberties, also spoke in
John Gilmore is a "generalist" with Cygnus Support, works closely with the Free Software Foundation,
and was one of the founders of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Jonathan Budd is program manager for Law Enforcement and Computer Crime with the National
Institute of Justice, the research and education arm of the Department of Justice.
Sally Bowman is Director of the Computer Learning Foundation, headquartered in Palo Alto. The
Foundation has been developing instructional units addressing "computer ethics" issues.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Speakers for this session were selected "on the fly" during the conference, from among the speakers and
panelists in the other sessions, and chosen to represent a full range of the perspectives and
constituencies participating in the event. They were asked to state their to advice to other groupsÑfor
addressing the problems and issues aired at the conferenceÑand were also asked to state personal
commitments: what they would do, as leaders within their respective constituencies.
Because of their experience in coordinating and chairing numerous events and discussions addressing
various societal impacts of computingÑand their insightful questionsÑLance Hoffman and Peter
Neumann acted as commentators and questioners of the other nine speakers.
The speakers in this "commitment session" were: Paul Bernstein (LawMUG, etc.), Donn B. Parker (SRI
International), Craig Schiffries (U.S. Senate staff), Rob Veeder (Office of Management and Budget),
Eric Lieberman (civil liberties attorney), Don Ingraham (computer crime prosecutor), Dave Hughes
("Electronic Citizen") and Mary Culnan (a business administration professor at Georgetown University
who has been especially active in private-sector privacy protection).
We diligently sought to provide a level playing field, where all were fairly represented and given fair
opportunity to speak and outline their views, positions, concerns and hopes. When we began, we were
most concerned about balance between law enforcement and "computer freedom zealots" (among which,
I number myself)Ñand everyone seemed to feel that balance was accomplished.
However, I personally believe that weÑunintentionallyÑ had a very unbalanced mix between the
information industry representatives and the "privacy zealots." As a result, only John Baker and John
Ford from Equifax were there to provide the perspectives of their industry, and were applauded for
hanging in there while being wildly outnumbered by numerous and very articulate privacy advocates.
The personal information industry's perspectives need to be fairly heard, if we, the people, are to be
informed and fairly balance our desired freedoms with our desired privacy. Future conferences should
try to address this need by providing a better representation of information industry spokespeople.
Organizers, Sponsors & Scholarships
The hardworking volunteer Program Committee for CFP consisted of Dorothy Denning, Peter Denning,
Les Earnest, Elliot Fabric, Mark Graham, Don Ingraham, Bruce Koball, Marc Rotenberg and Glenn
Tenney. There were over thirty advisorsÑmost nationally knownÑfrom a broad spectrum of computing,
legal, governmental and information professions.
Bruce Koball not only organized several sessions but also did marathon work as volunteer on-site
Operations Coordinator. Others who were instrumental included Jeannie Ditter for general
administration, Jay Thorwaldson handling media relations and Judi Clark as volunteer Volunteer
CPSR was the conference's sponsor. Autodesk, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Apple Computer
were co-sponsors, and also provided a total of $20,000 to help underwrite expenses (which exceeded
$100,000). EFF provided an additional $4,000 as a loan to assure that the conference would be
videotaped. Money for students to be able to attend the conference was provided by John Gilmore. He
provided ten, full-fee conference and tutorials registrations, which we called the John Gilmore Liberty
The WELL (Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link) was another cosponsor and provided invaluable e-mail and
teleconferencing services, without which we simply could not have had this stature in the few months
in which it was accomplished.
Other co-sponsoring and cooperating organizations included the American Civil Liberties Union, the
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the ACM Special Interest Group on Computers and
Society, the ACM Special Interest Group on Software, the ACM Committee on Scientific Freedom and
Human Rights, the Cato Institute, the Electronic Networking Association, IEEE-USA, the IEEE-USA
Committee on Communications and Information Policy, the IEEE-USA Committee on Intellectual
Property, Portal Communications and the Videotex Industry Association.
CPSR and EFF Host First Policy Roundtable Computer Networks and Public Policy
Users and administrators of computer-to-computer networks are facing an identity crisisÑtrying to
decide whether to claim the rights and responsibilities of being publishers, to seek the protections and
limitations of being common carriers, or to become a legal hybrid, according to experts assembled at
the first Policy Roundtable in Washington, D.C., sponsored by CPSR and the Electronic Frontier
The unique meeting, the first in a series of roundtable discussions funded by the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, assembled many of the leading experts in the development of national computer networking
policy. The meeting's participants were a diverse group. The roundtable was a chance to meet in one
room an assistant director of the FBI as well an indicted computer hacker; a famous science fiction
author and a former director of the National Security Agency; congressional staffers and journalists;
network users and network administrators; and many others.
The option of inventing new legal concepts emerged as the most favored policy choice during the
February 2122 meeting. "There are several people here who I have only known electronically,"
observed one participant to the some 60 persons who attendedÑvirtually all active users of computer-
to-computer networks, and many of the operators of electronic bulletin boards or electronic mail
systems. With the help of participating lawyers, the conference set the goal of "mapping the terrain."
Frontier imageryÑof homesteaders, saloon keepers and sheriffsÑenlivened the mapping effort,
although most attendees seemed to despair that such analogies would illuminate how to "settle" the
The very unruliness of the current environment is valued by many of the roughly two million persons
who communicate on thousands of computer networks. The electronic bulletin board forums were often
referred to as "free speech corners" and "communities." The conference mood was caught when one
participant lamented, "The pace of life has caught up with us, and we are now marooned in real life."
Concern that change will tame totally free expression on the electronic bulletin boards led another
participant to suggest the need to preserve "wildness," jokingly dubbed "the MIT Wilderness."
Keynote Address by Senator Leahy
The keynote speaker was Senator Patrick J. Leahy from Vermont, the chairman of the Senate
Subcommittee on Technology and the Law. Senator Leahy has been in the Senate seventeen years, and has
always promoted technology, but he balances that with civil liberties guaranteed since Jefferson and the
Bill of Rights. He likened technological expression with freedom of speech and the press, yet countered
that with several examples of invasions of privacy. These included questions to Supreme Court nominee
Judge Souter, the "Caller-ID" issue, and Lotus Marketplace with the ensuing protest over its
implications for privacy.
Since the passage of his Electronic Communication and Privacy Act, Senator Leahy has established a
Privacy and Technology taskforce to monitor and revise the legislation. With this he hopes to identify
crucial issues in order to penalize destructive conduct but preserve privacy. He expects to reintroduce
a computer crime bill.
One primary issue Senator Leahy sees is whether communication policy should address the control of
the medium or of its content. His advice was to start with preservation of the intent of the First
Amendment. He raised two ironies of policy. One is that Congress spent more time debating a $30,000
National Endowment for the Arts grant to Robert Mapplethorpe than it did debating the war with Iraq.
Secondly, the actions of only one overzealous person broadcast the Iyrics of Two Live Crew
internationally. Senator Leahy said that a national information policy may undermine First Amendment
values and that a decentralized approach was probably preferable
The roundtable discussions were organized around panel discussions, with opportunities for
participation by the general audience.
The Well, a major bulletin board for free discourse based in San Francisco, "is a saloon on the
electronic frontier, and I am the barkeeper," said Well Director Cliff Figallo. Like many involved with
bulletin boards, he placed a high value on permitting maximum free speech on The Well. The Well's
more than 100 venues even include "the weird conference." However, Figallo and others find it
necessary to intervene occasionally to ban certain communication or even users. One operator hoped for
the invention of a "bozo filter."
Figallo and others spoke of running their network with the .ethic of "you own your own words." But
they increasingly worry whether such an understanding will be adequate to stave off libel suits against
the network. "There is a lot of vagueness around liability,)' Figallo said. Simultaneously, network
operators are concerned that even if they wanted to assume publishers status, monitoring the system
would be beyond their means. "There is no way we can patrol the boundaries of a multiple-gigabyte
territory," according to Figallo, even with user identifiers.
A participant familiar with the workings of the "far bigger than Prodigy', network called Usenet said
five efforts at censorship on Usenet had failed primarily "because the system sees censorship as system
breakdown and routes around it."
In another example cited at the conference, it was noted that in Santa Monica, Calif., a city-run "public
electronic network" is overseen by citizen committees who try to avoid censorship. Santa Monica is
still waiting for a parent to sue them over a child reading a curse word, but so far this has not
In fact, network officials interviewed could cite no examples of libel suits. There have, however, been
instances in which computer equipment used to run electronic bulletin boards has been seized and held
by law enforcement officials, usually in the course of investigating hacker incidents. Network
operators are eager to find ways to limit over-broad seizures of their electronic equivalent to a
printing press, and several participants noted that claiming the legal status of publisher might help
inhibit unreasonable seizures.
Choosing a Legal Model
The role of publisher has been explicitly chosen by Prodigy, the 750,000-member commercial
network owned by Sears, Roebuck 8 Company and IBM. The commitment to free expression felt by many
network operators and users contributed to criticism of Prodigy. Last fall Prodigy ejected about a dozen
subscribers who used the Prodigy system itself to voice their objection to an increase in the price of
the Prodigy's electronic mail service.
Prodigy's action was defended as the effort of a publisher to control publications in a way necessary for
the creation of a far-reaching, affordable, family-style source of information and advertisements. The
privacy of Prodigy electronic mail is protected, said Prodigy Vice President and General Counsel George
Perry, but Prodigy public forums, news, and other features are part of its news product and under its
The development of a diversity of communications alternatives was seen by some as potentially
alleviating concerns over restrictions imposed within commercial services. However, other
participants feared that a few large operators could dominate electronic communications.
Criticisms of Prodigy included the contention that the service be likened to a shopping center, which
under some court rulings on free speech have been treated as public fore. "The courts may some day
hold that electronic shopping networks like Prodigy as the public forum of the 21st Century,"
speculated Jerry Berman, director of the Information Technology Project of the American Civil
Liberties Union and Marc Rotenberg, director of the Washington Office of CPSR.
The management of existing federally-run computer networks came up during a discussion of the
network operated by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The need for NSF control and management
was justified as essential for holding the publicly-funded network to its specialized mission of
facilitating scientific interchange, for keeping it from being '"flooded," and for the practical need of
preserving congressional support.
NSF officials came under some criticism for their network controls; one commentator appealed that
NSF leave room for "exploring and play."
Common Carrier Model
Several people at the conference advocated the "common carrier model" for computer networks, similar
to the telephone system, in which every message is carried regardless of its content. For
person-to-person electronic mail services, some conferees agreed that the common carrier model may
be the best choice, although they expressed a bias against being regulated by the Federal
The ACLU's Berman said a common carrier network for computer-to-computer communication will be
required to preserve free expression, whether it is run by the government or regulated by the
For the most part, however, the conferees considered the common carrier approach too limiting. In
particular, questions were raised about what principle would apply to electronic bulletin boards.
In addition, concerns were raised about the potential for governmental restrictions. The increasing
probability of statutory controls over 900-prefix telephone numbers was criticized by some in
attendance. Others criticized recent FCC actions against some amateur radio operators who relayed
computerized messages inviting others to call a 900 number to send an anti-war message. The FCC said
the operators of the "packet" relay systems had violated restrictions on transmitting commercial
messages. FCC critics said the agency was inhibiting free speech.
The development of a hybrid legal framework was the preferred, if undefined, option of many of those at
How can a network operator assume the obligations of a publisher, one lawyer asked, if network
participants can post messages at will?
Also complicating the issue, said another participant, is what responsibilities should be assigned when
the networks are interconnected worldwide. Another participant raised the question of whether free
speech will be allowed on internal corporate electronic-mail systems.
CPSR has already held a second Policy Roundtable, on encryption issues. A third will be held in late
1991, also in Washington, D.C.
This article was adapted from a report appearing in the publication of the Bureau of National Affairs,
and from notes of the conference prepared by CPSR Board member Tom Thornton.
CPSR Co-sponsors Meeting on Encryption, Privacy and Communications
On July 10, 1991, Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility, the Electronic Frontier
Foundation, and RSA Data Security Inc., sponsored a conference on cryptography and privacy. The
conference was organized in response to S-266, a Senate bill which mostly dealt with terrorism but
had a provision which required telecommunications equipment manufacturers and service providers to
provide a way for legally authorized law enforcement agencies to get 'plain text" transcriptions of
messages sent by individuals. The conference was attended by industry, congressional and agency staff,
privacy advocates and experts in cryptography and computer security. The purpose of the conference
was to inform the Congress and administration about the privacy concerns regarding of government
control of cryptographic research, export controls of encryption systems and S-266. Conference
materials are available for a nominal fee from CPSR. Contact Marc Rotenberg at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 544-9240 for more information. The following statement
was drafted and approved by conference participants.
Statement in Support of Communications Privacy Washington, D.C. June 10, 1991
As representatives of leading computer and telecommunications companies, as members of national
privacy and civil liberties organizations, as academics and researchers across the country, as
computer users, as corporate users of computer networks, and as individuals interested in the
protection of privacy and the promotion of liberty, we have joined together for the purpose of
recommending that the United States government undertake a new approach to support communications
privacy and to promote the availability of privacy-enhancing technologies. We believe that our effort
will strengthen economic competitiveness, encourage technological innovation, and ensure that
communications privacy will be carried forward into the next decade.
In the past several months we have become aware that the federal government has failed to take
advantage of opportunities to promote communications privacy. In some areas, it has considered
proposals that would actually be a step backward. The area of cryptography is a prime example.
Cryptography is the process of translating a communication into a code so that it can be understood only
by the person who prepares the message and the person who is intended to receive the message. In the
communications world, it is the technological equivalent of the seal on an envelope. In the security
world, it is like a lock on a door. Cryptography also helps to ensure the authenticity of messages and
promotes new forms of business in electronic environments. Cryptography makes possible the secure
exchange of information through complex computer networks, and helps to prevent fraud and industrial
For many years, the United States has sought to restrict the use of encryption technology, expressing
concern that such restrictions were necessary for national security purposes. For the most part,
computer systems were used by large organizations and military contractors. Computer policy was
largely determined by the Department of Defense. Companies that tried to develop new encryption
products confronted export control licensing, funding restrictions, and classification review. Little
attention was paid to the importance of communications privacy for the general public.
It is clear that our national needs are changing. Computers are ubiquitous. We also rely on
communication networks to exchange messages daily. The national telephone system is in fact a large
We have opportunities to reconsider and redirect our current policy on cryptography. Regrettably, our
government has failed to move thus far in a direction that would make the benefits of cryptography
available to a wider public.
In late May, representatives of the State Department met in Europe with the leaders of the Committee
for Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM). At the urging of the National Security Agency, our delegates
blocked efforts to relax restrictions on cryptography and telecommunications technology, despite
dramatic changes in Eastern Europe. Instead of focusing on specific national security needs, our
delegates continued a blanket opposition to secure network communication technologies.
While the State Department opposed efforts to promote technology overseas, the Department of Justice
sought to restrict its use in the United States. A proposal was put forward by the Justice Department
that would require telecommunications providers and manufacturers to redesign their services and
products with weakened security. In effect, the proposal would have made communications networks
less well protected so that the government could obtain access to all telephone communications. A Senate
Committee Task Force Report on Privacy and Technology established by Senator Patrick Leahy noted
that this proposal could undermine communications privacy.
The public opposition to S. 266 was far-reaching. Many individuals wrote to Senator Biden and
expressed their concern that cryptographic equipment and standards should not be designed to include a
"trapdoor" to facilitate government eavesdropping. Designing in such trapdoors, they noted, is no more
appropriate than giving the government the combination to every safe and a master key to every lock.
We are pleased that the provision in S. 266 regarding government surveillance was withdrawn. We
look forward to Senator Leahy's hearing on cryptography and communications privacy later this year.
At the same time, we are aware that proposals like S. 266 may reemerge and that we will need to
continue to oppose such efforts. We also hope that the export control issue will be revisited and the
State Department will take advantage of the recent changes in East-West relations and relax the
restrictions on cryptography and network communications technology.
We believe that the government should promote communications privacy. We therefore recommend that
the following steps be taken.
First, proposals regarding cryptography should be moved beyond the domain of the intelligence and
national security community. Today, we are increasingly dependent on computer communications.
Policies regarding the appropriate use of cryptography should be subject to public review and public
Second, any policy proposal regarding government eavesdropping should be critically reviewed. Asking
manufacturers and service providers to make their services less secure will ultimately undermine
efforts to strengthen communications privacy. While these proposals may be based on sound concerns,
there are less invasive ways to pursue legitimate government goals.
Third, government agencies with appropriate expertise should work free of NSA influence to promote
the availability of cryptography so as to ensure communications privacy for the general public. The
National Academy of Science has recently completed two important studies on export controls and
computer security. The Academy should now undertake a study specifically on the use of cryptography
and communications privacy, and should also evaluate current obstacles to the widespread adoption of
Fourth, the export control restrictions for computer network technology and cryptography should be
relaxed. The cost of export control restrictions are enormous. Moreover, foreign companies are often
able to obtain these products from other sources. And one result of export restrictions is that US
manufacturers are less likely to develop privacy-protecting products for the domestic market.
As our country becomes increasingly dependent on computer communications for all forms of business
and personal communication, the need to ensure the privacy and security of these messages that travel
along the networks grows. Cryptography is the most important technological safeguard for ensuring
privacy and security. We believe that the general public should be able to use this technology free of
There is a great opportunity today for the United States to play a leadership role in promoting
communications privacy. We hope to begin this process by this call for a reevaluation of our national
interest in cryptography and privacy.
Mitchell Kapor, Electronic Frontier Foundation Marc Rotenberg, CPSR John Gilmore, EFF D. James
Bidzos, RSA Phil Karn, BellCore Ron Rivest, MIT Jerry Berman, ACLU Whitfield Diffie, Northern
Telecom David Peyton, ADAPSO Ronald Plesser, Information Industry Association Dorothy Denning,
Georgetown University David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers Ray Ozzie, IRIS Associates Evan D.
Hendricks, U.S. Privacy Council Priscella M. Regan, George Mason University Lance J. Hoffman, George
Washington University David Bellin, Pratt University Eugene Spafford, Purdue University Steve
Booth, Hewlett-Packard Steve Kent Dave Farber, University of Pennsylvania (Affiliations are for
identification purposes only)
CPSR Pursues Funding for 21st Century Project
. . The ordinary citizen, with respect to the larger issues that face the nation and the world, cannot
afford to dismiss the abstractions of modern science as ideas that are irrelevant to practical concerns;
when properly applied they are obviously the source of tremendous power that can determine the
success or failure of human purposes. How they are applied to those purposes may determine the future
of humanity, or whether it is to have any future. This is a question that the ordinary citizen is
interested in, no matter how ignorant he is of science.
Don K. Price The Scientific Estate
CPSR is currently looking for major funding to support a new national campaign called the 21st
Century Project. The 21st Century Project is a national effort to redirect U.S. science and technology
policy toward solving pressing problems of human need. The Project is intended as an agenda for the
remaining years of this century, and for the opening years of the next century, to decouple science and
technology from the continual refinement of weapons, and from unnecessary natural resource depletion
and environmental pollution. The Project hopes to be able to mobilize scientists and technologists as
well as interested citizens with a new vision of how science and technology can improve human life
everywhere, and also preserve and protect our natural environment. The Project is an explicit
program of democratizing technological investment decisions so that solutions to global and national
problems become paramount in United States government policy. Because of the history and
constituency of CPSR, the 21st Century Project will begin with a focus on public issues surrounding
the deployment of new information technologies. These technologiesÑ computers, semiconductors,
electronics, telecommunications, etc.Ñare often viewed as the key to our future economic productivity
and the bedrock of our high tech civilization. How they are used in the future, and how citizens help
shape their use, will be the first focus of the 21st Century Project. But because the Project hopes to
develop a comprehensive program for science and technology generally, doors will be open for
participation by scientists and technologists from other fields who find the principles of the 21st
Century Project persuasive and important.
The Project is currently coordinated by Gary Chapman, program director of CPSR. Chapman is the
former executive director of CPSR. He has relocated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to pursue the 21st
Century Project and to help build CPSR work in the Northeast.
The 21st Century Project is meant to be a grassroots program, meaning that its activities will be
focused on strategic technology issues as they are manifested in local and regional concerns. The Project
will promote the development of a new agenda '"from the bottom up," by encouraging and helping
coordinate local activities around the nation that address important controversies about technological
development. Activities are already underway in Austin, Texas, Boston, and the San Francisco Bay area.
The Project will be a clearinghouse of information, a focus for local groups, a way to generate policy
recommendations through a robust research program, and a vehicle for public outreach. The Project
will publish material -for the public and for policymakers to understand how science and technology
can and should be redirected. Project leaders will give public talks, organize public meetings, and meet
with members of the press in order to promote the Project's vision. The Project's authors will publish
a book that explains the purpose of the Project in detail.
The goals of the 21st Century Project include the following:
¥ Long-term and deep reconsideration of the research and development (R&D) funding priorities of the
U.S. government, including the funding and oversight vehicles through which such money is
¥ Promotion of a discussion within the high technology professions and among scientists, and in
conjunction with concerned citizens, policymakers, members of Congress and community leaders, about
the ways in which science and technology could be directed toward solving critical national problems
such as environmental degradation, employment and housing shortages, occupational health, public
transportation, educational quality and access, and the deterioration of public infrastructure.
¥ The development of a stable and long-term national consensus that the multiplier effect of strategic
R&D funding makes it a good investment even under budget constraints, and that R&D independent of
military priorities needs sustained support.
¥ Development of a broad-based public effort to constrain the arms race and redirect science and
technology toward solving real problems of human need and environmental quality.
¥ Promotion of a new ethic for technological development that avoids the nationalist, belligerent, and
environmentally negligent rhetoric of "economic competitiveness" and instead substitutes an optimistic
and open discourse on global cooperative development and a wise use of the earth's resources.
¥ Exploration and promotion of a national policy that integrates a new R&D agenda with a well-
supported program for improving scientific and technical education in the United States, including
preparation for such education in the nation's primary and secondary schools.
¥ Revitalization of the ideal, among young people, of pursuing science and technology careers for the
improvement of human life and protection of the planet's environment, instead of exclusively for
financial gain or military superiority.
¥ Mobilization of corporate, government, academic, professional, and citizen support for increased and
sustained levels of funding for redirected research and development, with new guiding principles and a
new agenda for funding priorities.
¥ Democratization of the policy process for the deployment of science and technology in society, in
order to empower citizens and workers and provide new opportunities for innovation and participation.
Obviously the 21st Century Project is an ambitious undertaking. Many of the goals stated above are
beyond the means of the Project's current capacity, even with the projected funding proposed here. But
they are listed here to give the reader a feel for what the Project's leaders believe should be on the
national agenda. As the Project builds and brings in more resources and participants, it can incorporate
more activities to reach all of the above goals.
The overall thrust of the Project is to provide vision, motivation, and leadership to people who are
concerned about the impact of science and technology in the modern world. Currently almost no
comparable, competitive visions exist. Yet there is a building national debate about the proper strategic
direction of government investment in science and technology. The 21st Century Project is ideally
poised to enter this debate with a sweeping new program, and one that CPSR believes will motivate
scientists and technologists all over the world.
The Work of the 21st Century Project
The work of the 21st Century Project will be "bimodal," meaning that it will attempt to integrate a
national perspective with the work of citizens at the local level. The national presence of the Project
will be developed through an ongoing research program and a sustained effort of public outreach. Local
work will provide concrete lessons of citizen participation in the development of a new agenda or
science and technology. The intellectual framework of the Project's program will both come from local
activity, and be used to help stimulate such activities. The Project viii not involve the direction,
supervision, or organization of local work; rather, the Project will help provide a comprehensive
perspective that will help link activities organized and maintained by other groups. Eventually, the
Project should become a loose federation of community, environmental, citizen, and professional
groups concerned about how their own work is influenced by, and can in turn influence, national
science and technology policy.
The Austin Model
On May 17, 1991, a meeting took place at the offices of SEMATECH, a unique government-industry
consortium with the mission of protecting U.S. Ieadership in semiconductor technology. The meeting
participants included, on one side, officials of SEMATECH, and on the other ice, representatives of the
community surrounding SEMATECH in East Austin, Texas, as well as representatives from
environmental, occupational health and safety, professional, and trade union organizations. The
subjects under discussion were the public interest character of SEMATECH's work. SEMATECH receives
a $100 million annual subsidy from the federal government, administered through the Department of
Defense. This support accounts for about half of SEMATECH's annual budget. he meeting, organized by
the Campaign for Responsible Technology was an opportunity to discuss how SEMAT
ECH's research mission could include some measure of responsiveness to public concerns about toxic
pollution, job access and the quality of work on the job in the semiconductor industry, and the relation
between SEMATECH and the military. The fact that SEMATECH is at least partly a publicly financed
research facility opened the door to citizen participation in its research agenda.
The result of the May 17 meeting, a year in the planning, was that there now exists a community-based
organization in East Austin that is highly informed about the mission and character of this research
facility, which before the meeting existed for most community members only as a nondescript building
in the largely Hispanic community. SEMATECH officials have now committed to developing a "good
neighbor policy" that will keep the community involved in discussions about how SEMATECH is
addressing problems of industrial pollution and the quality" of the workplace. And the Campaign for
Responsible Technology has a good case to make to members of the Congress responsible for SEMATECH
oversight that there is citizen demand for a change in SEMATECH's mission. The semiconductor industry
is one of the most toxic manufacturing sectors in the world. Silicon Valley, home to the highest
concentration of chip manufacturers in the United States, is the largest collection of Superfund cleanup
sites in the country. It is reasonable to make some demand of publicly-funded SEMATECH that
elimination of toxic pollution in the semiconductor industry be part of its research program.
Three members of the steering committee of the 21st Century Project participated in the meeting with
SEMATECH officials on May 17. Several lessons for the Project emerged from this experience in Austin.
First, what distinguishes the 21st Century Project from other studies and research investigations
concerning science and technology policy is the intense interest the Project has in learning from, and
learning with, ordinary citizens. At the SEMATECH meeting, although the participants who had come
there from out of town had most of the facts and figures, it was the local community participants who
spoke most eloquently. Citizen participation was the most important feature of the SEMATECH meeting,
and it provided a sense of dignity and significance to the meeting that would have been absent from a
meeting of mere experts. Broad-based citizen participation is the key to long-term social change. And
citizens will not participate unless they think that they have a chance to influence the outcome of their
participation. So the 21st Century Project is not going to produce another set of studies to throw on an
ever-growing pile of reports. The Project is meant to help promote real citizen initiatives like the one
Second, the 21st Century Project will be the vehicle through which local activists can make
connections with national trends and issues. The Project can supply an intellectual framework, as well
as facts and figures, that will help link local concerns with controversies in national policy. This was
especially evident in the SEMATECH case. SEMATECH comes up for its five-year cycle budget renewal in
late 1992. SEMATECH is a controversial institution in Washington, a fact until recently unknown to the
people who live around it. Now there is a new element in any consideration of SEMATECH's purpose and
its claim on $100 million of taxpayer money every year. SEMATECH and its supporters are now faced
with a purpose much larger than serving the semiconductor industry or military sponsors. In this way,
the May 17 meeting was a good model for linking local activity with national research and development
Third, the 21st Century Project is looking for discrete problems that can be solved or ameliorated by
specific, positive recommendations for change in science and technology policy. In the SEMATECH case,
the environmental problems of the semiconductor industry, which are huge, was the problem; the
positive alternative was to have SEMATECH explicitly dedicate some portion of its research agendaÑand
taxpayer supportÑto helping solve these problems. Local activists will always have very specific
concerns; the 21st Century Project can help them with connections to national expertise and a policy
framework that will help address their concerns. The Project will always try to accentuate the positive
contribution that science and technology can make to society, if only given the opportunity through a
reform of national priorities. The goal is to help build coalitions between scientists and technologists on
the one hand, and active citizens on the other hand.
The work of the 21st Century Project will be conducted in three interrelated ways: as a "glue" between
grassroots activities that are either ongoing or encouraged by the purpose of the Project; as a research
program that is informed by, and informs, citizens working on issues involving science and technology
in our society; and as a vehicle for public outreach, through the production of a book, documents,
briefing materials, op-ed articles, magazine articles, public meetings, and potentially direct mail. The
21st Century Project will be a collector, coordinator, assembler, refiner, and disseminator of ideas
about the future of science and technology in our society.
The 21st Century Project's National Advisory Board
The Project is in the process of assembling a national advisory board. A number of notable individuals
have already agreed to serve on the national advisory board, and they include:
Dr. Carol Edwards, director of the Southern Coalition for Educational Equity, Atlanta, Georgia, and a
1991-1992 fellow studying educational technology policy at the Congressional Office of Technology
Denis Hayes, executive director of GreenSeal in Palo Alto, California, and founder and former director
of both EarthDays, 1970 and 1990.
Alan Kay, founder and president of Americans Talk Issues in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit polling
service that polls citizens on issues of public policy. Former president of the Institute for Defense and
Disarmament Studies, and a private philanthropist.
Dr. Amory Lovins, research director of the Rocky Mountain Institute in Snowmass, Colorado. Dr. Lovins
is internationally famous as a researcher and advocate for energy conservation through improvements
in energy technology.
Professor Ann Markusen, director of the Program on Regional and Industrial Economics at Rutgers
University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Professor Markusen is the author of books on economic
conversion, the defense economy, and the dislocation of workers due to plant closings and defense
Dr. John Slaughter, president of Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, former director of the
National Science Foundation and former chancellor of the University of Maryland.
Professor Kosta Tsipis, director of the Program on Science and International Security at MIT, and a
fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Dr. Frederick Weingarten, executive director of the Computing Research Association, Washington, D.C.,
and former director of the Information Technologies Division of the Congressional Office of Technology
Professor Langdon Winner, professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, author of two highly regarded books on technology
and society, and columnist on high tech and social issues for Technology Review magazine.
The 21st Century Project Steering Committee
The Project's Steering Committee consists of activists who have been studying and working on the
issues embodied in the Project for many years. The steering committee consists of:
Gary Chapman, coordinator of the 21st Century Project and former executive director, since 1985, of
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility.
Michael Closson is executive director of the Center for Economic Conversion in Mountain View,
California. He is a former dean of student affairs at Stanford University, and he holds a Ph.D from the
Robert Park is professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and director of the Washington
office of the American Physical Society. He is the former director of the Surface Physics Laboratory of
Lenny Siegel is director of the Pacific Studies Center in Mountain View, California, and a researcher
and writer on military research and development since 1967. He edits two newsletters, Global
Electronics and California Military Monitor. He was the principal author of the 1985 book The High
Cost of High Tech: The Dark Side of the Chip.
Barbara Simons is research staff member at IBM's Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California,
and she is secretary of the Association for Computing Machinery, the principal professional society of
computer science. She received a Ph.D in computer science from the University of California.
Ted Smith is executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, vice president of the National
Toxics Campaign, and chairman of the Campaign for Responsible Technology. He is the editor of Silicon
Valley Toxics News. He is attorney and a partner in the law firm Smith and Johnson in San Jose,
Rand Wilson has worked an union organizer for over ten years and is now director of the Labor
Resource Center in Medford, Massachusetts. He is also the coordinator of the Campaign for Responsible
Technology, and an organizer for Jobs With Justice. Wilson co-founded the Massachusetts High Tech
Research Group, and he has co-authored reports on the impact of high technology in Massachusetts. He
serves on the boards of directors of the Center for the Study of Public Policy and the Haymarket
Joel S. Yudken is a Research Fellow at the Project on Regional and Industrial Economics at the Center
for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He also directs the Project on Funding
Policy in Computer Science sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery. He is the co-author
of the article "Targeting National Needs," written with Michael Black, which appeared in the Spring
1990 issue of World Policy Journal. Yudken is a former fellow of the National Science Foundation's
Program on Science, Technology and Society, and former program director for the Center for Economic
Conversion. He received his Ph.D in technology and society from Stanford University.
The 21st Century Project is expected to cost about $700,000 for two years. Major foundations are now
being solicited for support, and the Project will also be developing a major donors campaign.
Contributors can send financial support to CPSR at the Palo Alto office, P.O. Box 717, Palo Alto, CA
94301. For more information, contact Gary Chapman at 18 Centre Street, #102, Cambridge, MA
02139, or by electronic mail via the Internet at email@example.com.
WE'VE SEEN SMART BOMBS. LET'S SEE HUMAN INTELLIGENCE.
Some have called it a great triumph of American technology.
During the armed conflict against Iraq, the U.S. government launched the most devastating assault on a
country in the history of the world. An arsenal of laser guided, computer controlled weaponry laid
waste to Iraq.
A United Nations fact-finding mission described the effects of the bombing as "near apocalyptic." The
U.N. team said, "most means of modern life support have been destroyed or rendered tenuous," including
food supply, power generation, water purification, garbage disposal, sewage treatment and essentials
(New York Times, March 24, 1991).
We are not proud that the fruit of our laborÑcomputer technologyÑhas been used for such deadly ends.
We do not endorse the actions of the Saddam Hussein or the Iraqi government. We do, however, value the
lives of the Iraqi people.
We believe in the defense of our country and the protection of our national security. But, our country's
defense was not at issue in the Persian Gulf and our nation's security must be measured by more than
tanks and guns.
Congressional and military sources estimate that at least 100,000 Iraqis died in the war. Their deaths
did not improve the lives of 200 million Arabs living in the Middle East. Nor did their deaths benefit
the millions of Americans who continue to face a declining standard of living and a collapsing
WE CALL FOR NEW PRIORITIES.
We call for conflict to be resolved through negotiation rather than military force, for computer
technology to advance public well-being rather than wage armed conflict, and for our technical skills to
help solve the pressing problems of social justice and human survival.
¥ Instead of building smarter weapons, we should be educating our children.
¥ Instead of dropping bombs from the sky we should be curing diseases on the ground.
¥ Instead of destroying the infrastructure of countries overseas, we should be re-building communities
WE HAVE SEEN SMART BOMBS. NOW LET'S SEE HUMAN INTELLIGENCE.
CPSR Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
This ad, which appeared in the West coast edition of The New York Times on Tuesday, June 18, 1991,
was paid for by contributions from 73 individuals and small organizations. It was authored and
organized by members of CPSR/Berkeley, and endorsed by the CPSR Board of Directors.
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
CPSR P.O. Box 717 Palo Alto, CA 94302 (415) 322-3778 (415) 322-3798 [FAX]
CPSR Cambridge P.O. Box 962 Cambridge, MA 02142 (617) 864-7329
CPSR Washington 666 Pennsylvania Ave SE Suite 303 Washington, DC 20003 (202) 544-9240
(202) 547-5482 [FAX]
Cambridge Director Gary Chapman
Washington Director Marc Rotenberg
Director of Development Barbara Thomas
Advisory Board Herbert L. Abrams
Admiral Noel Gayler
Severo M. Ornstein
Robert E. Tarjan
Robert W. Taylor
Board of Directors President Eric Roberts
Chair JeH Johnson
Secretary Steve Adams
Treasurer Rodney Hoffman
Directors Paul Hyland
Dear CPSR member:
I am writing to bring you up-to-date on some of the news from CPSR on the occasion of the long-
delayed publication of our combined Winter-Spring 1991 issue of the CPSR Newsletter.
Winter-Spring does sound a bit funny. Throughout most of the country, the temperature has been
hovering in the 80s and 90s for a few months now, and neither the concept of winter or spring seems to
correspond well to the prevailing climatic conditions. There are, however, several good reasons for the
The last few years have been hard for CPSR, particularly financially. For several years in the early
and mid 1980s, CPSR was growing quickly. We were expanding into new areas, and we always seemed to
be able to attract foundation support to underwrite that expansion. It was an exciting time. But toward
the end of the decade, the situation began to change. The political transformation of Eastern Europe and
the end of the Cold War made it difficult to attract foundation support for our international security
work. The recession here at home also contributed to a decline in funding, both from foundations and
individuals. And with the erosion of that support, CPSR was no longer able to sustain its earlier level of
The same problems, of course, have weakened many of the public interest organizations working in the
international security field. In many respects, CPSR has done better than most of its counterparts.
Nonetheless, we have endured hard times. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30,1989, we lost
$45,000; in the next fiscal year we lost $53,000. And when I took office as president, CPSR had a fund
balance of $105. Not $105,000, which would be a respectable but by no means extravagant cushion for
an organization like ours. One hundred and five dollars.
This year, we have taken active steps to reverse this trend that threatened quickly to bankrupt the
organization. We have reorganized the staff so that more people are supported by foundation grants and
fewer are supported by organizational overhead. More work has been done by volunteers. We have cut
expenses. We have increased the effectiveness of our fundraising campaigns.
And we have been successful. In the quarter which ended on March 31, 1991 (the last quarter for
which complete accounting reports are available), CPSR's balance sheet showed an increase of
$27,000 in the fund balance. Preliminary figures for the most recent quarter show a continued
positive change in our financial picture, enough so that we expect to close the last fiscal year in the
black. This is a significant turnaround, and one that was absolutely necessary to ensure any kind of
future for CPSR.
This turnaround, however, has not been achieved without cost. Some of the staff restructuring and cost
reductions have been very painful. We have asked too much of a few volunteers. And we have had to cut
some of our membership services while we restored the organization to some level of fiscal health.
This is not to say that we have been inactive. In many ways, this has been one of CPSR's most productive
years. We were centrally involved in the campaign to force Lotus to withdraw Marketplace:Households.
We held a highly successful conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. There have been two
roundtable conferences in Washington to address civil liberties issues in the electronic domain. But we
have not been able to accomplish all of the work that we wanted to do.
Which brings us back to the Winter-Spring issue of the newsletter. It is very late; and we regret not
being able to share with you earlier some of the many exciting CPSR events of our tenth anniversary
year. But it was important for us to concentrate on restoring the fiscal health of the organization, so
that we could ensure CPSR's survival into its second decade.
Perhaps it is best to look at the newsletter date in a wholly different way. In financial terms, CPSR has
endured a winter, and a particularly severe one at that. But we have survived that winter, and we are in
a position once again to let CPSR experience the growth that comes in the spring. We are not free from
danger. There are likely to be late frosts and other bits of inclement weather, but there is also new life
and new hope for CPSR.
And, as always, much of that hope comes from you, our members, both from your patience over the last
years and from your generous response to our appeals for help. We will need your help to sustain our
recovery and to ensure that CPSR remains a vital force in public policy debates for the next decade.
Together, we can make it happen.
The CPSR Newsletter is published quarterly by:
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility P.O. Box 717 Palo Alto, CA 94302 (415) 322-
3778 (415) 322-3798 (FAX) Internet address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also located at:
666 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E. Suite 303 Washington, D.C. 20003 (202) 544-9240
This newsletter was produced on an Apple Macintosh 11 using the desktop publishing application
Pagemaker 3.02CE. The hardware and software were donated by Apple Computer and the Aldus
CPSR Thanks Jim Warren
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility thanks Jim Warren for organizing and chairing the
First Conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy, sponsored by CPSR in March. Jim, the founder of
the West Coast Computer Faire and InfoWorld magazine, among many other accomplishments, put
together an historic conference in near-record time through exemplary dedication, hard work, and
perseverance. Jim offered an extraordinary deal to CPSR: he proposed to put on the conference using his
own money, and any profits made by the conference would go to CPSR, while he would absorb any losses.
Financially, the conference came close to breaking even. But most important for CPSR was the
visibility that the conference provided for CPSR's work on privacy and freedom of expression in the
information age. The conference would not have happened without Jim's vision, energy, generosity, and
hard work. Many thanks from everyone in CPSR.
CPSR Members If you move. . .
Please be sure and notify the CPSR National Office at P.O. Box 717, Palo Alto, CA 94302, by telephone
at (415) 322-3778, or by e-mail via the Internet at email@example.com. The newsletter is
mailed bulk and will not be forwarded by the Postal Service.
Created before October 2004