Chicago conference, CPSR sponsor [cr-95/9/9]


                  The Good, the Bad, and the Internet

       A Conference on Critical Issues in Information Technology

                          October 7 & 8, 1995

        Chicago Circle Center, University of Illinois - Chicago
                           750 South Halsted
                           Chicago, Illinois


New technologies have been appearing at a dizzying pace.  The use of
these technologies affect all of us, and the questions about what
technologies get developed and how they are deployed are too important
to leave to the government or to the private sector.  Periodically we
need to step back and take stock of where we are.  Are the "right"
technologies being developed?  Are they achieving what we want?  What
are we gaining, and what are we losing?  And on the eve of a major
election year, what issues should be raised in upcoming national and
local debates?

These are the questions that will be explored at "The Good, the Bad, and
the Internet" in Chicago this fall.  The goals of the conference are

   o  To educate the broad public, especially in the Midwest, about
      what is at stake today in the major debates around computers
      and information technology.

   o  To provide a forum where the people concerned about the impact
      of computer and information technologies can assess the
      current state of affairs and discuss strategies for
      democratizing technology, especially in light of the upcoming
      1996 elections.

   o  To share experiences and skills in making computers and access
      to digital information available to the broad public, and
      especially to communities that have historically been blocked
      from these new technologies.

To accomplish these goals, the first day of the conference will include
four panel discussions that highlight what is at stake, what is the
current state of affairs, and different ways that people at the
community level are taking the initiative to make the technology live up
to its potential.  The titles of the panels are

   o  Democratizing the Internet
   o  Privacy and civil liberties: What's happened? What's next?
   o  Technology and jobs: What's happened? What's next?
   o  The good news is: Local initiatives in democratizing

Day two of the conference begins with a plenary discussion on election
year 1996 and will feature representatives from various technology
fields identifying the key technology issues for the 1996 election year.
Various workshops, including hands-on demonstrations and how-to
discussions will help conference attendees acquire the skills to put the
ideas from the panel discussions into practice.  The conference will
conclude with the CPSR Annual Meeting, at which CPSR members can discuss
how Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility can and should move
forward on the issues raised at the conference.

The conference combines discussion of national issues with a look
especially at efforts in the Midwest to broaden access to new
technologies.  Anyone with an interest in access to the future --
 whether it be access to jobs, access to information, access to
audience, or access to community -- is encouraged to attend.


                           CONFERENCE PROGRAM


8:30a.m.               Registration, coffee

9:00a.m.               Welcome

9:15a.m. - 10:45a.m.   Panel I -- Democratizing the Internet

The Internet has come a long way from its beginnings as a network for
scientists working on military projects.  Today, with the number of
worldwide users estimated at up to 30 million, the Internet has been
construed, alternatively, as a means for providing universal access to
the world's knowledge, as a powerful new marketing and retailing tool,
as pluralistic information commons, and a pipeline for pornography into
the playroom.  While the net is still a vibrant, multifaceted and
continually evolving new medium, its future shape is far from certain.
The rapid growth of commercial activity on the Internet, and recent
legislative attempts to control its content will change its shape.  The
soul of a democratic net is still up for grabs.  This panel will survey
the state of net, and help us to map out its evolution as we move
towards the 21st century.

10:45a.m. - 11:00a.m.  Break

11:00a.m. - 12:30p.m.  Panel II -- Privacy and civil liberties: What's
                       happened? What's next?

New technologies have made possible new and frighteningly efficient
means of data collection, surveillance, and control.  More and more
interactions in daily life leave a data trail.  That data is accumulated
in various databases and the information in those databases is passed
around.  Given this enormous collection of data by both government and
corporate marketers, is "private life" becoming an anachronism?  In the
new technological arena, the concept of "civil liberties" is also being
redefined.  This panel will bring conference attendees up to date on the
state of privacy and civil liberties and offer a look at what options
lie ahead.

12:30p.m. - 1:30p.m.   Lunch

2:00p.m.- 3:30p.m.     Panel III -- Technology and jobs: What's
                       happened? What's next?

Along with technology revolution came an economic revolution.  The
application of the new technologies of computers, digital
communications, biotechnology, and smart materials in an economic
climate of competition and cost-cutting has led to "downsizing" and
"restructuring" -- euphemisms for eliminating jobs in traditional
industries.  The full-time worker is being replaced by the part-timer,
the temp, and the contractor, and overall wages are falling.  At the
same time, new industries are emerging.  Will they absorb the displaced
workers, or are other steps needed.  The relationship of computer
technologies to jobs is a complex issue that reaches into the heart of
our assumptions about society.  What are the responsibilities of the
people who design these new technologies?  This panel will continue this
critical discussion, both from the point of view of case studies in
particular industries, and an overview of the overall process.

3:30p.m. - 3:45p.m.    Break

3:45p.m. - 5:15p.m.    Panel IV -- The good news is: Local initiatives
                       in democratizing technology

Far from the corporate board rooms and halls of Congress, hundreds of
local projects around the country are pushing the envelope of access to
information and computer technology.  These innovative projects are
forging new uses for the technology, uses that generally have little or
no commercial potential, but meet the special needs of different
communities.  Out of these efforts, the real potential of the new
technologies is being realized.  This panel looks at local efforts
underway in the Midwest that demonstrate creative, human-scale use of
information technology.

5:15p.m.               Announcements and recess

8:00p.m.               The Guild Complex presents CyberCabaret


8:30a.m.               Coffee

9:00a.m. - 10:30a.m.   Panel V -- Election year 1996: Towards a
                       technology platform

The 1996 election promises to be an especially important election year.
This panel assembles representatives of various areas of technology to
discuss the current state of affairs on their respective fronts, vis-a-
vis technology policy, and add a plank or two to an ideal technology
platform for 1996 candidates.

10:30a.m. - 10:45a.m.  Break

10:45a.m. - 11:30a.m.  Workshop session I

11:45a.m. - 12:30p.m.  Workshop session II

Two workshop periods will allow conference participants to look at how
the ideas developed in the preceding plenary sessions can be put into
action.  These are intended to be hands-on, practical, skills-oriented
sessions.  Proposed workshop topics include

   o  Hands-on WWW
   o  Hands-on PGP
   o  Grassroots organizing around technology issues
   o  Community networks
   o  Follow-up on the local projects
   o  Legal issues
   o  How to set up a technology & jobs conference
   o  Raising money for computer projects
   o  Participating in the electoral process

12:30p.m. - 1:30p.m.   Lunch

2:00p.m. - 3:30p.m.    CPSR Annual Meeting

This conference is being held in conjunction with the CPSR Annual
Meeting.  This session will build on the information presented in the
plenaries and workshops and help to guide the work of CPSR over the
coming year.

3:30p.m.               Closing remarks

4:00p.m.               Adjournment

Conference sponsors: Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility,
Chicago Coalition for Information Access, Center for Research in
Information Management at the University of Illinois - Chicago, ACM
Chicago Chapter, ACM - University of Illinois Student Chapter, Library
and Information Technology Association (LITA),(others to be announced).


                         THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCE

The discussion starts early.  Participate in the Virtual Conference in
the weeks leading up to October 7 and 8 via the World Wide Web.  Tune
your browser to:

to participate in online discussions of the issues being raised at the
conference, and also to find the latest information about the
conference.  And if you can't make it in person to Chicago, participate
virtually -- discussion on the issues surrounding the conference will be
accessible from the page before, during and after the conference.


                           REGISTRATION FORM

Please pre-register as soon as possible to ensure a space at this
exciting meeting.  Registrations at the door will be accepted as space
allows.  Please send in a separate registration form for each individual
attending the meeting.  And please note that the Saturday night banquet
is not included in the price of the meeting.

Name ____________________________________________________________

Address _________________________________________________________

City ______________________________  State ________  Zip ________

Telephone ____________________  E-mail __________________________

CPSR or CCIA member                               $55   _____
Postmarked after September 20th                   $65   _____

Nonmember                                         $75   _____
Postmarked after September 20th                   $85   _____

New CPSR membership ($50 value) + registration    $95   _____
Postmarked after September 20th                  $105   _____

Low income/student                                $25   _____
Postmarked after September 20th                   $35   _____

Additional donation to further CPSR's work              _____

Total enclosed                                          _____

If paying by VISA or MasterCard please include the following

_____ Visa   _____ MasterCard

Card number: ________________________________  Expires __________

Scholarships are available.  For more information contact CPSR at
(415) 322-3778 or •••@••.•••.  Send the completed registration
form with your check to: CPSR, PO Box 717, Palo Alto, CA 94302.


                        OTHER CONFERENCE DETAILS

Directions to the conference can be found on the conference web page
(its URL is at the top of this document).  The Chicago Circle Center is
easily reached by public transportation, but parking is also available
on Halsted, across the street from the center.

HOTELS: The Quality Inn (800-221-2222) at Halsted and Madison is about 5
blocks from the conference.  The Inn at University Village
(800-662-5233), at 625 South Ashland at Harrison, is on the campus of
UIC, and runs a shuttle service between the hotel and other campus
facilities (it's about a mile away from the conference).  Downtown
Chicago is a short cab ride away, and is served by most major hotel

AIRLINE: United Air Lines is the official airline of the conference.
When making your plane reservation, mention code 561ZP to get the
conference discount.

 Posted by --  Andrew Oram  --  •••@••.••• --  Cambridge, Mass., USA
                 Moderator:  CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)

    World Wide Web:

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