cr> Doug Schuler on c-r & CPSR WG’s


Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 96
From: Douglas Schuler <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Crisis in Cyberland


I received your note from CPSR's executive director.  I appreciate your
concern and I too share the urgency of the cyber-rights crisis.  It seems
that in only a few short weeks, months, or years, this medium will be
lost to controlling agents of all types and many of the opportunities that
we see may be lost.  I hope that doesn't happen and I hope that this
group can be a strong positive force.

I'd like to say a few words about CPSR's working groups.  The first is that
we first conceived of them as a way to grant maximum autonomy to people
that were working on CPSR issues.  The organization doesn't try to presume
to tell people how to run them.  Another reason is that we don't know
*how* to best utilize this medium for action.  Everybody is still learning
but we need to learn fast!

Although it is up to this group to decide what it wants to do - action
or discussion (or both), I have some suggestions that may help.  If
action is a large component of what you do (and I *hope* it is), then
proposing activities is critical: We need ideas and projects!  Then
we need fairly quick resolution on whether it's a good idea, who will
do it, and what the time frame is.  Many times these projects will only
involve a subset of the group.  If they do then I think the subset needs to
set up their own lists to move their projects along.  I think we also need to
keep abreast of the projects of other organizations and think best how to
support them.

Hope this note was helpful in some way.  I'm taking the liberty of
appending the first version of the Digital Kazoo, the CPSR Working
Group Newsletter.

Thanks!!!   Good luck to us all!

-- Doug

### The Digital Kazoo, Version 0.0 ###
### An Irregular Publication ###
### Can be forwarded to interested people ###

Welcome to the first edition of The Digital Kazoo!  Those of you that
know me won't be surprised to learn that The Digital Kazoo is an
irregular publication.

The Digital Kazoo is the world's first electronic publication devoted
exclusively to the launching and facilitation of CPSR Working Groups.
Imagine that!

##### Why Working Groups??  #####

One of the great strengths of Computer Professionals for Social
Responsibility is the creativity and wide diversity of efforts among
its members to develop exciting projects.  These projects have included
the Civil Liberties project, the Participatory Design Conferences, the
Computers and Elections project, the DIAC conferences, the Seattle
Community Network, the Computers for Social Change Conference in New
York City and the Computers and the Environment Conference in Portland,
the Workplace project, the CPU newsletter, and many, many, more.

The "computer revolution " may be raising more concerns that it's
addressing.  These include issues related to privacy, freedom of speech
and expression, employment, the arts and culture, the media, and the
future of democracy.  Working groups may prove to be an important
vehicle to help come to grips with these issues.

CPSR has developed the concept of a working group to further encourage
grassroots activism.  Working groups consist of at least five CPSR
members (and invited non-CPSR members) that are working together to on
a common project or issue.  Ultimately we can imagine scores of working
groups, each devoted to some aspect of CPSR's mission.  For more
complete information including some suggested topics and an FAQ, please
consult the Web site,

#####  Current Groups #####

Two groups have been launched so far and several more are being
discussed.  The Cyber-Rights group, started in 1995 by Richard Moore
"seeks to raise awareness of the forces involved in the commercial
development of Cyberspace, and to promote global support for the
Declaration of Rights in Cyberspace."  Information on the Cyber-Rights
group can be obtained through their Web site or by mailing to
•••@••.•••.  Their URL is
cyber-rights/cyber-rights.html.  A second group, Civil Liberties, was
just launched in January, 1996.  The Civil Liberties WG is an outgrowth
of the work begun by several CPSR/Palo Alto members.  The WG intends to
champion the causes of privacy and civil liberties, as these relate to
the use of computers; to study ongoing governmental developments in
legislation and the effect of the use of computers and computerized
records and to advise legislators, governmental officials, business
leaders, and the press.  Dave Redell (•••@••.•••) is the chair
of the group and Mary Connors is the board liaison.

#####  Suggested Working Group Topics  #####

The sky is the limit with topics.  Some likely possible topics include
participatory design, municipal or regional information infrastructure,
community networks, computers and jobs, computers and equity, etc.

Some recent suggestions include a technology platform group to help
define part of the dialogue for the upcoming political season, a
group to help draft an ethic code for sysops, and one on ethnographic
studies of computer users.

A  member in Thailand who is thinking about setting up distance
education project for foreign prisoners in Thai jails would like to
work with people around the world who are doing or contemplating
similar projects.  Other members have expressed interest in replicating
the "Computers and Social Change" work in New York City.  There is also
a very strong interest in educational topics and one or more WG on
educational topics will undoubtedly be starting soon.

#####  A Call for Participation #####

To help facilitate the formation of working groups, I've been using the
form below.  If you are interested on a working group, please fill out
this form and return it to me.  I am also interested in other ways in
which we can help establish working groups.

           Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
                     Working Group Interest Form

Name ____________________________________________________________________

E-mail: _________________________________________________________________

Telephone number: _______________________________________________________

Address: ________________________________________________________________

Is it OK to include your name and e-mail on the CPSR web site or in
notes to electronic distribution lists? _______

Is it OK to include your name and e-mail to other interested people
that have expressed an interest in the same topics? _______

OR, should we not distribute your name and e-mail to anybody without
your permission? _______

Please check your interests and your possible roles below.

Working Group              Your Possible Role       When could you start?
    Subject             coordinate?    join?            now!    later

Education                 ______       ______          ______    ______
National security         ______       ______          ______    ______
Civic liberties           _______      ______          ______    ______
Democratic technology     ______       ______          ______    ______
Community networks        ______       ______          ______    ______

  (list others)

____________________      ______       ______          ______    ______
____________________      ______       ______          ______    ______
____________________      ______       ______          ______    ______
____________________      ______       ______          ______    ______
____________________      ______       ______          ______    ______

Please include any other information that you think would be useful.
For example, what sorts of activities do you expect to get involved
in?  Discussion or action-oriented?  The more specific, the better.




I am not currently a CPSR member.  Please send me information on
how to join: ________


Doug Schuler
CPSR Working Group Facilitator

#####  Important Note #####

Please note: Participation in CPSR Working Groups is limited to CPSR
members.  If you are not currently a member of CPSR and would like to
join,  contact Susan Evoy in the national office at:  •••@••.•••

Membership information is also available on our Web page:


 Posted by Richard K. Moore  -  •••@••.•••  -  Wexford, Ireland
   CyberJournal:  Cyberlib temporarily unavailable
   Cyber-Rights:  http,
 Materials may be reposted in their _entirety_ for non-commercial use.