final CPSR comment * list-move now underway * No Action Required by You *


Richard Moore

Date: Fri, 1 May 1998
Sender: •••@••.••• (Kathleen Geathers)
Subject: Re: Reader dialog re/this list and CPSR...

cyberjournal is too important to loose. It's also very informational and
consciconscious raising.



Dear Kathleen,

Not to worry, the list will be resurrected even before it dies... over on
cadre's server under the new name `•••@••.•••'.  We're
using more modern software, posting delays will be less, and we'll have
complete control over the list... in short we'll be better off.

I'm downloading the cj subscriber list today, and will send it to Chris to
bulk-load into the new list.  I'll then send out a posting over the new list
explaining how the new system works.  Subscribers won't need to do anything
to effect the transition.

We won't actually take down the old cj list until things are working smoothly
in the new home.

Below we have CPSR's response to our concerns, which I suggest we simply
accept, with gratitude for their willingness to enter into dialog, and for
their three-year hosting of cj.  One wonders what CPSR membership might feel
about all this, and about whether they have any role in determining the
agenda CPSR sets for itself, but that's another issue, and reforming CPSR
isn't a campaign that's high on my list of priorities for '98.


To: •••@••.••• (Richard K. Moore), •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••,
    •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: Reader dialog re/this list and CPSR...
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998
From: Harry Hochheiser <•••@••.•••>


Thanks for your passing along your reader's thoughtful notes on
CyberJournal. I am going to address them below, based on my own

Before I can get into that, a note on process: I will work with you
and our systems folks to work out the issues of handling subscription
and unsubscription requests. I want to make this work as smoothly as

Regarding the matters of principle that you mentioned, I'd like to
present _my_opininons_ in reply. You can interpret them as the
viewpoint of one CPSR board member, but they don't necessarily reflect
the opinions of the other folks in CPSR's membership and leadership.
If I fail to answer or acdress your questions, please let me know -
I'd be glad to take another crack.

First, regarding "guessing where this was going", I was guessing that
you might have expected this move at some point in time. I haven't
been involved in CPSR's leadership for the entire history of
cyberjournal, but I can assure you that any recent incidents have
been based on mis-understanding and confusion. Thes in the past been some
occasional discussion of the place of CyberJournal, but none that got
far enough to merit any action.

However, changes in our current situation have prompted this
discussion regarding moving the list.  Having acquired a new web
server, CPSR is working on moving all of its mailing lists to this
new machine, using new software.  As part of this move, we've been
trying to clean up old lists, eliminate lists that have fallen into
disuse, and do other housekeeping tasks.  The status and future of
CyberJournal falls naturally under this category: if there ever was a
time to move the list, now is it.

The other responses that you mentioned got into questions of CPSR's
attitude towards CyberJournal, what "social responsibility means",
how that relates to CPSR, and  what CPSR's focus is.  These are
obviously big questions, and they may not be susceptible to short answers.
I'll try to give it a shot, giving my viewpoints.

First of all, I do share concerns over increasing corporate hegemony.
the effects of globalization, and the role of information technology
in these processes.  I make a personal effort to stay abreast of these
concerns, and use them to inform my efforts with CPSR.  I've also
been a CyberJournal subscriber for quite a while.

However, there are folks in CPSR who are not currently oriented
towards these issues.  CPSR has its roots in 1980's opposition to SDI
efforts and concerns about computers in weapons technology. Since
then, we've had efforts relating to caller ID, computers in the
workplace, and more recently, the NII/Internet.  I think (although
some folks may differ) that it's fair to say that CPSR's base has
been activist, but not radical.  In general, and for better or worse,
this has meant being more conservative than CyberJournal.

Furthermore, CPSR bases its credibility in technically strong and
well-considered analyses of computer technology.  This is what our
group uniquely brings to the table, and it plays on our strengths.
The issues described in CyberJournal are often beyond CPSR's core
expertise: while my experience with software development provides me
with the background needed to write about the impact of Internet
filters (as I have done), I'm not qualified to discuss the economic
impact of globalization of IT.  Similarly, I would not ask an economist
to comment on potential technical risks of a piece of software :-)

To expand upon these points, I would think that for CPSR, being
"socially responsible" means addressing the impact of computer
technology from a solid basis of technical understanding and
consideration.  There are numerous areas that we're working on along
these lines, including the crypto battles, content regulation and the
CDA and it's descendants, and our latest focus on "Internet
governance." I'd encourage folks to look at our web site to see
what's going on as of late, but  there are certainly enough issues
that we can comment on: we're not wanting for issues to investigate.

Now, these things may be short term, and I can certainly sympathize
with Jeff Jewell's comments of the transformation of civilization
into the Information Age.  If this isn't part of our `knitting', it's
probably because of it's scope: to address this well, we'd have to
radically recast CPSR and  expand its scope.

Which brings me to my next (and final, I know I've been going on
here) point.  CPSR is not a huge organization, and our efforts are
limited by our resources. Bottom-up organizing and involvement are
very much a part of our efforts.  We currently have more projects in
mind, and areas where we should be involved, than we can currently

I invite you all to become members (if you're not already), and get
involved with CPSR's work.  I would welcome your participation.  If
we had an outpouring of member support for CyberJournal, I'd
certainly argue for keeping it on CPSR's site.

Of course, you might find that CPSR is not an appropriate venue for
your concerns. If so, I'd encourage you to consider organizing in a
way that would address the global issues involved in CyberJournals -
perhaps what is really needed is a "Radical Computer Professionals
for Social Responsibility". Should such a group come to be, I'd
strongly consider joining it, and I'd hope that it would work
together with CPSR where we had common ground.

Apologies for the length: I've tried to address your points seriously
and carefully (stressing again that these are only my opinions).

I hope I've addressed your questions.  I'm available to continue this
dialog as needed, so please keep in touch.



Harry Hochheiser
Director at Large
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility


Dear Harry,

Thanks; I think you've responded reasonably to our concerns, and that is



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