Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Announcing: Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2008!

18th Annual CFP conference
May 20-23, 2008
Omni Hotel
New Haven, CT

What should the technology policy priorities of the next administration be?

As the choice of presidential candidates becomes clearer and election year moves towards a comparison of the candidates' platforms on the issues, technology policy is increasingly relevant to the forefront of public debate. In the areas of privacy, intellectual property, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and freedom of speech, topics that were once confined to experts now appear in the mainstream of political issues. We now know that our decisions about technology policy are being made at a time as the architectures of our information and communication technologies are still being built.

This year, the 18th annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference is focusing on those issues at the forefront of technology policy this election year. With plenary panels on the "National Security State and the Next Administration" and "The 21st Century Panopticon?" the discussions taking place look towards our present and future priorities.

CFP: Technology Policy '08 is an opportunity to participate in shaping those issues being made into laws and regulations and those technological infrastructures being developed. Policies ranging from spyware and national security, to ISP filtering and patent reform, e-voting to electronic medical records, and more will be addressed by expert panels of technologists, policymakers, business leaders, and activists. The panel topics are listed below and full panel descriptions are available on the conference website.

The CFP: Technology Policy `08 conversation has already begun in the virtual spaces connected to the conference: the CFP community wiki, a Facebook group, a LinkedIn group, and this blog. Even if you are unable to attend the conference this year, there are several opportunities to participate remotely. The guiding principles that ought to guide our policies are being debated on the conference blog -- see the 9.5 theses thread for an early example. The Yale Journal of Law and Technology is hosting a call for essays on the priorities of the next administration,. And the Workshop on Activism and Education using Social Networks has already started accumulating resources on the wiki, and will include remote participation during the conference.

Of course, if you can make it, it's even better being there in person.
We look forward to seeing you in New Haven on May 20-23.

Eddan Katz
CFP: Technology Policy '08 Program Chair

Hotel Conference Discount Deadline: May 1, 2008
Early Bird Registration: Fri., May 2, 2008
YJoLT Tech Policy Essay Contest: Mon., May 5, 2008

Conference program

Plenary sessions

  • Presidential Technology Policy: Priorities for the Next Executive
  • The 21st Century Panopticon?
  • The National Security State and the Next Adminstration

  • A Short History of Privacy
  • Constitutional Law in Cyberspace
  • e-Deceptive Campaign Practices: Elections 2.0
  • Maintaining Privacy While Accessing On-line Information

  • Activism and Education Using Social Networks

Panel sessions
  • Breaking the Silence: Iranians Find a Voice on the Internet
  • Charismatic Content: Wikis, Social Networks, and the Future of User-Generated Content
  • Filtering Out Copyright Infringement: Possibilities, Practicalities, and Legalities
  • Filtering and Censorship in Europe
  • Hate Speech and Oppression in Cyberspace
  • Interoperability at the Crossroads?: The "Liberal Order" versus Fragmentation
  • Law, Regulation, and Software Licensing for the Electronic Medical Record
  • Measuring Global Threats to Internet Freedom
  • Network Neutrality: Beyond the Slogans
  • New Challenges for Spyware Policy
  • Patents: The Bleeding Edge of Technology Policy
  • Privacy, Reputation, and the Management of Online Communities
  • Rights & Responsibilities for Software Programs?
  • States as Incubators of Change
  • "The Transparent Society:" Ten Years Later
  • Towards Trustworthy e-Voting: An Open Source Approach?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Workshop: Activism and Education Using Social Networks

As well as providing ways to stay in touch with friends and make new connections, social networking technologies are increasingly important for activism and education. This interactive workshop will look at social networks and other innovative avenues such as blogs, wikis, mashups, and virtual worlds - as well as the role of more traditional online communication mechanisms like email and discussion forums. It will cover these technologies and their larger implications; techniques for engaging others while dealing with challenges such as trolling, flaming, and privacy invasion; and a nuts-and-bolts introduction to utilizing these tools.

The Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Workshop on Activism and Education Using Social Networks will run in parallel with the concurrent sessions on Thursday, May 22. To accommodate those will be attending -- or presenting at! -- other sessions for different parts of the day, we're organizing the bulk of the workshop as a series of independent modules, covering different skills, and best practices for educators and activists. We'll also cover success stories, brainstorm challenges faced by attendees, and construct groups for CFP attendees to stay in touch as well as profiles and groups for several organizations attending.

Confirmed modules include Facebook and Promoting books (and potential books) on social networks. Other potential topics include mashups, screencasting, getting your site found on Google, and effective use of social network sites like Ning, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, and SecondLife. We're using the Modules page on the wiki to help organize this; please check it out for the current status -- and if you've got suggestions, please add them, either on the wiki or as comments on this thread!

One of our goals for the workshop is to make it valuable both for in-person participants and the 99.99999% of the world that will not be at CFP on that day. If technology allows it, we will set up the room so that people can participate remotely. Even more importantly, we'll be collecting information on the wiki, and encouraging discussions on various blogs and social network sites.

In the spirit of which, a couple of questions to kick things off:

  • what are some particularly good examples of educators and activists using social networks?
  • what skills or techniques do you think are important -- and are there any good online references?
Other topics welcome, of course. And please forward this on to others you think might be interested!

Reminder: deadlines this week

Hotel Discount Rate extended to today, Apr. 28, 2008
Early Bird Registration: Friday, May 2, 2008
YJoLT Tech Policy Essay Contest: Monday, May 5, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yale Information Society Project's 9.5 Theses for Technology Policy in the Next Administration

The theme of the 18th Annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference is "Technology Policy '08." To help shape public debate in this election year, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School recommends the following policy principles -
The 9.5 Theses for Technology Policy in the Next Administration

1. Privacy. Protect human dignity, autonomy, and privacy by providing individuals with control over the collection, use, and distribution of their personal information and medical information.

2. Access. Promote high-speed Internet access and increased connectivity for all, through both government and private initiatives, to reduce the digital divide.

3. Network Neutrality. Legislate against unreasonable discrimination by network providers against particular applications or content to maintain the Internet’s role in fostering innovation, economic growth, and democratic communication.

4. Transparency. Preserve accountability and oversight of government functions by strengthening freedom of information and improving electronic access to government deliberations and materials.

5. Innovation. Restore balance to intellectual property rules and explore alternative incentives to better promote innovation, freedom, access to knowledge, and human development.

6. Democracy. Empower individuals to fully participate in government and politics by making electronic voting consistent, reliable, and secure with voter-verifiable paper trails.

7. Education. Expand effective exceptions and limitations to intellectual property for education to ensure that teachers and students have access to innovative digital teaching techniques and educational resources.

8. Culture. Ensure that law and technology promote a free, vibrant and democratic culture, fair exchanges between different cultures, and individual rights to create and participate in culture.

9. Diversity. Limit media concentration and expand media ownership to ensure a diverse marketplace of ideas.

9.5 Openness. Support innovation and fair competition by stimulating openness in software, technological standards, Internet governance, and content licensing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bloggers wanted!

We're looking for bloggers:
  • before the conference, to discuss the issues and highlight relevant news stories; and
  • 'at the conference', to make information available to the people who aren't there

If there's a session that interests you, please add your name either in a comment here or on the wiki page along whether you'll be doing pre-conference or at-conference blogging (or both, of course) -- and feel free to include links to your blog!

No worries if there's already somebody else covering a topic; it's always good to have multiple perspectives.

So, jump in!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


We're delighted to announce four tutorials scheduled for Tuesday, May 20:
Remember that you need to sign up for tutorials when you register ... and speaking of registration, remember that the early bird option goes on until May 2, one short week from now!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Program up on the CFP site

The tentative program has been posted on the CFP site, featuring four tutorials on Tuesday May 20; four plenary sessions and a total of 16 concurrent sessions on Wednesday May 21-Friday May 23; and an all-day social network workshop in parallel with the sessions on Thursday May 22.

Information is still very sketchy; details about the sessions will gradually be filled in as topics and speakers finalize. Please watch the CFP program page, the blog, or the Facebook group for more information.