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Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Michigan Chapter
March 2000 Report

by John M. Dwyer, chair, CPSRMICH

The Michigan Chapter of Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility has had a busy year. On May 5, 1999, the chapter had an informal meeting at the house of Kurt and Anita Lauckner in Ann Arbor to honor Netiva Caftori, our mentor and friend. Several guests were in attendance. Photographs from this event can be seen by following the link from our home page at http://www.hvcn.org/info/cpsr.

During the fall and winter 1999-2000, there was an active discussion regarding whether we should be active in the decision of several area communities regarding the awarding of broad bandwidth franchises. Some of this discussion was via e-mail, but other comments are on the electronic conference.

On February 22, 2000, the town of Holland, Michigan had a local election to determine whether funding should be denied the Herrick District Library unless they installed software filters to protect minors and others from pornography. CPSRMICH played a passive role in this election, but kept abreast of the efforts of the Families for Internet Access through our liason, Scott Vowels. Duane DeVries, with roots in Holland, also made a trip to the library. The ballot proposal was defeated.

Concurrently with the ballot measure in Holland, State Senator Mike Rogers introduced a bill in the Michigan Senate to require software filtering in libraries. CPSRMICH wrote a letter to Sen. Rogers expressing our concern about unreasonable expectations from software filtering. The Michigan Library Association had several conversations with Sen. Rogers. As a result, Sen. Rogers modified his bill to allow various methods to protect minors from pornography and to exempt libraries from civil suits if they made a good faith effort to comply with the law. Sen. Rogers replied to CPSR's letter with a letter of his own recognizing the concerns of the Chapter and explaining the changes in the bill.

As of this writing, plans are underway to have another social gathering. Coralee Whitcomb, President of CPSR, has been invited and has indicated she would like to come. Netiva Caftori has also been invited and expects to be here. A date for the event is not yet determined, but will likely be in May.

John M. Dwyer, Chair, CPSRMICH

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last updated: 10 April 2000