CFP 2005 Wants You

The Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference 2005, has just issued its Call for Proposals.

A key part of my becoming an Internet lawyer was attending an early CFP..maybe CFP 3?…in '92? '93?…could it really be that long ago?…in order to figure out the lay of the land. I had a computer background, and a legal background, but they were fully compartmentalized parts of my history, and I had only recently thought about putting them together. (I'm certain that the idea of 'computer law' was never breathed in my hearing during three years at Yale Law School.) I wanted to know what the state of the art was. I happened upon an announcement for CFP, it sounded interesting, so with some trepidation I went.

There were a few lawyers there, but not many. Most of them seemed (forgive me, whoever you were) to be talking nonsense, or to be very uninformed about how the technologies actually worked. There was one very noticeable exception, however: Stewart Baker, then General Counsel of the NSA. He was technically clued up, he knew his law. And I disagreed with him. So I came away with the feeling that I could play in that league.

On the other hand, there were loads of technologists, and cypherpunks, and some cops, and they were all pretty interesting. I learned a great deal from them. And for several years I kept going back; one year I even found myself on the program committee.

If you want an introduction to hot issues in the intersection of, well, Computers, Freedom and Privacy, then CFP can't be beat. It's pretty good for intermediates too; experts will enjoy the hallway conversations which tend to be great fun.

A variety of circumstances, some beyond my control, have kept me away from CFP for the last few years. And once again, the combination of distance (it's hard to find a place big enough to hold a CFP that is farther from Miami and still in the lower 48) and the number of classes I'd have to cancel to go may cause me to miss it again this year. Which makes me nostalgic.

The full call:


The 15th annual conference on Computers, Freedom & Privacy takes place from Tuesday, April 12th, to Friday, April 15th, 2005, in Seattle, Washington.

The Program Committee is now accepting proposals for conference sessions and speakers for CFP2005. The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2004

CFP serves as an internationally recognized forum for the members of the technical, government, hacker, legal, business, education, media, cyber-rights, and non-profit communities to address cutting edge technical, business, legal and cultural issues. Programs, topics, and speakers from prior years’ CFP conferences can be found at

The CFP2005 program committee welcomes proposals on all aspects of technology, freedom and privacy.
We are particularly interested in receiving proposals that ask the hard questions about privacy and freedom in emerging surveillance societies, and challenging those assumptions. For example, how much surveillance is too much? When does surveillance cease making us more secure and begin to change the fabric of society?

The theme of the 15th CFP is PANOPTICON
Over time, and particularly recently, surveillance of ordinary citizens has increased to dramatic levels. Not only are governments watching more aspects of their citizens’ lives, but those in the private sector are increasing surveillance of people as well. Often lost in the race to “increase intelligence” are discussions about different approaches to address problems like the threat of terrorism that are equally or more effective, but do not involve extensive and constant surveillance.

In addition to topics directly related to the PANOPTICON theme, other areas of interest include:
1. domestic and international travel issues
2. communications surveillance
3. children and young adults growing up in a surveillance society
4. social networking
5. the flourishing of free speech (i.e. blogging) in spite of increased watchfulness
6. RFIDs and other emerging technologies
7. Intellectual property issues

We are seeking proposals for tutorials, plenary sessions, and birds-of-a-feather sessions.
We are also seeking suggestions for speakers and other relevant topics not listed above. Sessions should present a wide range of thinking on a topic by including speakers from different viewpoints. We particularly welcome proposals for non-traditional presentations – those that utilize drama, “mock trials,” interactivity, the performing arts, and audience participation.

Submit CFP2005 Proposal

Before submitting a proposal, please review the submission guidelines.

Select the type of proposal you would like to submit:

. tutorial
. plenary session
. birds-of-a-feather session
. speaker suggestion
. topic or activity suggestion

Submit your proposals on our web form All submissions must be received by December 31, 2004. The CFP2005 Program Committee will notify submitters of the status of their proposals by January 20, 2005.

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3 Responses to CFP 2005 Wants You

  1. Michael says:

    Please fix the embedded link: http://http// (remove the second http//). When I click on it, it takes me to Microsoft!!!

  2. Michael says:

    Fixed. Thank you. Note that where broken links take you is determined either by your ISP or your browser. Maybe it’s time to change one of them?

  3. Michael: it was 1995. San Francisco. My second CFP. I knew about it from the beginning, and was even given a copy of the 1993 proceedings, but my first was 1994 (Chicago). You were at SF the next year, and that was your first.

    What’s amusing is your recllection that there weren’t very many lawyers. As early as 1994, when the chairman, George Trubow, was a lawyer, there were complaints from the recidivists that there were “too many lawyers”. They’re saying that even louder today.


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