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Clay Shirky and Letter to the President Among Highlights of CFP Technology Policy ’08 Conference

Experts in the fields of Internet technology and intellectual property will deliver keynote talks and attendees will write a "Letter to the President" at the 18th annual Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference being held Tuesday, May 20, through Friday, May 23, at the Omni Hotel in New Haven. The conference theme is “Technology Policy ’08.”

Renowned Internet and media writer Clay Shirky will deliver a plenary keynote on Friday afternoon, May 23. Shirky writes, teaches, and consults on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. He is the author of the 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, which evaluates the impact of technological advances on the formation and experience of modern group dynamics. An adjunct professor in NYU’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program, he has been a columnist for Business 2.0, FEED, OpenP2P.com, and ACM Net_Worker. His writings have also appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

Konstantinos Karachalios of the European Patent Office (EPO) will speak on Thursday evening, May 22. Karachalios has been with the European Patent Office since 1987, working on cooperation programs for developing countries and managing relations with international and intergovernmental organizations. He played a key role in the EPO’s “Scenarios for the Future” report on the future of intellectual property, released in April 2007.

An innovative, collaborative exercise designed to engage the next President of the United States in the critically important topic of technology policy is scheduled for Wednesday evening, May 21. Conference attendees will write a brief letter to the next President outlining their priorities for technology policy, based on the Yale Information Society Project’s “9.5 Theses.” The letter will be posted on the conference wiki for further editing and discussion, and at the end of the conference, a signed draft will be mailed to the presidential campaigns, inviting their response.

Earlier Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, representatives from the major presidential campaigns will take part in a panel discussion on the same topic. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Senior Domestic Policy Advisor to the McCain campaign, and Daniel Weitzner, a Technology Media and Telecommunications Policy Advisor to the Obama campaign and research scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, will discuss “Presidential Technology Policy: Priorities for the Next Executive.”

In addition, the conference will offer workshops and panels examining a wide range of topics related to the future of computing, privacy, and freedom in the online world. Interactive tutorials on Tuesday, May 20, will feature the following presenters and topics:

• Scott Spetka, “Maintaining Privacy While Accessing On-line Information”
• Mike Godwin, “Constitutional Law in Cyberspace”
• Robert Ellis Smith, “A Short History of Privacy”
• Lillie Coney, “e-Deceptive Campaign Practices: Elections 2.0”

CFP: Technology Policy ’08 is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School, AOL, and Google, in conjunction with the Yale Law School Information Society Project and the Yale Law and Media Project. Organizers hope the conference will focus attention on U.S. technology policy and help shape public debate on issues being made into laws and regulations and on technological infrastructures being developed.

For more information on fees, accommodations, and program information, and to register online, visit the conference website.