Nine outposts on the electronic frontier

A variety of organizations exist whose purpose is to improve online communications and protect rights in the "information age." This list is culled from the FAQ "Outposts on the Electronic Frontier" and is used with permission from Stanton McCandlish ( The complete document is available via ftp at and is posted periodically to the newsgroups and Feel free to contact any of the folks listed below with your ideas and to learn more about how you can get involved.
  1. Electronic Frontier Foundation. A non-profit public interest membership organization, working to protect individual rights in the emerging information age. EFF supports legal and legislative action to protect the civil liberties of online users; hosts and participates in related conferences and projects, including Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet, and Computers and Academic Freedom; and works to educate the online community about its legal rights and responsibilities. EFF members receive online bulletins about the critical issues and debates affecting computer-mediated communications and participate in online political activism. Donations are welcome and are tax deductible. For information, send e-mail to or gopher to
  2. Americans Communicating Electronically (ACE). ACE membership is diverse and represents private and government organizations and individuals who wish to promote interactive communications among federal, state, and local governments, private businesses, public libraries, and schools, universities, community-based arts and other organizations. The members of ACE are particularly concerned that access and participation be made possible and convenient for Americans who do not own modem equipped computers. To support the development of interactive communications between governments and communities, ACE is recommending that all government agencies establish information access programs to help create and foster an "interactive citizen-government communications system." Many government agencies, from the White House to the NSF and the Dept. of Labor, are already participating in the ACE project. ACE is a government-sponsored project. For information, send e-mail to
  3. Center for Civic Networking. The Center for Civic Networking is a non-profit organization, based in Boston and Washington, D.C., that promotes broad public benefits of the emerging national information infrastructure. The Center brings together expertise in large-scale computer and network systems, community-based applications of computing, non-profit management, community development, architecture, public policy, and democratic participation. The Center's programs focus on framing a national vision for civic networking, developing a policy framework that supports civic networking, developing and supporting model civic networking projects, and assisting in the technology transfer needed to achieve the broad-based benefits of civic networking. For information, e-mail
  4. Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility. CPSR is a national membership organization, based in Palo Alto, California. CPSR conducts many activities to protect privacy and civil liberties. Membership is open to the public and support is welcome. CPSR maintains local chapters in several US cities. For more information, send e-mail
  5. Consortium for School Networking. Through computer networking, the Consortium will help educators and students access information and communications resources that will increase their productivity, professional competence, and opportunities for learning and collaborative work. The Consortium advocates the following goals: the timely deployment of the national research and education network; the development and distribution of network-based information resources for schools; the development of the human resources needed to make full and efficient use of networks through staff development programs, educational materials and software; form a national leadership group for educational telecommunications, to have a voice in shaping policy in this area; provide access to information about the National Research and Education Network (NREN) and other educational telecommunications efforts; reach a large community of individuals involved in every aspect of network technology and its application to K-12 education; help advance the development of information resources and tools for networking; foster collaborative opportunities to develop new resources and services for educators. CoSN is a non-profit organization. For information, gopher to
  6. Corporation for Research and Educational Networking. CREN advances the goals of institutions of higher education by facilitating, catalyzing and leveraging contributions from the worldwide higher education community directed toward building a global computing and communications infrastructure that: supports access to shared information services and resources; supports scholarly collaboration and educational outreach; and contributes to enhanced individual and institutional productivity. CREN provides e-mail access to member institutions, and is also working on NII issues, hoping to help ensure that such a future network provides for the needs of the educational and research communities. Despite the name, this is a non-profit organization. For information, e-mail or gopher to
  7. National Online Media Association. NOMA is a trade association for bulletin board systems, Internet service providers, and other online services and public networking operations. NOMA, a relativly new organization, will act for the BBS and online service industry on matters of national importance by creating an industry presence in Washington, D.C. and other means; assist its members at the state and local levels; educate the public on the unique social, business and legal roles of BBS's and other online services; establish appropriate industry standards and guidelines; promote business development in the industry; and maintain and provide access to resources and industry information for use by the public and the industry. A forum on Delphi has been provided, as well as the internet mailing list, which may be freely gated to BBS networks. For more information, send e-mail to
  8. National Public Telecomputing Network. The National Public Telecomputing Network exists to make free public access to computerized communications and information services a reality; to help people in cities throughout the U.S. and the world to establish free, open access, community computer systems ("Free-Nets"); to link those systems together into a common network similar to National Public Radio or PBS on TV; to help supplement what the local systems are able to produce with high quality network-wide services and features. NPTN is a nonprofit corporation. For information, send a polite request to e-mail to
  9. OMB Watch. OMB Watch is a nonprofit research, educational & advocacy organization that monitors Executive Branch activities affecting nonprofit, public interest & community groups. OMB (the White House Office of Management & Budget) is our main focus as it oversees nearly all executive branch functions. Our goal is to encourage broad public participation in government decision-making to promote a more open & accountable government. Our activities include technical assistance on budget, regulatory accountability, government. secrecy, & general government decision-making through publications, training sessions & direct links to certain government data; community forums on the federal budget to reorder priorities to domestic needs; support of public access to and use of government information. Most activity conducted offline, so for information, send your snail-mail address to

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Copyright © 1994, 1995, 2004 by Kevin Savetz. The information in this book was collected in 1994-1995 and has not been updated since.