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Type: Non-Profit
Industry: Internet
Founded: USA, 1983
Headquarters: 2202 N. 41st Street
Seattle, WA 98103
Country: USA
Website: cpsr.org

CPSR (Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility) is a global organization promoting the responsible use of computer technology.[1] CPSR educates policymakers and the public on a wide range of issues.

CPSR was responsible for numerous projects such as Privaterra, the Public Sphere Project, EPIC (the Electronic Privacy Information Center), the 21st Century Project, the Civil Society Project, and the CFP (Computers, Freedom & Privacy) Conference.

In the US, CPSR has Chapters in Chicago, Georgia, Madison, Michigan, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, San Fransisco Bay Area, Seattle, and elsewhere.

CPSR has International Chapters in 26 countries.


CPSR is also responsible for conducting two conferences namely, DIAC (Directions and Implications in Advanced Computing Conferences) and Participatory Design Conferences. Participatory Design Conferences are biennial international forums for the exchange of ideas and experiences, investigating the incorporation of participatory design approaches in new areas. The DIAC symposium is an annual conference and was started in 1987 in Seattle.


In October 1981, a discussion group was formed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center to discuss the growing threat of nuclear war. In June of 1982 the group christened itself as Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CPSR). Chapters started opening in other cities and CPSR established itself as a national organization incorporated under the laws of California in March, 1983.[2] It was registered as a non-profit organization. Severo Ornstein was the first National Chairperson and Laura Gould was the first National Secretary.

In the beginning, CPSR was dedicated to raising the awareness of both professionals and general public about the dangers posed by the massive increase in the use of computing technology in military applications.


In 1987, CPSR started the Norbert Wiener Award Winners for Social Responsibility in Computing to recognize outstanding contributions for social responsibility in computing technology. The winners of the award include Bruce Schneier, Douglas Engelbart, Barry Steinhardt, Mitch Kapor, Karl Auerbach, Nira Schwartz and Theodore Postol, Marc Rotenberg, The Free Software & Open Source Movements, The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Peter Neumann, Phil Zimmermann, Tom Grundner, Antonia Stone, Institute for Global Communication, Barbara Simons, Severo Ornstein and Laura Gould, Kristen Nygaard, Daniel D. McCracken, Joe Weizenbaum, David Parnas.

Advisory Council