Even if you're not a "joiner", you should be aware of the existence of organizations like CDT, CERT, CPSR, EFF, EPIC, LPF, SEA, and VTW. These folks are working diligently to protect our civil liberties, ensure our security, and otherwise keep us safe and happy on the Internet. Here, in their own words, are their reasons for existence.

Center For Democracy And Technology (CDT)

CDT is a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, DC. The Center's mission is to develop and advocate public policies that advance constitutional civil liberties and democratic values in new computer and communications technologies.

      The Center For Democracy And Technology
      1001 G Street NW, Suite 700 East
      Washington, DC
      20001 USA
 
      Tel:      +1 202 637 9800
      Fax:      +1 202 637 0968
 
      Email:    info@cdt.org
 
      WWW:      http://www.cdt.org/
    

Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)

CERT was formed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in November 1988 in response to the needs exhibited during the Internet worm incident. The CERT charter is to work with the Internet community to facilitate its response to computer security events involving Internet hosts, to take proactive steps to raise the community's awareness of computer security issues, and to conduct research targeted at improving the security of existing systems.

CERT products and services include 24-hour technical assistance for responding to computer security incidents, product vulnerability assistance, technical documents, and seminars. In addition, the team maintains a number of mailing lists (including one for CERT advisories) and provides an anonymous FTP server info.cert.org, where security-related documents, past CERT advisories, and tools are archived.

      CERT Coordination Center 
      Software Engineering Institute 
      Carnegie Mellon University 
      Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 
      U.S.A. 

      Tel:	+1 412 268 7090
      Fax:	+1 412 268 6989 

      Email:	cert@cert.org

      WWW:	http://www.sei.cmu.edu/SEI/programs/cert/
    

Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility (CSPR)

CPSR is a public-interest alliance of computer scientists and others interested in the impact of computer technology on society. As technical experts, CPSR members provide the public and policymakers with realistic assessments of the power, promise, and limitations of computer technology. As concerned citizens, we direct public attention to critical choices concerning the applications of computing and how those choices affect society.

      CPSR National Office
      P.O. Box 717
      Palo Alto, CA
      94302 USA
 
      Tel:      +1 415 322 3778
      Fax:      +1 415 322 4748
 
      Email:    cpsr@cpsr.org
 
      WWW:      http://www.cpsr.org/home/
    

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

EFF is a non-profit civil liberties public interest organization working in the public interest to protect freedom of expression, privacy, and access to online resources and information.

      Electronic Frontier Foundation
      P.O. Box 170190
      San Francisco, CA
      94117 USA

      Tel:      +1 415 668 7171
      Fax:      +1 415 668 7007

      Email:    ask@eff.org

      FTP:      ftp://ftp.eff.org/

      USENET:   comp.org.eff.*

      WWW:      http://www.eff.org/
    

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)

EPIC is a public interest research center in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1994 to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues relating to the National Information Infrastructure, such as the Clipper Chip, the Digital Telephony proposal, national ID cards, medical record privacy, credit records, and the sale of consumer data.

      Electronic Privacy Information Center
      666 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 301
      Washington, DC
      20003 USA
 
      Tel:      +1 202 544 9240
      Fax:      +1 202 547 5482
 
      Email:    info@epic.org
 
      WWW:      http://www.epic.org/
    

League for Programming Freedom (LPF)

The general aim of the League for Programming Freedom is to prevent monopolies on software development. The League specifically opposes interface copyrights and software patents.

      League for Programming Freedom
      1 Kendall Square, #143
      P.O. Box 9171
      Cambridge, MA
      02139 USA
 
      Email:    lpf@uunet.uu.net
 
      WWW:      http://www.lpf.org/
    

Society for Electronic Access (SEA)

The purpose of SEA is to help make our corner of the digital world a civilized place to live, work and visit. We believe that the world of computers and the communications links that bind their users together (cyberspace) should be open to everyone. Furthermore, if this new medium is to have a chance of fulfilling its great potential, the same civil rights that protect our freedom in the physical world must prevail in cyberspace.

Therefore SEA will work to educate people about computer networks and how to use them to find information and to communicate with one another. We will also reach out to foster better understanding of cyberspace and to ensure that individual rights are fully respected in this new medium, as befits a democratic society. Finally, we will do our best to bring into cyberspace those who might not otherwise have the opportunity or awareness to make use of it, in the belief that doing so will enrich our lives as well as theirs.

      The Society for Electronic Access
      P.O. Box 7081
      New York, NY
      10116-7081 USA
 
      Tel:      +1 212 592 3801
 
      Email:    sea-member@sea.org
 
      WWW:      http://www.panix.com/sea/
    

Voters Telecommunications Watch (VTW)

VTW is a volunteer organization, concentrating on legislation as it relates to telecommunications and civil liberties. We do our best to alert the public at crucial times during the life of legislation, such that you, the citizen, can act appropriately without having to be a full-time activist.

      Voters Telecommunications Watch
 
      Tel:      +1 718 596 2851
 
      Email:    vtw@vtw.org
 
      WWW:      http://www.vtw.org/