Lauren Weinstein's Blog
PRIVACY Forum Network Neutrality Squad RISKS Forum

PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility - PFIR.ORG

PFIR Mailing List Information and Subscriptions

 "Network Neutrality Squad":
Users Protecting an Open and Fair Internet


 Breaking the Internet Network Neutrality Deadlock (27-SEP-2007)

About PFIR
Contact PFIR
PFIR Issues
PFIR Status
PFIR Internet Policy Statements
PFIR Statement on Adult Content Regulations
and Broader Impacts
PFIR Statement on Supreme Court "Grokster" Decision
and File Sharing
PFIR Conference Announcement: "Preventing the Internet Meltdown" (Updated 23-Jul-2004)
PFIR Statement on Access to WHOIS Data (16-Jun-2004)
"Outsourced and Out of Control" (Feb-2004)
"TRIPOLI" E-Mail Project Overview (Updated 26-Jan-2004)
Satire: "The VeriSign Song" (5-Oct-2003)
Public Call For Data Regarding VeriSign "Site Finder" and DNS Changes (22-Sep-2003)
VeriSign/NSI "Site Finder" and Domain Abuse (16-Sep-2003)
"TRIPOLI" E-Mail Project Press Release (8-May-2003)
Overcoming ICANN: Forging Better Paths for the Internet (18-Mar-2002)
Terrorism, Civil Liberties, and the Internet (23-Sep-2001)
Getting the Facts Out - Announcing "FACT SQUAD" (6-Sep-2001)
Press Release: The DMCA and the Arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov (Updated 6-Aug-2001)
PFIR Declaration of Principles (4-Jul-2001)

PFIR Internet Policy Statements
 Adult Content Regulations and Broader Impacts (1-Jul-2005)
Supreme Court "Grokster" Decision and File Sharing (27-Jun-2005)
Access to WHOIS Data (16-Jun-2004)
VeriSign/NSI "Site Finder" and Domain Abuse (16-Sep-2003)
Overcoming ICANN: Forging Better Paths for the Internet (18-Mar-2002)
Terrorism, Civil Liberties, and the Internet (23-Sep-2001)
Top-Level Domain "Ghettoization" Proposals (9-Mar-2001)
The Coming Electoral Blackout? (20-Jan-2001)
Proposal for a Representative Global Internet Policy Organization (6-Dec-2000)
Government Interception of Internet Data (7-Sep-2000)
Internet Hoaxes and Misinformation (28-Aug-2000)
Internet Policies, Regulations, and Control (23-Jul-2000)
Electronic Signatures and Documents (Updated 1-Jul-2000)
Content Control and Ratings (18-Mar-2000)
Spam (11-Mar-2000)
Hacking (5-Mar-2000)
Internet Voting (26-Feb-2000)
Legislating Internet Security (12-Feb-2000)
Recent Internet Denial of Service Attacks (9-Feb-2000)

What is PFIR?

People For Internet Responsibility (PFIR) is currently a global, ad hoc network of individuals who are concerned about the present and future operations, development, management, and regulation of the Internet in responsible ways. The main goal of PFIR is to provide a resource for individuals around the world to gain an ability to impact these crucial Internet issues, which will affect virtually all aspects of our cultures, societies, and lives in the 21st century. PFIR is nonpartisan, has no political agenda, and does not engage in lobbying.

Who organized PFIR?

PFIR was founded in November, 1999 by Lauren Weinstein of Vortex Technology in Woodland Hills, California and Peter G. Neumann of SRI International in Menlo Park, California. Both have decades of continual experience with the Internet and its ancestor ARPANET, Lauren originally at the UCLA lab which was the ARPANET's first site, and Peter at the Net's second site, located at SRI.

Peter is the chairman of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) Committee on Computers and Public Policy, and the creator and moderator of the ACM RISKS Forum. Lauren is a member of the same committee, and he is the creator and moderator of the PRIVACY Forum.

Why was PFIR formed?

With the rapid commercialization of the Internet and its World Wide Web, there are increasing concerns that decisions regarding these resources are being irresponsibly skewed through the influence of powerful, vested interests (in commercial, political, and other categories) whose goals are not necessarily always aligned with the concerns of individuals and the people at large. Such incompatibilities have surfaced in areas including domain name policy, spam, security, encryption, freedom of speech issues, privacy, content rating and filtering, and a vast array of other topics. New ones are sure to come!

While corporate, political, and other related entities most certainly have important roles to play in Internet issues, it is unwise and unacceptable for their influences to be effectively the only significant factors affecting the broad scope of Internet policies.

There are numerous examples. While e-commerce can indeed be a wonderful tool, it is shortsighted in the extreme for some interests to treat the incredible creation that is the Internet as little more than a giant mail-order catalog, with "dot-com" associated hype on seemingly every ad, billboard and commercial. Protection of copyrights in a global Internet environment, without abusive monitoring, is a challenge indeed. The Internet can be a fantastic tool to encourage the flow of ideas, information, and education, but it can also be used to track users' behaviors and invade individuals' privacy in manners that George Orwell never imagined in his 1984 world.

Above all, it's critical that reasonable discussion be encouraged that is free from the overly polarized "yelling and screaming" that often characterizes ongoing debates about Internet issues. It is very important to provide some degree of balance against those persons or groups who might attempt to impose their views on the Internet by edict, without meaningful input from the people whose lives will ultimately be most affected.

What does PFIR do?

PFIR is a resource for discussion, analysis, education, and information regarding Internet issues, aimed at providing a forum for all people around the world to participate in the process of Internet evolution, control, and use--a forum that is not controlled by entities with existing major vested financial, political, or other interests. This is accomplished through the PFIR Web site, the handling of telephone and e-mail queries, and through digests, workshops, discussion groups, statements/reports/papers, broadcast/Internet radio and television efforts, and other venues.

PFIR Funding

It is hoped that individuals and organizations who are in agreement with PFIR's objectives will be interested in helping to underwrite PFIR's efforts.

How can I stay informed about or become involved with PFIR?

The best way to get started is to join the PFIR mailing list! Announcements, position statements and papers, status reports, and other materials sent to this list will keep you abreast of ongoing PFIR activities, issues, and projects. There is of course no charge to join this mailing list. The list is private, and your name and/or e-mail address will be used only for the purpose of distributing PFIR materials.

Individual subscriptions to the PFIR mailing list are controlled through an automated list handling system.

Important Note: Please do not attempt to subscribe an address that uses a "challenge-response" system for spam blocking -- such addresses will not be successfully subscribed.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to/from the PFIR mailing list via the Web, please visit the "pfir" subscription page.

To subscribe via e-mail, please send a message (subject and body text are unnecessary and will be ignored) to:

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If you wish to set up a local redistribution list for this material, or have other special e-mail address requests or subscription problems which cannot be handled by the automated system, please contact:

with the details. A human will endeavor to be of assistance.

PFIR Contact Information

Individuals, organizations, media, etc. who are interested in more information regarding PFIR or related Internet issues are invited to contact:

Phone or E-mail:

Lauren Weinstein

TEL: +1 (818) 225-2800


Please send any physical mail to:

PFIR c/o Peter G. Neumann
Principal Scientist
Computer Science Lab
SRI International EL-243
333 Ravenswood Ave
Menlo Park, CA 94025-3493 USA

TEL: +1 (650) 859-2375

Thank you very much. Be seeing you!

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