PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility
Getting the Facts Out - Announcing "FACT SQUAD"

September 6, 2001

PFIR Home Page

Greetings. Immediately following the recent People For Internet Responsibility "Future of the Internet" Workshop, technology columnist Dan Gillmor reported on the event within his widely-read column.

He especially noted one of the key points of agreement at the meeting -- there's a serious need for coordinated information sources and experts to counter the often skewed information provided by lobbyists and other vested interests relating to technology issues. As it stands, it's usually those well-heeled interests who have successfully organized, for their own betterment, to provide information about technical matters to media, politicians, and many others.

Dan used the term "fact squad" to describe the need for a coordinated effort to provide some balance in these matters.

PFIR has now set up a structure that we hope can provide assistance in filling this fact gap. We've created "Fact Squad" -- its home page, which describes the project in more detail, is at:


Fact Squad is oriented specifically towards folks who need straightforward, direct, and largely "jargon-free" information about these topics. It is a coordinated resource for media, researchers, or anyone else -- cutting through the hype and getting to the facts.

Fact Squad by itself obviously cannot be the complete solution to the long-festering and worsening problems of manipulated information and propaganda relating to technical issues and their impact on society. But we think it's potentially an important step in the right direction.

In addition to the Fact Squad home page listed above, three new contact e-mail addresses have been established relating to this effort:

We look forward to your questions, comments, and participation.

Thanks very much.

Lauren Weinstein
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800 or
Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility -
Moderator, PRIVACY Forum -
Member, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy

Peter G. Neumann
Tel: +1 (650) 859-2375 or or
Co-Founder, PFIR - People For Internet Responsibility -
Moderator, RISKS Forum -
Chairman, ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy