The Best of Creative Computing Volume 2 (published 1977)

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Juvenile Information System Killed (implementation of juvenile information system at Santa Clara California Probation Department, data confidentiality)

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become a snarl of ineptitude. The idea of Uncle Sam is not
inconsistent with the human element for humans are, in
fact, computers of a sort that lack the total recall,
instantaneous operation, tirelessness, and the uncanny
accuracy of their machine counterparts. They work very
well in harmony and in conjunction with each other - the
one providing what the other lacks.

The slowness and frequently the absence of reaction of
the government to social needs results in the creation of a
sense of alienation and helplessness in the general
populace. Many experts and observers feel that the citizen's
inability to express himself and make himself heard is the
greatest weakness and ill in our society. Millions regard
themselves as ineffectual pawns incapable of bringing
about change or improvement even at the lowest levels of
government and administration - they crave recognition
and a sense of participation.

This pressing need might well be also answered by
computer technology and provide a step toward truly
democratic procedures. Present knowledge is sufficient to
devise an electronic voting system whereby the average
voter could be consulted and heard on basic issues. A coded
card, similar to a credit card, might be issued to a qualified
voter. This, in turn, could identify the voter upon insertion
into an apparatus incorporated into the telephone system,
thereby permitting the voter to dial his vote by following
designated procedures. This type of equipment could be in
every home possessing telephone service and conveniently located booths could
serve others who lack
individual telephone service or who may be away from their

Radio and television could be more fully employed to keep
the public abreast of current issues and prepared to make
intelligent decisions on matters relating to the public
welfare. Computers could tally these votes and furnish
them directly to legislative government thus bringing about
a return to democratic procedures unknown since the days
of the great Grecian cities. If anything this would be improvement upon any
democratic procedure ever employed
on a large scale basis. For the first time the public could
express itself directly without all of the representative inconsistencies and
blindness that we now experience.

Another improvement would be to gradually transfer
much of the governmental function to segments of private
industry. This would be in keeping with our professed faith
in free enterprise and consistent with the fact that business
is much more efficient and goal oriented than the present
framework of governmental administration.

These duties and responsibilities could still be originated,
supervised, advised, and checked upon by government personnel
at the upper levels. The functions and activities 
themselves would be the assignment of private companies
or independent agencies that are geared for efficiency and
results. This arrangement would produce greater accomplishment
of goals and at great savings to the taxpayer. 
There would be benefits to be reaped all the way around.

One such benefit would be the elimination of duplication
and the removal of personnel who are often incapable,
indifferent, or lacking in motivation or dedication. The
present efficient government employee would have nothing
to fear for he would readily be absorbed into the new system
with extended responsibilities and a much greater opportunity to prove himself.

There is nothing sanctified or holy about governmental
form that precludes its being changed or altered to conform
to new demands and needs, to make better responses.

Many of the founders of our country expressed this attitude
freely and made allowances for it in the Constitution. lf
we're going to retain the old dinosaur, Iet's at least give it
some assistance and provide it with modern aids. It
deserves our wholehearted support and is most certainly in
our best interests.

Juvenile Information
System Killed

Last April, an unusual alliance of computer professionals
and civil liberties advocates managed to halt the
implementation of a Juvenile Information System in the
Santa Clara, California Probation Department. The victory
was the result of a lot of people learning about other
people's problems and beginning to care about them.

Dorothy Ellenburg, director of the Council for
Community Action Planning, Inc. in San Jose brought to
light the problem with JIS. The system, which was to
centralize the files of juveniles in order to enable agencies
all over the county to have access to them, raised questions
among her group because it called for the inclusion of the
names of juveniles who weren't officially "deIinquent".

With the help of Carol Guddal, a technical writer for
Hewlett-Packard and more than 30 other volunteer
computer professionals, the CCAP studied the abuses to
which the JIS might be subject, and were able to convince
the county board of supervisors to defeat its implementation. 
A central objection to JlS that the computer
professionals brought to light was its lack of security. With
terminals all over the county that would produce not just
displays of data, but printouts too, there was little that
could be done to control the confidentiality of
information. CCAP argued that such easy access to
information about children who weren't even criminals
would be tantamount to labelling then as  "asocial kids".

The computer experts who studied the implications of the
system agreed.

A byproduct of the joint effort was the establishment of
a data confidentiality commission in the county. The group
is studying the implications of computerization and
information sharing of the more than three million
individual records compiled by county government on its
citizens. Carol Guddal stated very clearly what she and the
other computer experts learned and intend to remember as
a result of their involvement: "It's easy to become isolated
from the use of these systems after they've been shipped
out the door. . . . l'm not so sure that I'll be guilty of it
anymore. I never realized how profoundly a computer
system can influence a community. They are not toys."

(Prophetic Rhetoric)

by Linda S. Labelson

Our company has integrated a transitional logistical
concept. The total policy options consist of flexibility and
capability with a functional parallelled time-phase projection.

Total hardware mobility is to be monitored with programmed digital synchronized

Our objective is third-generation programming; responsive, balanced management,
with a totalitarian compatibility.

Circumspectly, we purport an accelerated expediting of
this highly technical innovation.

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