The Sixth Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation 1996 Pioneer Awards

By Ben Gross

The Electronic Frontier Foundation 1996 Pioneer Awards were presented at the New England Aquarium Friday evening. The awards -- given to "recognize those responsible for the advancement of high-technology and empowerment of users of computer-based communications" -- were given as part of the Sixth Conference on Computers Freedom and Privacy.

Ester Dyson introduced the first recipient, Bob Metcalf. Bob was officially given the awards for his invention of Ethernet which is currently the most used local area network protocol. Currently he is an executive correspondent for InfoWorld and vice president of technology for International Data Group (IDG).

Mike Godwin introduced the second recipient, Peter Neumann, who is widely recognized as the moderator of the Usenet group comp.risks and the editor of the Risks column in Communications of the ACM. He has also worked extensively on software engineering and security issues. Currently he is principle scientist at SRI.

Shabbir Safdar was honored as the co-founder of the Voters Telecommunication Watch (VTW), a watchdog group with extensive coverage of Internet related issues. He is also recognized for his policy work regarding Internet censorship.

John Gilmore introduced the final pioneer award recipient, Matt Blaze. Matt was recognized for his discoveries and influence concerning cryptography. Matt has also written papers examining security problems with U.S. policy on encryption. He is currently a computer scientist for AT&T Research.

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