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Bylaws of the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology

Article 1. Name and Objectives

Section 1. The name of this society shall be the International Society for Ethics and Information Technology. The acronym will be INSEIT, pronounced “insight.”

Section 2. The Society will be devoted to promoting and facilitating scholarship, education, discussion and debate, and other activities (deemed valuable by its members) on the ethical issues in and surrounding information technology. The Society will be distinctively devoted to normative issues and will address ethical issues in and surrounding: The design and development of IT; The use and deployment of IT; Distribution of IT; Impacts and implications of IT; and The social and political institutions arising around IT.

Section 3. The Society will be a not-for-profit, tax exempt organization.

Article 2. Membership and Dues

Section 1. The membership of the Society shall be open to all of those individuals interested in ethics and information technology.

Section 2. There will be four types of members: Founding Members, Regular Members, Student Members, Honorary Members, and Gratis Members.

Founding Members are those individuals whom have been involved in the founding of the Society and are listed at the end of this document. No special privileges will be given to these members.

Regular members are all members who have paid dues within the last twelve months.

Student members are members who are enrolled in programs at an accredited university and have paid dues within the last twelve months.

Honorary members are members who are been elected by the membership of the Society to lifetime membership in honor of their contribution to the field.

Gratis membership will be granted to individuals who have petitioned the Society for a waiver of membership fees and have received approval from a majority of the Executive Committee of the Society.

Section 3. Annual dues for the Society will be determined by the Executive Committee and announced to the membership. The Executive Committee will have the prerogative to revoke membership for those individuals who do not pay their annual dues for one year.

Section 4. Members who wish to resign from the society must submit their resignations in writing to the Executive Committee. Membership dues will not be refunded under any circumstances.

Section 5. Only members of the Society may vote in elections and hold office.

Article 3. Officers of the Society

Section 1. The officers of the Society shall be the President, the Executive Director, and five Members of the Board. With the approval of a majority of the elected members of the Board, the President shall appoint an Executive Director for a term of five years, serving at the pleasure of the Board. The President, Executive Director, and five Members of the Board will constitute the Executive Committee of the Society.

Section 2. After the first election when officers shall be elected to varying terms of office, all officers shall be elected to three-year terms and no officer shall serve for more than two consecutive terms. [See Amendment Below]

Section 3. The Executive Director will coordinate the activities of the Society. The Executive Director will be responsible for membership and communication. The Treasurer shall be responsible for managing the budget and expenses of the Society and for making an annual report on the society's financial status to the membership.

Section 4. The Executive Committee shall appoint a director or co-directors for each of the Society’s conferences. At least one director shall be at the institution hosting the conference.

Article 4. Elections and Meetings

Section 1. The President and Members of the Board will be elected by the members of the Society through a mail ballot so as to protect confidentiality. Nominations will be sought through a polling of the members. Nominations may be submitted electronically or by regular mail.

Section 2. The term of office of the President and Members of the Board shall begin on October 1, though formal recognition of new officers may take place at a regular meeting of the Society.

Section 3. The Society shall meet at least once every two years and may meet in conjunction with the Computer Ethics Philosophical Enquiry (CEPE) conference or some other conference deemed appropriate by the Executive Committee. Information on meetings of the Society and a preliminary agenda will be announced to the membership at least three months in advance by the President.

Section 4. For the purpose of conducting any business, a quorum of members will be needed and that quorum shall consist of those active members who are present at a regular or duly called meeting. Only members who have paid their dues will be allowed to vote at said meeting.

Section 5. The Executive Committee shall appoint standing or ad hoc committees as it sees fit.

Article 5. Rules of Order

Section 1. The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the proceedings of the society.

Article 6. Amendments to the Bylaws

Section 1. These Bylaws can be amended only by a majority vote of the active members who are voting. Any proposed changes to the Bylaws must be announced to the membership at least six weeks before the vote. Every member must be sent an appropriate ballot to his/her last known address in time to vote on the proposed changes.

Section 2. Proposed amendments may be submitted in writing to the President prior to a regular meeting.

Amendment [Passed in 2002 Election]

Beginning in 2003 newly elected officers will serve for four rather than three years. The change will allow for biannual rather than annual elections, and implies that the Board only changes every two years rather than every year. This proposal will not extend the terms of sitting officers, nor of those who will be elected in 2002.


Jeroen van den Hoven founded the CEPE conference series and the (then) Kluwer journal Ethics and Information Technology (E&IT). There is a close historical connection between INSEIT and the E&IT journal and CEPE conference series. The plans for the E&IT journal were solidified at a meeting (with a representative from Kluwer) at Dartmouth College in the summer of 1998 during The Tangled Web Conference, which was chaired by Jim Moor. The first issue was published in 1999, and Jeroen van den Hoven is still Editor-in-Chief.

At that meeting in 1999, to launch the Ethics and Information Technology journal, there was also some discussion about forming an organization that would loosely tie in with E&IT and future CEPE conferences.

In December 1998, at the CEPE '98 Conference at the London School of Economics, Jeroen van den Hoven, Deborah Johnson and a few others proposed the new organization that would eventually become INSEIT and also set the goal for CEPE 2000 in Dartmouth (July 2000) to formally draft the charter and official name of the organization (INSEIT).

All those present at CEPE 2000 were eligible to vote to approve the formation of INSEIT. The resolution passed and the charter/bylaws were established. An election committee was set up for the fall of 2000. And on January 1, 2001, INSEIT was officially formed with its first board, with Deborah Johnson as the first president. In February 2001, Deborah Johnson (with the approval of the board) appointed Richard Spinello and Herman Tavani as INSEIT's first co-directors.

In 2006, Richard Spinello and Herman Tavani were replaced by Elizabeth Buchanan and Kat Henderson (when Jim Moor was president).

The file named Announcement of INSEIT formation by Herman Tavani uploaded here was published in Ethics and Information Technology, on December 2000, Volume 2,Issue 4, pp 251-255

Contact Information

INSEIT’s institutional support comes from the Ionian University - IHRC research team

Mailing Address:
IHRC-Ionian University,
School of Information Science
72 Ioannou Theotoki Street
Corfu 49100

c/o Keith Miller, Professor
UMSL, College of Education
1 University Boulevard
201 Education Admin. Building
St Louis MO 63121-4400
tel. (314) 516 4970

(t) +30 26610 87426
(f) +30 26610 46846

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