It turns out that the mysterious eleven words that were supposed to have been redacted when the Pentagon Papers were officially released had already been published 40 years ago making their continued classification moot. Neither the classifying agency nor the now restored eleven words themselves were publicly identified.
- Why Weren’t 11 Words Redacted from the Pentagon Papers?, by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News, (June 28, 2011).
Legislation that would require copies of congressionally mandated reports to be published online by GPO cleared a major hurdle when it unanimously passed the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at a business meeting on Wednesday. The "Access to Congressionally Mandated Reports Act," introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley and joined by 12 co-sponsors, will now advance to the floor of the House of Representatives.
"Access to Congressionally Advances to the House Floor" by Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation (June 23, 2011).
Sunlight reports that "Seven months ago, the order was given for the legal treatise, known as the Constitution Annotated (or CONAN), to be published online, but so far without result."
- O Conan! Where art thou? Legal treatise a no-show by Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation (June 21, 2011).
The idea of E-government initiatives is to make it easier for citizens to transact their business with their governments. This is surely a good idea, but it carries with it several problems including endangering the long term preservation of government information.
Take, for example, Adobe's new product, The Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform for Customer Experience Management (CEM), which it hopes will attract government agencies:
- New Adobe platform would personalize an agency website for individual users, by Joseph Marks, NextGov (06/20/2011).
A new Adobe product unveiled Monday would allow a federal agency to tailor its website and customer service operations to specific citizens based on their geographic location and, perhaps, their past contact with the agency.
This sounds attractive in a lot of ways. It promises better customer service, personalized information, and faster access to relevant information.
There are, however, several problems if this approach is used exclusively.
Citizens or Customers?
Adobe says that its software allows agencies to "stop making a distinction between customers and citizens." Surely all of us would like to know that our "customer experience" with the DMV would be as easy and straightforward (and brief!) as our experiences with the best commercial web sites. Companies like Amazon have made their fortunes not because they offer better products, but because they make it easier to find and buy those products. Wouldn't it be nice to have have government agencies' web sites work as well as the best commercial web sites? Wouldn't it be great if government agencies could shrug off the old, cliched unfriendly-to-users image, and create new, user-friendly, customer-centered web sites?
It would, of course. But the problem is that, when we visit an agency web site, we are not always the "customer" of that agency. We are more often citizens seeking information than we are customers engaging in business-like transactions.
And that is the beginning of the problem. Treating citizens as customers can jeopardize our privacy, make it harder for us to find the information we want, and make it harder to preserve government information for the future.
There are, of course, big privacy issues if governments start replacing the dissemination of information with the personalized transactions of e-government. Citizens should be able to search, browse for, read, and use government information without the government tracking and recording each individual's every search and use. The e-gov interaction between citizen and agency requires just such tracking, however. Adobe, for example, says of its product that it would provide "an instant, unified record of a customer's interaction with a company or agency, regardless of where or how that interaction is happening."
There are certainly occasions when citizens want and need to personally interact with a government, but we probably all hope that we don't have to do this frequently. Going to the DMV to renew a license, or applying for a grant, or filing tax returns are not what we do (or want to do!) every day. These are the exceptions to our interactions with governments.
Most of our interactions with governments are about looking for information that the government has gathered, or compiled, or created as part of its mission. Whether it is about proposed legislation, or existing regulations, or the location of flood-plains, or the population of a city, or the latest economic indicators, or how to manage agricultural pests, the government does not need to know who we are and what we are looking for in order to deliver the information we need.
If governments replace the anonymous delivery of information with e-government "customer-based" services, we will lose our ability to read (or even look for information) privately. (If you are not convinced that privacy is important, see Privacy: "I have nothing to hide".)
Filering out what we want.
It seems almost counter-intuitive to say that personalization of web sites would make it harder to find what we need. Surely, personalization is designed to make it easier to find what we want, isn't it? Take the example mentioned in the NextGov article above: Imagine you live in an area that has just been damaged by a flood or a hurricane and you go to the FEMA home page. Wouldn't it be great to have the website "know" where you live and immediately show you links to specific services available and relevant to you? It would, but this example is not typical of all our interactions with government and therein lies a problem for relying only on customization.
Those who examine how people use the web have long understood and documented that customization of search results and browsing can do more to limit our understanding than enhance it. See, for example, Nicholas Negroponte or David Weinberger in 1995, and J.D. Lasica or Cass Sunstein in 2001.
And now Eli Pariser has written a book (The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You) that documents how "the hidden rise of personalization on the Internet is controlling -- and limiting -- the information we consume." Pariser says that, when we are seeking information, "personalization" silently filters out relevant content as it tries to predict what we "want." (See Pariser's excellent TED talk for more details and examples: Lunchtime listen: Eli Pariser on filter bubbles.)
Do we want governments to favor "customers" who require "personalization" over citizens who are seeking information? I worry that such an approach will likely lead to government web sites that silently filter out relevant search results in an attempt to show you what the government (or Adobe) thinks you want. If we do not know how this process works and if we have no control over whether or not to use this functionality, we will end up not knowing if we have found what would be most relevant to our information needs. This would be bad. As we know, If It Is Too Inconvenient, I’m Not Going After It. Citizens seeking a broad array of information are not the same as customers wanting to buy a single product. Governments delivering a cornucopia of information are not the same as businesses trying to persuade customers to buy the shiniest, newest, highest-profit-generating product.
How do you preserve something that you can't get?
As we move to the delivery of government information through dynamic web sites (whether "customer" driven or not), we face an increasing problem of preserving that information because we have no direct access to the information that needs to be preserved.
In order to preserve information (even digital information), we require an "instantiation" of that information -- a digital object to preserve. In the past, information was instantiated in physical books, pamphlets, maps, journals, posters, and even microfiche, CD-ROMs, and DVDs. Although some government information today is instantiated in PDFs and spreadsheets and even static web pages, government information is increasingly instantiated in databases that are not directly visible to users. When libraries (or GPO) cannot get copies of these databases, they cannot preserve them.
Websites use those databases to present selected information to users who visit web pages or who request information through searches. "Customer-driven" web sites will ensure that two people who make the same query or who visit the same URL will get different information. (To use the FEMA example again, if I live where there was just a flood and you live where there was just a hurricane and we both visit a customer-driven FEMA web site, I'll get flood information and you'll get hurricane information.) Web harvesting will be insufficient for preservation under these conditions.
The essential problem here is that, if agencies see their information mission as one of processing transactions with individuals rather than one of creating and delivering preservable instantiations of information, it will be difficult if not impossible for digital preservation to be complete or accurate or successful. Gertrude Stein might say of the lack of access to preservable digital objects, "There is no there there."
At FGI, we are not technological determinists. We don't believe that the existence of software such as Adobe's CEM will inevitably lead to loss of privacy, harder to find information, and the inability of libraries to preserve digital government information. As noted above, there are circumstances where use of such software could yield better service and make it easier for users to find the information they need. We believe that thoughtful management of digital technologies can result in easier access and new functionalities without sacrificing long-term, free, public access to government information.
We also know, however, that technology is political and that sometimes organizations make bad technological decisions for apparently necessary reasons. Our concern is that agencies are under pressures that could easily lead to bad decisions and that software such as Adobe's CEM could make it easier to make bad decisions. Specifically, agencies are under pressure to reduce the number of government web sites and to streamline existing websites using new technology-based plans to improve their customer service at the same time that budgets are under increasing stress, open government initiatives are being reduced drastically, and GPO is being hit by big budget cuts.
Our concern is that these pressures will result in bad decisions. We worry that agencies will not add new, much-needed functionality to existing web sites, but will instead replace a citizen-centered model with a customer-center model. We worry that such a substitution will result in a loss of privacy, a loss in information-based functionality in favor of product-based functionality, and that all of this will make it even harder than it is already to preserve digital government information.
We agree with OMB Watch that information is a customer service and hope that agencies will keep this in mind when they make their information-technology decisions. But we worry that hard-pressed agencies will not.
We believe that those (including GPO and FDLP libraries) who are interested in preserving government information should address the task of preserving the databases of government information that drive dynamic web sites. The information behind even customer-based transactions needs to be preserved; the transactions themselves do not. A model for this already exists with Census data. The Census Bureau has been able to provide a dynamic, database-driven web site and, at the same time, provide the databases behind the web site as preservable digital objects.
Preserving databases is a more complex task than preserving monographs or PDFs (see for example The Preservation of Databases, by Kevin Ashley, Vine, 34 (2004), 66-70), and agencies that personalize the delivery of information will have to ensure that personal information is kept separate from agency information, but database preservation and privacy protection can be accomplished. But to do so will take an active commitment.
FGI joined ALA and 8 other organizations in signing a letter praising congressional and administration efforts to improve federal financial transparency.
- Ten Organizations Praise Federal Financial Transparency Efforts, by Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation (June 21, 2011).
The organizations said the recently-introduced Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2011 (or DATA Act) would "revolutionize federal spending transparency," and also praised President Obama's June 13, 2011, Executive Order as an important transparency measure.
The DATA Act would establish a federal transparency board -- a successor to the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board -- with the dual missions of expanding spending transparency to the entire government and identifying government-wide financial data standards...
The Executive Order immediately establishes a Government Accountability and Transparency Board that, over the next six months, will develop a plan to integrate government spending data.
From an Announcement by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts:
A pilot project aimed at having public libraries enhance the public’s knowledge and use of the federal judiciary’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) service begins July 1, 2011.
Two libraries – the Library of Congress in the District of Columbia and the Law Library for San Bernadino, California – will kick off the pilot, but up to 50 additional public libraries may join them in future months.
PACER allows users to obtain case information from federal courts without having to visit the courthouse. The service allows an Internet user to request information about a particular case or party, and makes the data immediately available for printing or downloading at a cost of 8 cents per page.
In the pilot project, libraries will conduct at least one training class for the general public every three months, and offer training or refresher opportunities for library staff at least one a year. Those staff members, in turn, may assist library patrons in the use of PACER. For participating libraries, the first $50 of PACER use fees each quarter will be waived.
The pilot is a joint undertaking of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Government Printing Office, and the American Association of Law Libraries.
From the LactMed Web Page:
A peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider.
INFOdocket has more info and links to the apps.
Both LactMed apps are free.
"Enhancements To WorldWideScience.org Include Arabic Translation, Mobile Capability, and Multimedia Results”Submitted by garyprice on Mon, 2011-06-20 18:05.
At WorldWideScience.org, your query can be translated into the languages of the search engine’s 80-plus databases and the results can be translated into your preferred language.
In addition, WorldWideScience.org has added a new multimedia search capability, including search of speech-indexed scientific videos from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and CERN. Speech-indexing is provided by the Microsoft Research Audio Video Indexing System (MAVIS).
Also, a mobile version of WorldWideScience.org (http://m.worldwidescience.org) has been launched, which will mark another first in the field of federated search.
Activity continues at the State Agency Databases Across the Fifty States Project.
Marlena Crenshaw of the Arkansas State Library publicly claimed the Arkansas page. Welcome Marlena!
Next Sunday we should have definitive lists of who is continuing with the project and what pages remain orphans.
We are currently studying ways to ensure that orphan pages have updated links while we recruit for documents specialists for them.
You can find a blow by blow listing of this week's wiki activity by visiting http://tinyurl.com/3npd96f. Here are a few highlights:
Arkansas Resource Information CyberCenter - Searchable database of community service information. Searchable by organization, city, county, status, hours of operation, and service offered.
Civil War Treasury Vouchers, 1861-1865 - "Includes 15,770 payment receipts for military expenditures and wartime purchases made by the State of New Jersey from 1861 through 1866. It includes soldiers' discharge certificates for final pay, affidavits of family members for pay due to deceased soldiers, and quarterly returns of the counties and cities listing the names of soldiers’ families and dependent mothers who received subsistence pay during their service."
Department of Agriculture Photographs - Indexes more than 7,000 photographs, and displays more than 2,000, showing all aspects of farming, including events and celebrations, organizations, people, corporations, and more. These Department of Agriculture public information photographs range in date from the 1930s to the 1970s with a few items from as early as the 1880s.
ToxCastDB users can search and download data from over 500 rapid chemical tests conducted on more than 300 environmental chemicals. ToxCast uses advanced scientific tools to predict the potential toxicity of chemicals and to provide a cost-effective approach to prioritizing which chemicals of the thousands in use require further testing. ToxCast is currently screening 700 additional chemicals, and the data will be available in 2012.
ExpoCastDB consolidates human exposure data from studies that have collected chemical measurements from homes and child care centers. Data include the amounts of chemicals found in food, drinking water, air, dust, indoor surfaces and urine. ExpoCastDB users can obtain summary statistics of exposure data and download datasets. EPA will continue to add internal and external chemical exposure data and advanced user interface features to ExpoCastDB.
The new databases link together two important pieces of chemical research — exposure and toxicity data — both of which are required when considering potential risks posed by chemicals. The databases are connected through EPA’s Aggregated Computational Toxicology Resource (ACToR), an online data warehouse that collects data on over 500,000 chemicals from over 500 public sources.
Here are links from INFOdocket.
New State Department"Smart Traveler"iPhone App Available
iPhone app; Free.
"Digitized Medical Books: National Library of Medicine Releases “Turning the Pages” iPad App"
iPhone app; Free
"Food Safety Questions? USDA Releases Mobile Version of “Ask Karen” Virtual Assistant"
Mobile Web; FREE
Sunlight has an update on the status of funding for e-government programs:
- Draft H. Appropriations Bill Would Slightly Increase E-Gov Fund, by Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation blog (June 15, 2011).
In a legislative twist, funding for the Electronic Government Fund appears to have been combined with funding for the Office of Citizen Services, making it difficult to figure out how much money will actually go towards e-gov websites. My best guess is that the legislation would increase the money available for e-gov to $13m from the $8m appropriated in FY 2011, which is still far off from the $34m available in FY 2010.
GPO Releases 150th Anniversary History Book, Keeping America Informed
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 15, 2011 No. 11-35
MEDIA CONTACT: GARY SOMERSET 202.512.1957, 202.355.3997 cell firstname.lastname@example.org
GPO RELEASES 150TH ANNIVERSARY HISTORY BOOK, KEEPING AMERICA INFORMED
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has released Keeping America Informed: The U.S. Government Printing Office: 150 Years of Service to the Nation as the agency observes its 150th anniversary. The first official GPO history to be released in 50 years, Keeping America Informed conveys GPO's history through text and photographs, many never published before. Created to bring an end to the costly and ineffective system of private sector printing originally used by the Federal Government, GPO opened its doors for business on March 4, 1861, the same day as President Lincoln's inauguration. Since then, through war and peace, boom and bust, GPO has produced countless historic publications for the Government, including the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the vast range of documents that Americans have used for generations, such as passports, social security cards, census and tax forms, and others. The book focuses on GPO's role as the source of information by and about the Government for the past 150 years and the successive technologies used by GPO to carry out that role, from hand-set type to today's digital files. Keeping America Informed is available on GPO's Online Bookstore and GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) at www.fdsys.gov.
Link to Online Bookstore: http://bookstore.gpo.gov/collections/gpo-keeping-america-informed.jsp
Roll Call reports:
The National Archives could be just months away from starting a long-planned project to create for the first time a searchable digital log of the archives of Congress.
The project, which had been discussed for about six years, would essentially catalog Congressional records dating back to 1789 and create a database where researchers could search for specific topics.
Though it wouldn't digitize the records themselves, the database would point researchers to places within the expansive records where that topic is discussed.
"The idea is to take those various sources ... and to make it a state-of-the-art finding aid," Senate Archivist Karen Paul said.
+ Final Plan Approved Yesterday
+ Archivist of the United States David Ferriero, expressed concerned over the cost
+ Cost Estimate Should Be Provided in Six Months
+ Size? 500 Million Pages (200,000 Cubic Feet of Records)
+ Expected To Take Five Years to Complete
Evidently, sharing government information with the public is "wasteful." While I'm all for spending tax dollars responsibly, and don't want the federal govt to waste dollars on superfluous and wasteful things (like $3 billion for duplicative engines for the F-35 fighter jet), I would prefer if he didn't use the printing of the Federal Register as an example of govt waste. As we noted in our earlier post:
Public Printer Bill Boarman, in a Mar. 17, 2011 Senate Appropriations hearing for the Government Printing Office, stated that 70% of the cost and work of publishing the Congressional Record is done in pre-press, and many of the same duties necessary to publish it in print are still necessary to put it out digitally.
While it is true that many more people these days access government information (including the Federal Register) in digital format, there is still a need for print from both a usability and preservation standpoint. Gary Price points out some of the incongruities with the White House's line of reasoning regarding .gov domain:
- Top-level web domains are one thing but in saying that there are t0o many subsites/microsites is another. What does this mean? Are we talking sub-sites inside a focused site like this mentioned at the beginning of the blog post OR sub-sites on any web domain?
- What exactly is a sub-site? A focused area of a large site, often beginning with the name or a subdirectory or all sites that begin with something other than the top-level domain? Is Chronicling America a sub-site at Chronicling.loc.gov? What about Travel.state.gov or Jobs.Faa.gov?
- The White House should know that sub-sites (no matter the definition) CAN be a useful way to organize a lot of focused information and then have an easy URL to share with others and market the content. Yes, of course, it’s also possible to go overboard but have info organization and info architecture been considered?
- If old sites are to be taken offline have they been archived properly and are URLs going to be redirected to where the material is being archived? What does the White House have to say about the long term preservation of government web sites and making it easy for researchers to access? NARA does conduct web harvests (using Internet Archive technology). Are the harvests large enough? Are they being promoted properly? Learn more about the harvests at: http://www.webharvest.gov (is this top-level domain necessary? (-:
Our point here is not to say that what’s being discussed is 100% wrong but rather if considerations about many issues (several noted above) are in place about how to proceed going forward?
More from the White House blog post:
As the President points out in this video, our government doesn’t need a website dedicated to foresters who play the fiddle. We also don’t need multiple sites dealing with invasive plants (here and here). And I‘m pretty sure the website dedicated to the Centennial of Flight can come down… particularly since the Centennial was in 2003.
Today, there are nearly 2,000 top-level federal .gov domains (this means a top-level url, [WEBSITENAME].gov, that links to a distinct website). This includes WhiteHouse.gov, as well as others like USDA.gov, USASpending.gov, NOAA.gov and USA.gov. Under many of these domains are smaller sub-sites and microsites resulting in an estimated 24,000 websites of varying purpose, design, navigation, usability, and accessibility.
While many government websites each deliver value to the taxpayer through easy-to-use services and information, an overall online landscape of literally thousands of websites – each focusing on a specific topic or organization – can create confusion and inefficiency.
In addition to confusing the public, duplicate and unnecessary websites also waste money. And while the costs for some of these websites may be relatively small, as President Obama also said in the video, ”No amount of waste is acceptable. Not when it’s your money, not at a time when so many families are already cutting back.”
So the federal government will do more with less, improving how it delivers information and services to the public by reducing the number of websites it maintains. To help drive this change we’ve set a specific goal that over the next year, we’ll get rid of at least half of them.
Watch the video in which President Obama talks about his campaign to cut waste:
[Thanks to Gary Price at InfoDocket for the tip!]
The The United States Government Manual is available in a web edition as well as in print:
- Currently Updated U.S. Government Manual, by Michael White, The Federal Register Blog (April 4, 2011).
The OFR developed the new edition with GPO to provide more timely access to the organizations, programs, and leadership of the Federal government. We will continuously update the new version to reflect changes in Government throughout the year – a marked improvement over the annual snapshot in the printed edition.
...The new web-based edition of the Manual presents information in a more standardized format, using extensible markup language (XML).
...The OFR-GPO partnership will continue to print and distribute the annual, paper edition of the Manual to the public and Federal Depository Libraries into the immediately foreseeable future, as long as public demand sustains it. The next hard copy edition is expected to be released by June 2011. From this point forward, the printed edition will cover a single calendar year, rather than two years. We will also make XML data available to FDsys to preserve bi-annual snapshots, and to prepare bulk XML data sets for access through Data.gov and FDsys.gov
- The new Manual is posted at: usgovernmentmanual.gov.
The "Pentagon Papers," officially titled "Report of the Office of the Secretary of Defense Vietnam Task Force," are now online at the National Archives in PDF format:
- Pentagon Papers, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
On the 40th anniversary of the leak to the press, the National Archives, along with the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon Presidential Libraries, has released the complete report. There are 48 boxes and approximately 7,000 declassified pages. Approximately 34% of the report is available for the first time.
What is unique about this, compared to other versions, is that:
- The complete Report is now available with no redactions compared to previous releases
- The Report is presented as Leslie Gelb presented it to then Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford on January 15, 1969
- All the supplemental back-documentation is included. In the Gravel Edition, 80% of the documents in Part V.B. were not included
- This release includes the complete account of peace negotiations, significant portions of which were not previously available either in the House Armed Services Committee redacted copy of the Report or in the Gravel Edition
We continue to have busy weeks at the State Agency Databases Across the Fifty States project.
You can find a blow by blow list of activity by visiting the project's related changes page.
Highlights from the past week include:
NEW PROJECT VOLUNTEERS
The following people volunteered to adopt a page and have publicly claimed them:
Rita Franks - LA
Karen Kitchens - WY
Chris Sharpe - GA
Other people have volunteered but haven't put their names to pages yet.
Addictive Disorders and Prevention and Licensing Database - Search by last name, credential number, or city for any certified substance abuse counselor,
compulsive gambling counselor, prevention specialist, counselor in training, or counselor supervisor.
Procedural Risk Database - This database describes risks and hazards related to medical care and surgical procedures. It was developed by the Louisiana Medical Disclosure Panel in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statutes 40:1299.40. Search by the entire database or search for risks by procedure category.
C-SPAN will have special programming about the Pentagon Papers this weekend:
On June 13th, 1971, the New York Times began publishing the "Pentagon Papers," a top-secret Defense Department study on the United States political and military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 through 1967. On the 40th anniversary, this Monday, June 13th, the government will mark the study as declassified and release it to the public in its entirety.
On Saturday, June 11 at 6:00pm ET, tune in to C-SPAN Radio to hear the landmark 1971 Supreme Court Oral Argument as the Nixon Administration attempted to prevent the New York Times and Washington Post from publishing the Pentagon Papers.
On Sunday, June 12 at 5:20pm ET, tune in to American History TV on C-SPAN 3 to view a panel discussion from 2006, marking the 35th anniversary of when the New York Times first published the story. Panelists included Daniel Ellsberg who first leaked the study to the New York Times.
Along with C-SPAN, and C-SPAN 2, both C-SPAN 3 and C-SPAN Radio are available to stream LIVE online, anytime:
The archived email messages were released earlier today and are now beginning to roll out into searchable databases and/or PDF files.
Scanned pages are being added to databases as they become available. Many news organization are asking the public for assistance in reviewing all of the pages. Yet another example of crowdsourcing government records.
Here are three of several source provin
1. NY Times
Search NY Times: Palin E-Mail Search
2. MSNBC/Mother Jones/ProPublica
Search: MSNBC/Mother Jones/ProPublica
Updates at @openchannelblog and #palinemail
MSNBC Live Blog With Additional Information as it Becomes Available. Also, info about documents being withheld.
Background from Bill Dedman at MSNBC
3. Washington Post
PDF Files of Raw Email Messages (#1)
Secrecy News has details and documents about the plea deal in the case of former National Security Agency official Thomas A. Drake who says he shared NSA information with The Baltimore Sun in an attempt to save taxpayers' money and strengthen national security:
- Settlement Reached in Thomas Drake “Leak” Case, by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News (June 10th, 2011).
See a detailed report on the case here:
- The Secret Sharer: Is Thomas Drake an enemy of the state?, by Jane Mayer New Yorker (May 23, 2011).
Binney expressed terrible remorse over the way some of his algorithms were used after 9/11. ThinThread, the "little program" that he invented to track enemies outside the U.S., "got twisted," and was used for both foreign and domestic spying: "I should apologize to the American people. It's violated everyone's rights. It can be used to eavesdrop on the whole world." According to Binney, Drake took his side against the N.S.A.'s management and, as a result, became a political target within the agency.
As noted here earlier "NARA is planning a digital/textual release of the Pentagon Papers for the week of June 13, 2011. This simultaneous release will be conducted by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library, and the National Declassification Center at College Park."
We're waiting for details, but NARA says that they "are looking to host a digital version on the archives.gov website, and the three Presidential libraries (Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon) are planning their own access to the same digital version."
NARA will maintain its own preservation copies of digital records but will not be sending copies to GPO.
According to the New York Times NARA announced Tuesday that the 11 words, which it had said would be redacted on one page of the Papers, would be published after all.
Andrew McLaughlin who has been Director of Global Public Policy at Google, Deputy Chief Technology Officer for President Obama, Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, is now the Executive Director of Civic Commons and part of the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. On his new blog at Stanford he introduces the Civic Commons:
- Building a Civic Commons, by Andrew McLaughlin, Stanford Law School, Center for Internet and Society (June 7, 2011).
Civic Commons is a new non-profit initiative that helps governments build and use shared and open technologies to improve public services, transparency, accountability, citizen participation, and management effectiveness, all while saving money.
"Federal CIO Vivek Kundra’s office has launched an interactive map listing the 137 data centers it has either already closed or plans to close by the end of this year.
The map lists data centers’ names and locations — down to geographic coordinates — and whether the center is among the 39 already closed as of April or is still operating but slated for closure."
Last month the White House released an interactive map showing excess federal properties. The map provides info about 7000 out of 12,000 properties.
The Tech Insider article also points out a new list with info about what operations federal agencies plan to migrate to the cloud.
This research shows how much users value convenience and quick access. That will probably not surprise you, but it should help inform choices for libraries. The choices libraries make will increase their value to users or drive users away.
- Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Timothy J. Dickey, and Marie L. Radford. 2011. 'If It Is Too Inconvenient, I'm Not Going After it:' Convenience as a Critical Factor in Information-Seeking Behaviors. Library and Information Science Research, 33: 179-190. Pre-print available online at: http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2011/connaway-lisr.pdf (.pdf: 275K/46 pp.).
It can be argued that in the not-too-distant past, resources were scarce, and libraries were one of the only sources of trustworthy information. Users were obliged to conform to library practices and standards in order to successfully meet their information needs. Now, users' time and attention are scarce, while resources are abundant with the development of the Internet and Web-based services (blogs, chat, social media sites, etc.) and easily accessed, digitized content. This article provides an overview of findings from two multi-year grant-funded projects. These projects address the questions: "Why do people choose one information source instead of another?" and "What factors contribute to their selection of information sources?" Specifically, the emergence of the concept of convenience as a critical factor in information-seeking choices among a variety of different types of people, across a period of several years, and in a variety of contexts, is explored.