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News from abroad: UK open statutes & RFID in Canadian coins

I know we usually focus on US documents, but it’s good to look at what’s happening in other countries once in a while.

BoingBoing, one of my favorite blogs, frequently posts information of interest to libraries, and today was a banner day.

The first post of interest was a story about the UK’s new *free* statutes database. The UK Department for Constitutional Affairs, after 13 years in the works, has launched the Statute Law Database project. Before this, access to consolidated versions of the law of the UK wasn’t possible without paying lots of money to a private publisher. While the writer mentioned that the situation in the US was similar with access dominated by Westlaw and LexisNexis, a kind commenter pointed out that West and Lexis indeed dominate case law access, but US code could be freely accessible via GPOAccess, Thomas and Cornell’s Legal Information Institute.

A little closer to home, The US counter-intelligence office of the U.S. Department of Defense recently related that Canadian coins containing tiny transmitters have mysteriously turned up in the pockets of at least three American contractors who visited Canada. Evidently, this is one way that foreign agents use to illicitly acquire military technology.

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