[govinfo] GovInfo News 8-24-2007

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2007 14:26:34 -0400

- Anonymous Lawmaker Helps to Build OpenCRS Database
- NY Lawmakers propose nuclear plant no-fly zones
- EPA CIO wants information to be more findable
- Digital standards come first - Before agencies digitize their records, LOC 
group must develop standards
- Amended litigation rules force governments to rethink their electronic 
document options
- Agencies must prepare for e-discovery, experts say

Patrice McDermott, Director
202.332.OPEN (6736)
August 23, 2007

A member of Congress agreed to provide a running list of new CRS reports as 
they are published to the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).    By 
providing a running list of new reports, the lawmaker (who asked to remain 
unnamed) makes it possible for OpenCRS's network of grassroots volunteers to 
seek out the reports and upload them to the database. One of the biggest 
obstacles for OpenCRS [and others who gather these reports and make them 
available at no cost to the public] has always been that there was no way of 
knowing exactly what reports had even been published. more [CDT] [Kudos to the 
lawmaker. This is a high priority issue for the public access community and has 
been met with stiff congressional resistance.]

Links: OpenCRS
            LLRX article on CRS reports with links to other CRS reports 

- Homeland Security to broaden sharing of visitor data
By Chris Strohm
August 23, 2007

The Homeland Security Department on Wednesday announced broad changes for using 
a database that collects and stores information on foreign travelers to the 
United States.    In one of the biggest changes, the department plans to 
regularly share information with U.S. intelligence agencies, department 
officials said in an interview Thursday. "This is a first step to make it clear 
that we do have the authority to conduct this type of sharing and to make the 
public know that we do plan to do so in the future," one official said on 
condition of anonymity. more  [National Journal's Technology Daily via GovExec]

By Jon Fox
August 22, 2007

Lawmakers representing New York have introduced a bill that would permit the 
head of homeland security to declare no-fly zones around certain nuclear power 
plants, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission sees little need for such a 
measure. more [GovExec]


- US launches 'MySpace for spies'
By Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington
Published: August 21 2007

Spies and teenagers normally have little in common but that is about to change 
as America's intelligence agencies prepare to launch "A-Space", an internal 
communications tool modelled on the popular social networking sites, Facebook 
and MySpace.     Thomas Fingar, the deputy director of national intelligence 
for analysis, believes the common workspace - a kind of "MySpace for analysts" 
- will generate better analysis by breaking down firewalls across the 
traditionally stove-piped intelligence community. He says the technology can 
also help process increasing amounts of information where the number of 
analysts is limited.     Underscoring the power of social-networking sites, the 
Central Intelligence Agency recently used Facebook to help boost applications 
for the national clandestine service. The move sparked concerns that the CIA 
was monitoring members, which the agency denies. more [FT.com Financial Times 
via GovExec]


BY Wade-Hahn Chan
Aug. 23, 2007

Although sharing data with the public is important, so is making that 
information easy to find, said Molly O'Neill, chief information officer at the 
Environmental Protection Agency.    She said that nine times out of 10 she 
can't find what she's looking for using either the agency's search engine or 
Google.    The growing number of agency documents that are converted into 
digital formats and released openly on the Web, creating an ever-growing mound 
of data for users to sift through, is the source of the problem, she said. more 

- DIGITAL STANDARDS COME FIRST - Before agencies digitize their records, LOC 
group must develop standards
BY Ben Bain
Aug. 20, 2007

There are no governmentwide standards for digitizing books, records, photos, 
maps and films or other analog materials. But federal agencies are working 
together to create standards for bringing millions of creative works into the 
digital world.     Representatives from the Library of Congress, the Government 
Printing Office, the National Archives and Records Administration, the 
Transportation Department and other organizations are establishing guidelines 
for a massive digitization project.     The Federal Digitization Standards 
Working Group of the National Digital Strategy Advisory Board (NDSAB) is 
developing governmentwide standards or guidelines that will help agencies 
preserve documents and other works and share them. more [FCW]


BY John Moore
Aug. 13, 2007

Changes in federal rules that govern civil litigation have prompted state and 
local agencies to explore better methods for producing electronic evidence in 
the event of a legal action. The revised procedures apply to federal courts, 
but legal experts say state and local agencies must comply with them if they 
become litigants in a federal case.    Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil 
Procedure that went into effect in December 2006 cast a wide net over the types 
of data that an organization might be asked to produce in a lawsuit's discovery 
phase. The new rules use the phrase "electronically stored information," a 
catch-all term that covers word processing documents and materials such as 
e-mail messages, instant messages and voice mail.    Like it or not, to comply 
with the new rules of e-discovery, agencies must prepare for locating 
electronic information deemed relevant to a legal case. And agencies that wish 
to improve their e-discovery capabilities must first take stock of what they 
hold and where it is located.  more [FCW]


BY Ben Bain
Aug. 15, 2007

As government communication becomes more electronic and subject to legal 
review, the key to avoiding trouble is improving communication among agencies' 
legal departments, information technology professionals and record managers, 
said a group of government and private lawyers who gave a presentation about 
e-discovery Aug. 14.    In December 2006, a change to the Federal Rules of 
Civil Procedure expanded the kinds of documents that an organization might be 
asked to produce in a lawsuit's discovery phase to include electronically 
stored information. That means agencies can expect to face consistent inquiries 
from judges about e-mail messages, wikis and instant messages, and failure to 
present them could have negative results.  more [FCW]

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  • » [govinfo] GovInfo News 8-24-2007