[govinfo] GovInfo News 9-14-06

  • From: "Patrice McDermott" <pmcdermott@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <govinfo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <FOI-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2006 11:49:10 -0400

- NSA Mobilizes Against Leaks
- Group modifies preparedness Web site after DHS complains
- 'Ransom' demand pays for free maps
- OMB seeks FOIA info as part of annual e-gov update
- NARA - Agency records schedules; availability

Patrice McDermott, Director
202-332-OPEN (6736)

- NSA Mobilizes Against Leaks

The National Security Agency has instructed all of its employees to "actively" 
watch for unauthorized disclosures of classified information in the press and 
online, and to report such disclosures to the authorities.

- Group modifies preparedness Web site after DHS complains

September 7, 2006
By Jon Fox, Global Security Newswire

In response to a request from the Homeland Security Department, the Federation 
of American Scientists has made its version of the government's emergency 
preparedness Web site slightly less identical to the original.

Homeland Security claimed the use of the logo and design from its Web site, 
Ready.gov, by the federation for its site, ReallyReady.org, constituted theft 
of intellectual property.

An intern at the organization spent her summer developing an alternate version 
of the government site -- one which the federation said contained more useful 
information and corrected deficiencies found in the Homeland Security site. She 
also wrote a lengthy critique of the DHS site.

The work did not go unnoticed by the media, appearing in the Washington Post 
and elsewhere. Then came the letter from the government.

The new site infringed on the department's intellectual property, according to 
a DHS lawyer. The sites just look too similar, the government claimed.

The main bones of contention were the color scheme, the check-mark logo and the 
wording on ReallyReady.org, all of which originally approximated the 
government's Web site. Homeland Security asked that they stop using the designs.

Intern Emily Hesaltine's analysis of Ready.gov - which is available on 
ReallyReady.org - criticized the government site for containing incorrect and 
incomplete information, generic advice and overly lengthy explanations.

Hesaltine also noted the lack at the time of information available for people 
with disabilities or special needs. There are only 21 lines of emergency 
preparedness advice aimed at the disabled, she wrote, the same amount devoted 
to preparing one's pet for an emergency.

Since the federation launched its site in early August, at least two changes 
have apparently been made to government site. Ready.gov has added two new 
sections, one for people with disabilities and one for older Americans.   . . .

- 'Ransom' demand pays for free maps
USGS policies made biker think creatively about getting maps

BY Aliya Sternstein
Published on Sept. 11, 2006
Two years ago, a mountain biker, frustrated because he could not find free, 
official topographic maps online, submitted a Freedom of Information Act 
request to the U.S. Geological Survey. After USGS denied the request several 
times, the cyclist - Jared Benedict - decided to raise enough money to 
centralize the government's topographic maps online for free.

USGS had told Benedict that he could buy the maps he needed from the agency, so 
he did. He purchased a hard drive containing more than 56,000 digital 
topographic maps from a USGS business partner and used his Web site to ask 
donors for a $1,600 "ransom" to cover the expense.

"Donate or purchase maps on DVD to meet the ransom demand," Benedict urged 
readers of his Web site. "Once the $1,600 ransom is met, all maps will be 
handed over to the Internet Archive. The Internet Archive will make every map 
available for free download forever!"

The Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization that offers access to historical 
collections in digital format, will eventually offer free public access to the 
Benedict, a systems administrator in the information technology department at 
Dartmouth College, said he posted the ransom note the night of Aug. 27 and 
raised slightly more than he had asked - $1,700 within 24 hours.

The digital topographic maps show physical features such as mountains and 
rivers, which is useful for hikers, students researching land change or 
businesses planning expansions. The maps are TIFFs with metadata files that 
enable geographic information system applications to use them.
[. . .]

- OMB seeks FOIA info as part of annual e-gov update

08/25/06 -- 04:21 PM
By Rob Thormeyer

Agencies must update the Office of Management and Budget on their progress in 
implementing recent changes to the Freedom of Information Act.

In an Aug. 25 memorandum 
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/memoranda/fy2006/m06-25.pdf  Karen Evans, OMB 
administrator for E-government and IT, said that as part of their annual update 
of e-government projects, agencies must also list the steps they have taken to 
comply with an executive order that directed the government to streamline FOIA 

Agencies must submit a report to OMB each year on their implementation of 
e-government programs, which is later given to Congress, as directed under the 
E-Government Act of 2002.

"This year, your report will comprise three specific components, and the first 
two are the same as last year," Evans wrote. "The third component addresses how 
your agency's information dissemination activities are coordinated with your 
FOIA operations."

The December 2005 order required agencies to appoint a chief FOIA officer and 
make information about how they handle FOIA requests available online by June 

From the Evans memo:
2. Describe your process for determining which information will be made 
available on your agency's public website and the Internet as required in 
Section 207(f)(2) of the Act. Your description must:
            . Describe your process for determining which government 
information the agency intends to make available and accessible to the public 
on the Internet and by other means;
            . Include a copy of the priorities and schedules for making your 
information available and accessible;
            . Explain how and when such final determinations, priorities, and 
schedules were available for public notice and comment;
            . Provide the link where final determinations, priorities, and 
schedules can be found on your principal Federal agency public website; and
            . Identify progress to date for permitting searching of all files 
intended for public use on the website, displaying search results in order of 
relevancy to search criteria, and providing response times appropriately 
equivalent to industry best practices.

3. Describe how your agency's information dissemination activities are 
coordinated with its FOIA operations in order to improve both access to and 
dissemination of government information to the public. Your description must 
include a link to your agency's Information Resources Management (IRM) 
Strategic Plan and FOIA Improvement Plan.

- National Archives and Records Administration
NOTICES Agency records schedules; availability, 50473-50475 [E6-14123]


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