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Category Archives: E-Records

Nuts and Bolts of Encryption: A Primer for Policymakers

Nuts and Bolts of Encryption: A Primer for Policymakers, Edward W. Felten, Center for Information Technology Policy. Department of Computer Science, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, version of February 20, 2017. An up-to-date version of this paper will be available at https://www.cs.princeton.edu/~felten/encryptionprimer.pdf

“This paper offers a straight for ward introduction to encryption, as it is implemented in modern systems, at a level of detail suitable for policy discussions. No prior background on encryption or data security is assumed. Encryption is used in two main scenarios. Encrypted storage allows information to be stored on a device, with encryption protecting the data should a malicious party get access to the device. Encrypted communication allows information to be transmitted from one party to another party, often across a network, with encryption protecting the data should a malicious party get access to the data while it is in transit. Encryption is used somewhat differently in these two scenarios, so it makes sense to present them separately. We’ll discuss encrypted storage first, because it is simpler. We emphasize that the approaches described here are not detailed description s of any particular existing system, but rather generic descriptions of how state-of-the-art systems typically operate. Specific products and standards fill in the details differently, but they are roughly similar at the level of detail given here.”

Mirror copy of EPA website prior to Trump preserved for researchers and public

FastCoExist: “Should sections of the Environmental Protection Agency‘s website go the way of the civil rights and climate-change pages of the White House website—in other words, disappear—the agency is prepared. Even if Donald Trump takes the whole EPA site offline, a mirror copy of the website exists online, and it reflects the way the site… Continue Reading

The Immigration Court’s Institutional Hearing Program: How Will It Be Affected

“Special Immigration Court hearings under the court’s Institutional Hearing Program (IHP) appear slated for expansion under President Trump. A new directive, signed by Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Monday, February 20, 2017 provides that “to the maximum extent possible” removal proceedings be initiated against noncitizens currently “incarcerated in federal, state, and local… Continue Reading

GAO – Presidential and Congressional Transition documents

“During presidential transitions, GAO provides information specifically for new administrations as well as new Congresses. The resources and recommendations here can help policymakers and other leaders find ways to greatly improve government operations and potentially save millions of dollars. Three sets of resources are available here, specifically focusing on the issues and challenges that should… Continue Reading

The Presidential Timeline Project

“The Presidential Timeline project supports educators in developing students’ historical thinking skills and promoting civic engagement. The project consists of the Presidential Timeline website, Summer Teacher Institutes and webinars. The National Archives provides historical content and primary sources, and the University of Texas at Austin provides technical skills to create and maintain the website. Both… Continue Reading

The real National Treasure: US presidential libraries

Oxford University Press Blog: “…A presidential library is actually two things,” Giller [Melissa Giller, Chief Marketing Officer for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Institute in Simi Valley, California] describes. “It’s a museum that anyone can come and visit and tour through…and it is a library.” The library is, more often than not, the private… Continue Reading

Some animal welfare data removed from USDA site is restored

Follow up to previous postings – Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website – today via The Hill – USDA reposts some animal welfare records after outcry: “The Department of Agriculture on Friday  February 17, 2017] reposted some of the animal welfare records it had removed from its website, after outcry from animal rights groups… Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Democrats Demand Retention of All Documents Related to Trump, Russia

“All nine Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats today called on the White House, the Justice Department and the FBI to preserve all documents related to communication between Russia and all Trump officials and associates, as well as all documents related to Russian interference in the 2016 election. Letter to White House Letter to DOJ, FBI In… Continue Reading

Please support DataRescue and other open access archive efforts

“DataRescue events create trustworthy copies of federal climate and environmental data, while the Internet Archive, datarefuge.org, and a consortium of major research libraries holds these copies. See our sister project at www.librariesnetwork.org. See also: “Orientation to DataLumos – ICPSR’s archive to preserve valuable government data. Join us for a webinar on Feb 17, 2017 at 12:00… Continue Reading

Animal welfare data deleted by government restored to public by Russ Kick

Follow up to previous posting – Animal welfare information wiped from USDA website – news via TIME on the freedom of information evangelist Russ Kick – “An Arizona man who has published thousands of animal welfare documents on his website since the government purged the once-public information is pledging to keep digging up data until… Continue Reading

Cloud Spanner: a global database service for mission-critical applications

Google Cloud Platform Blog: “…we’re excited to announce the public beta for Cloud Spanner, a globally distributed relational database service that lets customers have their cake and eat it too: ACID transactions and SQL semantics, without giving up horizontal scaling and high availability. When building cloud applications, database administrators and developers have been forced to… Continue Reading

Microsoft Corporation v. DOJ on sneak-and-peek searches

Via Bloomberg – “Microsoft Corp. persuaded a judge not to let the U.S. government out of a lawsuit alleging the company’s free-speech rights are violated by a law that blocks it from alerting users to the clandestine interception of their e-mails. The judge said Microsoft has at least made a plausible argument that federal law… Continue Reading