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Category Archives: E-Records

UK Report – Better Information for Better Government

Better Information for Better Government. 18 January 2017. Cabinet Office Digital Records and Information Management Team, working in collaboration with The National Archives and Government Digital Service.

“Managing information is critical for good government. Internally, information is the foundation of effective analysis and policy making. It provides the evidence to support decision making and it is a critical enabler of efficiency. Externally, it supports accountability of both civil servants and ministers through publications, audit, parliamentary scrutiny, freedom of information and ultimately through open public records. Information is one of the core assets of government. Like other assets, it needs to be managed well if we are to get best value from it. When information was predominantly held on paper, government was generally good at managing it. Files and filing were at the centre of how work got done: they were intrinsic to the flow of work, not an overhead on it. As a result, information could be organised and preserved and the lifecycle from initial creation through to long-term preservation and presentation was robust. As Sir Alex Allan noted in his 2015 Review of Government Digital Records, the transition from paper-based working to email and electronic documents undermined the rigour of information management across much of government. While little information has been lost altogether, much of what has accumulated over the past fifteen to twenty years is poorly organised, scattered across different systems and almost impossible to search effectively. This not only undermines government’s ability to structure and preserve long-term records, it also creates real and immediate risks for accounting officers, who may be unable to provide evidence for past decisions and actions or to meet their statutory obligations for public records and freedom of information. There is an immediate need to improve the organisation and management of departments’ accumulated digital records. Fortunately, the tools and techniques for doing so have improved rapidly in recent years and some departments are already making effective use of them. All departments need to be confident that they understand their digital information assets and have clear plans to ensure that they are managed in a way that addresses short term needs and risks and also supports long term preservation. There is also a need – and a great opportunity – to prevent the problem continuing to build up in future. The same tools and techniques will provide some help here too. The solution is primarily in the culture and work practices of the civil service. There needs to be clear accountability for information, as there is for other assets. Working practices need to recognise and value good information management with effective professional support for teams and projects. Getting information management right from the outset will deliver short term value through making better use of existing information and expertise and in doing so will deliver longer term value in managing information risks and creating a solid foundation for maintaining public records. This report, along with the programme of activity it describes, is the government’s response to Sir Alex Allan’s review. It sets an agenda for change and notes wider, structural issues that require further attention. As all departments are different, a single top-down approach will not succeed. Our focus is now on developing collaborative approaches across both departments and professional disciplines. We aim to test solutions and to promote the adoption of those which prove most effective.”

Obama Administration Digital Transition – Continuing to Follow Officials on Social Media

“Over the past eight years, the President, the First Lady, and the Obama White House have used social media and technology to engage with people around the country and the world on the most important issues of our time. From the very beginning, our mission has been to reach people on the channels and platforms… Continue Reading

Welcome to the new CIA Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room

“The CIA’s declassified database is now online. Thanks to a MuckRock lawsuit and Mike Best’s diligence, you can now read over 13 million pages of Agency records – Back in December, we wrote about how the CIA would be placing its previously-inaccessible CREST database online. The move was a response to our lawsuit, handled pro… Continue Reading

Archive of public tweets, deleted by politicians around the world

“What is Politwoops? An archive of public tweets deleted by politicians. Explore the tweets they would prefer you couldn’t see.” Continue Reading

A New Focus on Law Firm Cybersecurity

A New Focus on Law Firm Cybersecurity – Daniel Garrie January 11, 2017. “Law firms have long held a hallowed position in the corporate world, as the preeminent keeper of confidences. But the frequency with which law firms are falling victim to data breaches and hacks should leave clients questioning their firm’s data security. Due… Continue Reading

DOJ OIG Announces Initiation of Review of agency and FBI actions prior to election

News release: “Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations, and members of the public, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review of allegations regarding certain actions by the Department of Justice… Continue Reading

Obama releases redacted report on Russian hacking and US elections

Follow up to previous posting, WaPo reports US intel documents Russian geopol jubilation at Trump win, which included a wide ranging resources on this issue – see today Via Politico: “The Obama administration on Friday officially blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for directing a massive cyber assault against the U.S. election in an attempt to… Continue Reading

White House – New Lenses on the First Social Media Presidency

Joshua Miller via White House – “At the end of October, we shared our plans for preserving and passing on the digital history of the Obama administration, and invited the American people to “come up with creative ways to archive this content and make it both useful and available for years to come.” From the… Continue Reading

WaPo reports US intel documents Russian geopol jubilation at Trump win

Follow up to previous posting today – President-elect plans to restructure US intelligence agencies – via Washington Post – U.S. intercepts capture senior Russian officials celebrating Trump win – “Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that… Continue Reading

Newsweek – Why President Obama Can’t Pardon Edward Snowden

Newsweek – Edward Jay Epstein, January 7, 2017: “A president can pardon anyone from any crime for any reason, or no reason at all, but, as the hours tick away on his presidency, it is unimaginable that Obama, a former law lecturer, will ignore all he knows about what Snowden did and absolve him of… Continue Reading

President-elect plans to restructure US intelligence agencies

WSJ – President-elect works on restructuring Office of the Director of National Intelligence, tweets again his doubts that Russia hacked Democrats – “President-elect Donald Trump, a harsh critic of U.S. intelligence agencies, is working with top advisers on a plan that would restructure and pare back the nation’s top spy agency, people familiar with the… Continue Reading

EFF – The State of Crypto Law: 2016 in Review

Nate Cardozo – The State of Crypto Law: 2016 in Review – “This year was one of the busiest in recent memory when it comes to cryptography law in the United States and around the world…In this post, we’ll run down the list of things that happened, how they could have gone wrong (but didn’t),… Continue Reading