SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION ISSUES

A NEWSLETTER FOR THE UIUC COMMUNITY

Issue No. 40

March 25, 2003

Paula Kaufman, University Librarian

Editor

 

 

WAR COVERAGE

To see professionals’ choices for the best of the best coverage of the war in Iraq, visit the American Press Institute’s Media Center website, cyberjournalist.net, which has links to a wide array of news sources and types, including a warblog for those of you who want up-to-the-minute news.  The site includes links to many interesting resources you won’t see on CNN (and some that you will).  http://www.cyberjournalist.net/

 

BALANCE ACT RE-INTRODUCED

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) has re-introduced her fair-use bill, which is now called the Balance Act. It would allow consumers to make copies of lawfully obtained digital content for their personal use, a right that consumers have long had for analog content. Last year the bill died in committee. The purpose of the Balance Act is to restore fair-use rights repealed by the DMCA and in that sense to restore balance to U.S. copyright law.  Jack Valenti, chairman of the MPAA, complains that Lofgren's bill "puts a dagger in the heart of the DMCA."  FOS News 3/11/03  http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/5365373.htm

Detailed description of the bill is at

http://www.house.gov/lofgren/news/2002/secbysecbalance.htm

 

COLLEGE MEDIA GROUP WARNS THAT 2 COPYRIGHT LAWS COULD COLLIDE

A group representing college media centers is warning the U.S. Copyright Office about a possible conflict between two federal laws, one meant to limit electronic access to copyrighted material and the other designed to broaden access to the same material for online education.  At issue are the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The first measure, known as the Teach Act and signed into law in November, amended copyright law to allow college instructors to use non-dramatic works, such as news articles and novels, and portions of dramatic works, such as movies, in online courses without paying fees and without seeking the author's permission. The second, which took effect in 1998, has a section that prevents consumers from bypassing devices that restrict electronic access to copyrighted works.

In a letter sent last month to the Copyright Office, the Consortium of College and University Media Centers says it wants the digital-copyright law's anti-circumvention provision clarified.  What worries the media centers is that colleges would not be allowed to bypass the copying protections to use materials from CDs and DVDs for distance education, as explicitly permitted by the Teach Act in certain circumstances. The problem arises when digital materials are not also released in non-digital formats that the colleges can fall back on, such as print.  Noting that colleges have barely begun to apply the provisions of the Teach Act, the group says that given the law's "great promise and its expected wholesale adoption by nonprofit higher education ... we cannot wait another three years to deal with the impact of this conflict after the fact."

Jeff Clark, the chairman of the college-media group's government regulations and public policy committee, wrote the letter. He says he knows of no specific cases in which colleges have felt constrained from taking advantage of the Teach Act because of the anti-circumvention provision.  The Copyright Office is expected to reveal its opinions later this year on the comments it has received during hearings on the issue.  http://chronicle.com/cgi2-bin/printable.cgi?article=http://chronicle.com/free/2003/03/2003031801t.htm

 

KAHN ON COPYRIGHT
Bob Kahn, who (with Vint Cerf) co-founded the Internet and who is head of CNRI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives, recently explained his views on digital copyright issues: "We have been promoting copyright and, more generally, intellectual property protection in the network probably as much as anybody in the research world. CNRI built a system for the U.S. Copyright Office to manage the registration of copyright claims and the attendant submission of copyright information and digital objects online; the system is called CORDS (cords.loc.gov). In my view, one of the problems that has not been satisfactorily dealt with in this country is the widespread lack of respect for the value of intellectual property. People think that they can do anything they want with intellectual property just because they themselves don't happen to see any cost associated with accessing it on the Net and, perhaps sending it to others or otherwise using it. I think this is clearly an educational issue as much as it is a constitutional issue."  ShelfLife, No. 98 (March 20 2003)
http://www.acm.org/ubiquity/interviews/r_kahn_1.html

 

SHEET-MUSIC COMPANY CONTINUES COPYRIGHT FIGHT

When Arthur Luck, first librarian for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, started selling works such as “Peter and the Wolf” in the 1940s, he probably never dreamed his grandsons would eventually have a 20-year stockpile of the piece.  Then again, he also probably never thought his ability to hand-write orchestra and symphony music would become Luck’s Music Library, Inc., a $4-million business that publishes and sells more than 25,000 classical musical works it supplies to more than 17,000 individuals and orchestras.  And in Luck’s wildest imagination he probably never would have thought that some of those same works he once hand-copied for the DSO and built his family’s business on would be the subject of two lawsuits filed by his grandsons, including one that made it to the U.S. Supreme Court in December.  Both lawsuits deal with the issue of when copyrighted works become part of the public domain.   http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/cc/news5.html

 

ONLINE COPYRIGHT COLLOQUIUM

Copyright Colloquium is The Media Institute’s online forum for discussing and debating the many issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property in the digital age. It features pieces by persons of diverse and often antagonistic views – scholars, policy analysts, current and former government officials, attorneys, copyright holders, equipment makers, artists, consumer advocates – a veritable who’s who in a virtual exchange of opinion. A discussion topic in Copyright Colloquium may be presented in one of several ways: as a stand-alone paper; as a paper accompanied by the comments of responders; or as two (or more) papers going head to head.  In every case readers have an opportunity to comment. Copyright Colloquium is not a chat room. It is a space for informed opinion, new ideas, and provocative debate compiled by The Media Institute’s editorial staff.  http://www.mediainstitute.org/colloquium/index.html

 

ELSEVIER ON OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS

It had been a long day for Pieter Bolman, Elsevier executive and former CEO of Pergamon and Academic Press. In the morning, he had, in his role as chair of the PSP (Professional and Scholarly Publishing) Executive Council, introduced the keynote speaker at the PSP 2003 Annual Conference. He had served over the past several months as chair of the program planning committee.  Bolman had just spent an hour on the firing line, debating the merits of alternative scholarly communications models that are, by definition, seeking directly to impinge on the business of his company and other journal publishers. The panel in which he was participating had just talked about "open-access" journals, such as those already (or soon to be) produced by HighWire Press, SPARC, and Public Library of Science (PLoS). It had also discussed the growing number of initiatives in the area of colleges developing institutional repositories to house scholars' works, such as MIT's DSpace program. This initiative is providing open digital access to out-of-print MIT books, data sets from researchers, and professors' lecture notes.   And then he sat down for an interview with an Information Today reporter. Read more at

http://www.infotoday.com/it/mar03/kaser2.shtml   FOS 3/12/03 News

 

CONVERTING TRADITIONAL JOURNALS TO OPEN-ACCESS JOURNALS

David Prosser of SPARC Europe has written a plan for converting traditional journals to open-access journals. It's based on the Thomas Walker idea reflected in the Florida Entomologist and the journals of the Entomological Society of America. Basically, a non-OA journal might decide to provide OA to individual articles when the author or author's sponsor could pay the journal's dissemination costs up front. The ratio of OA articles to non-OA articles from the same journal might start small and grow over time.  FOS News 3/20/03  http://www.biblio-tech.com/UKSG/SI_PD.cfm?AC=2160&PID=10&ZID=623

 

HARNAD ON SELF-ARCHIVING

Scholars and scientists do research to create new knowledge so that other scholars and scientists can use it to create still more new knowledge and to apply it to improving people's lives. They are paid to do research, but not to report their research. That they do for free, because it is not royalty-revenue from their research papers but their "research impact" that pays their salaries, funds their further research, earns them prestige and prizes, etc.  "Research impact" means how much of a contribution your research makes to further research. One way to measure this is by counting how many researchers use and cite your work in their own research papers.  Steven Harnard contends that it should be obvious that since research papers are rather like advertisements—they bring rewards the more they are read and used—and since researchers give them away, then any barriers that deny access to potential users of this give-away research are a bad thing—for research, researchers, and the society that funds the research and benefits from its findings.  http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~harnad/Temp/unto-others.html

 

ANOTHER JOURNAL LEAVES ELSEVIER

Another journal has declared independence from Elsevier. Until this month, the European Economic Review was the official journal of the European Economic Association (EEA). Elsevier has published the journal since 1969, before the EEA adopted it. But over the years, the EEA grew increasingly unhappy with Elsevier's subscription price (now $950/year for libraries) and its requirement that the publisher, not the association, hire the journal's editors. So in 2001 the EEA started the process of declaring independence. This month MIT Press will launch the Journal of the European Economic Association. The new journal will have a much lower price ($325/year for libraries) and be owned and controlled by the EEA.  FOS News 3/20/03  http://www.eeassoc.org/JournalsJEEA.html

 

INSTITUTIONAL REPOSITORIES ARE ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR SCHOLARSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE

Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information, writes that in the fall of 2002, something extraordinary occurred in the continuing networked information revolution, shifting the dynamic among individually driven innovation, institutional progress, and the evolution of disciplinary scholarly practices. The development of institutional repositories emerged as a new strategy that allows universities to apply serious, systematic leverage to accelerate changes taking place in scholarship and scholarly communication, both moving beyond their historic relatively passive role of supporting established publishers in modernizing scholarly publishing through the licensing of digital content, and also scaling up beyond ad-hoc alliances, partnerships, and support arrangements with a few select faculty pioneers exploring more transformative new uses of the digital medium.  http://www.arl.org/newsltr/226/ir.html

OUTSELL PREDICTS LEADING COMPANIES IN INFORMATION CONTENT INDUSTRY WILL GROW 8.5 PERCENT IN 2003

Outsell, Inc., has released its forecast for leading companies in the Information Content (IC) Industry. As the industry enters a cyclic recovery phase, Outsell predicts a healthy 2003 growth rate of 8.5 percent in the latest installment of its Outsell 60 Company Monitor. The Monitor tracks the financial condition of 60 representative IC companies that publish or distribute information used by people in corporations, in government, and in academia. The Monitor includes companies such as Reed Elsevier, Reuters, D&B, Gartner Group, IMS Health, Yahoo!, and CBS MarketWatch. The Outsell 60 companies have followed a dramatic business cycle, starting at the beginning of the Internet boom in 1995, through a catastrophic downturn in 2001 and 2002, to the beginnings of a recovery in late 2002. "Expectations for this industry remain low, which is why this recovery in 2003 and beyond will stand out," said Leigh Watson Healy, Outsell's vice president and chief analyst, and author of the report. "We expect acquisitions to continue to drive growth by larger companies, but we believe overall growth will be widespread, with revenues up in all industry sectors and all company sizes.” Last year's Outsell 60 forecast for 2002 was on the mark, as the actual growth rate of 4.2 percent was slightly above the predicted rate of 3.9 percent. The momentum of that 2002 growth will be a platform for a strong year in 2003." The new TrendAlert Briefing, Outsell 60(sm) Forecast 2003-2007, And 2003 Business Virtues, makes several additional predictions for industry metrics in 2003, including:

All vertical industry segments will grow.

Aggregators will grow faster than primary and secondary publishers.

Key financial indicators such as net margins, cash/revenue ratios, and market valuations will continue to improve.

"It's time for this industry to assert itself," said Healy. "The business media and Wall Street tend to focus on Internet-related industries such as information technology, e-commerce, and broadcast media, while ignoring companies that produce the content that people use in their work or educational activities. This industry has aggregate revenues of over $150 billion, and it includes major international companies such as Thomson, Reed Elsevier, Pearson, Reuters, D&B, Gartner Group, IMS Health, and newer players with their roots in Internet delivery such as Yahoo!, Hoover's, and CBS MarketWatch. While IT companies continue to suffer, the content companies in the Outsell 60 forecast show surprising growth that will outshine many industries over the next five years." 

http://www.outsellinc.com/outsell/about/press%20room/pr_release/pr20030317_01.htm

 

DESPITE SOFT ECONOMY WILEY REPORTS STRONG EARNINGS FOR THIRD QUARTER
Times may be tight for many publishers, but apparently not for John Wiley & Sons. The publisher announced this week that earnings for the third quarter ended
January 31, 2003, were up a solid 15 percent from the same period last year, with total revenue for the third quarter up six percent to $221.2 million. Wiley officials said that gross profit as a percentage of revenue improved during the quarter, principally due to its Hungry Minds products and higher STM (science, technology, medical) journal revenue. Wiley also singled out its professional and academic programs in architecture, culinary/hospitality, psychology, and teacher education as having "a solid third quarter," with highlights including Irving Weiner's 12-volume Handbook of Psychology, billed
as "the first complete reference treatment" of the science and practice of psychology.

Library Journal Academic News Wire: March 13, 2003

 

MICROSOFT EMBEDS CONTENT SERVICES IN OFFICE

Factiva, Gale, and Alacritude (publisher of eLibrary) are among the content vendors that will take part in a plan to offer content services through the new version of Microsoft's Office 2003 Suite, which is currently in beta testing. Users of Word, Excel, or other
applications in the Suite would be able to access the information services from a "Research Task Pane" integrated into all of the Office applications. Users will be able to highlight words or phrases, and launch into a search and retrieve results without leaving the application. This is the kind of integration with workflow that XML-based services make possible. As a practical matter, it speeds up a search launched from a document or a presentation. The deal also gets the names of these services in front of millions of Office users; that marketing and branding angle is likely the most important effect
of this partnership.  Outsell's e-briefs,
March 14, 2003

 

'TECHNOLOGY IS NOT THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING'
Michael Gorman, dean of library services at California State University, Fresno (and a former Library faculty member at UIUC), says he remembers a time 25 or 30 years ago when predictions were that the entire Library of Congress would be on ultrafiche and librarians "would carry these little machines in our briefcase, and we would sit on the bus and be able to read any book we wanted." His point is that much of today's enthusiasm for computers is not much more than hyperventilation, and argues that librarians "need to absorb the new ways of doing things that digital technology makes possible, but we must do so in such a way that technology serves the values and purposes of librarianship. Technology is not the answer to everything." We are not living in "some kind of epochal period for communication which leads people to think that libraries have to be either abolished or so completely transformed as to be unrecognizable. This seems to me to be an unlikely hypothesis." Gorman compares the effect on libraries of advances in computing and communication to "another recent revolution that never happened"—the idea that audiovisual materials would revolutionize the library. His confident prediction is that the issues presented to libraries by digital technology will all sort themselves out and "will find their correct level." (The Book and the Computer, a Conversation with Michael Gorman) ShelfLife, No. 97 (March 13 2003) http://www.honco.net/os/gorman.html

 

'BOOKS ARE FOR USE' AND OTHER RULES OF LIBRARIANSHIP
Robert Martin, director of the
Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, notes that the traditional distinctions between libraries, museums and archives are the result of an historical convention that was predicated on a perception that libraries and museums collected different kinds of things. But in the digital age, libraries, museums and archives all collect documents—a word which has come to mean a variety of things, like text files, audio files, image files, even multimedia presentations and Web pages. In the words of David M. Levy, author of "Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age," documents "are, quite simply, talking things. They are bits of the material world—clay, stone, animal skin, plant fiber, sand—that we've imbued with the ability to speak." Martin points out that the phenomenon of easy online accessibility has changed the relationship between libraries, museums and archives with digitized collections and the patrons who use them. People no longer care where a particular text or image is housed—only that they can access it on the Internet. And that accessibility is what professionals must focus on, says Martin, who cites Ranganathan's Five Laws of Librarianship as guidelines: 1) Books are for use. 2) Every book its reader. 3) Every reader his book. 4) Save the time of the user. 5) The library is a growing organism. Martin says there will always be "an inherent tension between the preservation of library materials and the use of those materials. But we must never forget to address the question 'to what purpose.' And for me, the purpose is always ultimately addressed by Ranganathan's first law: books are for use." (RLG Sharing the Wealth Forum 2002) ShelfLife, No. 97 (March 13 2003)
http://www.rlg.org/events/sharingthewealth2002/martin.html

 

DOWNSIDES OF DIGITAL ARCHIVING
Museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies house remarkable collections of cultural artifacts. Thanks to digital archives, many of these treasures are available online. But there are downsides to digital archiving, writes Sally McKay of the Getty Research Institute. First, it's not yet a true form of preservation, which relies on long-term, stable media beyond the reach of today's technology. The only accepted long-term preservation media remain durable acid-free paper and preservation microfilm. In addition, access to digital surrogates often makes people want to view the original, which can deluge staff with additional calls, letters, and requests for publication or reproduction of materials. The surrogates themselves must be high in quality to satisfy users' requirements, or they will need to consult the original. Archiving costs are extremely high, yet cultural institutions usually operate with either flat or marginally increasing budgets. Another disadvantage: users are completely reliant on computers and stable Internet connections to view and retrieve the digital information. This can be frustrating because of the large variety of computer models, platforms, software, and hardware around the world. Finally, ease of access to a digital collection leads to high expectations of end-users. There's a tendency to believe that everything is available online, that every bit of information online is true and accurate, and that everything available online is free of charge. (Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship Winter 2003) ShelfLife, No. 98 (March 20 2003)
http://southernlibrarianship.icaap.org/content/v04n01/Mckay_s01.htm

 

WHEN WEB SITES LAST FOREVER
Brewster Kahle's Internet Project is the most ambitious Web-archiving project to date, each month "crawling," or making digital copies of, more than 1 billion Web pages on 15 million Web sites for historical reference. The project is now involved with the Library of Congress's efforts to build a national digital library, parts of which will be made available to anyone with a modem and Internet access. Thanks to $100 million appropriation from Congress, Associate Librarian of Congress Laura Campbell says, "We will retain material, both as a snapshot or for cultural heritage purposes to say, take a look at the Internet, for instance at a certain point in time. We'll also retain material by subject matter." But some Web site creators are uncomfortable with this sense of immortality: "Site owners, in fact including myself, have discovered previous incarnations of their site being displayed on these archives. There could well be a lot of times when you don't want this to happen, because something has changed about your site, about your business, such that you really don't want to be publicly saying what you used to say," says e-business strategist Philippa Gamse. "And occasionally, you know, it happens that something on your site turns out to be illegal, and you may not have known it when you put it up. And my concern is that if your site's being archived out there without your knowledge, then there could be things that are being archived that you really wouldn't want to be preserved." In response to these concerns, Kahle says his Way Back Machine (home of the archive) will immediately delete from its digital archive any Web site whose owner doesn't want it included. And LoC's Campbell says the Library of Congress will seek Web site owners' permission before putting stored pages on the Internet for public access.  ShelfLife, No. 98 (March 20 2003)
http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=BD286625-1490-4C68-B7F28CAC3D29130E&title=Internet%20in%20Daily%20Life:%20Preserving%20the%20Net

 

TAPPING “THE NEW SCIENCE OF NETWORKS”
Columbia University sociologist Duncan Watts is one of the leaders in an emerging field called "the new science of networks." Watts predicates his theories on the observation that large-scale groups of people and micro-scale networks of biological cells form and reform according to many of the same principles. Watts says that while theories of networks have been around for a long time, what's new about his theory on network science is "the synthesis of ideas from a variety of disciplines: math, computer science, sociology, biology. Until recently these fields haven't been aware that we're all working on the same kinds of problems.  One application that already works is Google. Google takes advantage of the fact that the Web is a network and that the links are created by individuals who all know something. Many links pointing to a particular site is a consensus. That's how Google ranks search results—results far better than those based on content analysis. It's about being connected to people who are connected." Watts, who recently published a book on the subject titled "Six Degrees: the Science of a Connected Age," says researchers could benefit from advanced search capabilities based on his theories. "Harvard psychologist Stanley Milgram's discovery that anyone in the world can contact anyone else in only six steps—the famous 'six degrees of separation'—is really a search phenomenon. And it's actually a kind of search that computers have a difficult time performing. If you have a peer-to-peer network and you need to find a particular data file without a centralized directory, how do you do it? Currently, either you replicate it all over the place, or you do some brute-force broadcast search which ends up swamping the network. If we could learn how humans do this kind of thing then maybe we can design better algorithms for computers." ShelfLife, No. 98 (March 20 2003) http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/wo_cameron030703.asp

 

GOVERNMENT WEB SITES SEE SPIKE IN VISITS

Government Web sites captured the clicks of more than a third of all domestic Internet surfers last month, suggesting that their attempt to communicate to citizens through the Internet is gaining ground. Total Internet traffic to government sites leapt by 26 percent from last December to February, including 9 million new visitors who logged on from work or home, according to a recent report by Nielsen/NetRatings, an Internet traffic research firm. The highest jump of online viewers in that three-month period occurred on the Treasury Department's site, which saw 147 percent more visitors, from 4.8 million to 11.8 million. NASA boasts the second-fastest growth with a 124 percent surge from 2.3 million to 5.2 million unique visitors.

http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/21447-1.html

 

RIAA WANTS MORE NAMES FROM VERIZON

The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is going after more names from Verizon. The RIAA previously won a ruling to compel Verizon to turn over a subscriber's name for allegedly downloading more than 600 songs in one day. Verizon is appealing that decision. Now the RIAA is seeking two more names from Verizon. Verizon is again moving to quash the subpoenas, and the presiding judge has consolidated the case, including a stay decision. The hearing is scheduled for April 1.

http://dc.internet.com/news/article.php/2116721

 

PENNY WISE? ANOTHER INDICATION OF THE STATE OF THE TIMES

A proposal by California Governor Gray Davis would eliminate $1.2 million in state funds that subsidize interlibrary loan. The proposal suggests that instead of state funding, a fee structure be put in place for out-of-district borrowing and interlibrary loans.
Increasingly, there is no place to hide from budget constraints. Nationwide state budget
issues are one of a number of asteroids hurling toward the Information Content Industry; public and academic library services are on the chopping block in so many states. Many libraries respond to budget difficulties by concentrating the focus of their
collections, and relying on document delivery and interlibrary loan for seldom-used materials. Now it looks like those trends are on a collision course. Outsell's e-briefs, March 21, 2003

 

FEDS DESPERATELY SEEKING IT HELP

In response to a "desperate shortage of qualified IT managers," the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is planning a "hiring binge" over the summer. In fact, the need for new IT managers is so great that "several hundred IT projects in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are at risk of having funding withheld unless experienced managers can be found." In fiscal 2004, the Bush administration plans to spend approximately $60 billion on federal IT expenditures, about a 15% increase over the amount spent in fiscal 2003—making IT one of only a handful of areas that will experience "significant" growth over the next 12 months.

http://www.atnewyork.com/news/article.php/2168641

 

FIX OFFERED FOR FOIA EXEMPTION IN HOMELAND SECRUTIY ACT

Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), James Jeffords (I-VT), Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), and Robert Byrd (D-WV) have introduced the Restore Freedom of Information Act (Restore FOIA), which they say would protect Americans' "right to know" while simultaneously contributing to the security of the nation's critical infrastructure. The bill, S. 609, would replace the broad FOIA exemption for "critical infrastructure information" included in the charter for the new Department of Homeland Security, enacted last November. That exemption applies to information about facilities—such as privately operated power plants, bridges, dams, ports or chemical plants—that might be targets of a terrorist attack. The exemption shields from FOIA almost any voluntarily submitted document stamped by the facility owner as "critical infrastructure" and submitted to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The concern: the law allows companies to hide information about public health and safety simply by voluntarily submitting it to DHS. The law also shields such information from use in civil litigation, criminalizes otherwise legitimate whistleblower activity by DHS employees, and preempts state or local disclosure laws. Leahy called it "the single most destructive blow to FOIA in its 36-year history." Last year, working on the homeland security bill, the Senate and the White House compromised on the language currently contained in the Restore FOIA bill. However, the bipartisan compromise was stripped out of the underlying bill and instead House language was enacted. The new bill would limit the FOIA exemption to records relevant to critical infrastructure safety, not limit the use of such information by the government, protect whistleblowers, and not forbid use of such information in civil court cases to hold companies accountable for wrongdoing or to protect the public. The bill was endorsed by the American Library Association, the American Association of Law Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries, among other groups. http://libraryjournal.reviewsnews.com/index.asp?layout=articlePrint&articleID=CA286313

 

CA RESEARCH CENTER AT HEART OF DATA-MINING STORM

For the next few years, Teresa Lunt, principal scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center in California, is expected to be on the front lines of the government's efforts to analyze the nation's commercial databases for potential terrorist activity while also protecting
individuals' privacy.  She is the leader of one research project to be funded by the
Defense Department's Information Awareness Office. Lunt's project aims to develop a "privacy firewall" that weeds out identifying information in searchable databases while providing government analysts with enough information to try to identify terrorists. The project was one of 26 chosen out of 180 proposals and is expected to receive about $1 million a year for the next three years.   The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), through a Freedom of Information Act request the group filed last year, made public the names of Lunt's center and other contractors for TIA.  Lunt said she understands people's concerns and believes that those people working at TIA also are worried about the privacy implications. As she envisions the program, the government would not have control over commercial information; rather, the data would remain in the private sector.  Her privacy firewall would block the release to government of people's names, addresses, phone numbers, credit cards, license-plate numbers, Social Security numbers and other individually identifying information. At the same time, it would allow searches for particular type activities that, based on a model developed within the government's
intelligence community, could indicate potential terrorist behavior.
http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0303/031103td2.htm

 

The scholarly communications are also available on line at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/administration/news.htm