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Weekly News Digest

July 14, 2003 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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New Site to Provide Data for Government Information Awareness

On July 4, the Computing Culture group of the MIT Media Lab launched a new site for a research effort called Government Information Awareness (GIA; http://opengov.mit.media.edu/). It aims to provide software and data "to help citizens understand the complexities of their government." The group says it was motivated by the (controversial) Defense Advanced Research Program Administration's (DARPA) Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) program, which seeks to gather, consolidate, and analyze information about Americans and foreigners. (Note: TIA was originally named Total Information Awareness but the name was changed. For more information, http://www.darpa.mil/body/tia/terrorism_info_aware.htm.)

The premise of GIA is that individual citizens have the right to know details about government, while government has the power to know details about citizens. Its goal is to develop a technology that "empowers citizens to form a sort of intelligence agency; gathering, sorting, and acting on information they gather about the government." In addition to including data from public sources, the site allows individuals to contribute information, while retaining anonymity, but while also being identified as a consistent source. Any subject of a submission ó whether individual, agency, or organization ó is notified of the submission and asked to respond.

Source: MIT Media Lab, Computing Culture



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