Nicholas Taylor will participate in National Digital Stewardship Alliance Digital Preservation. We look forward to connecting with any LOCKSS partners who may also be attending!
Nicholas will present Systems to Stem Government Threats to Government Information as part of the "minute madness" session.
Here is the abstract:
The past year has seen heightened concern about the threats to government information posed by governments themselves. The recent behavior of the U.S. Federal Government is only the most recent; it echoes the purging of government datasets and historical records by Canada's Harper administration just several years ago. Examples like these are, sadly, not historically novel; they reflect a common impulse of those in power to censor information that runs contrary to their agenda.
We are more vulnerable to these attacks than we've ever been. In a print world, distributed repositories maintained local copies of government information through programs like the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Digital information has decoupled the necessary connection between distributed access and distributed custody, at once making the dissemination of government information more efficient but also more easily altered or deleted.
What we need to address these threats is the strategy we've always ever relied upon: lots of copies, keeping stuff safe. It matters also that the copies be maintained in independent repositories that remain skeptical about the integrity of information stored in others, and that themselves operate transparently. Finally, digital information allows for an enhanced mechanism of mutual audit of the replicated copies.
The LOCKSS Program has built software and supports networks that provide these features. We're one of many organizations and communities working in this space. How can we better work together, leveraging our collective knowledge and mature technical solutions like LOCKSS, to address government threats to government information?