I saw articles this morning talking about libraries in Baltimore staying open through the protests that have been taking place. While not directly related to our course per say, I found them interesting for the manner in which they discuss the library. They have been de facto places of refuge from the description the article gives, something which struck me as being a rare characteristic. In my perception such distinction was reserved for churches or similar religious buildings, but here we have libraries being held up as the same type of saving institution.
I would like to see these librarians acknowledged for their dedication to their institution and their community. The phrase above and beyond gets tossed around quite a bit, but truly it applies here to these folks.
Here we have more news about the metadata political battle ongoing in Australia. I found it interesting that the cost for the program is described as $188 million to $319 million. This struck me because that is a huge gulf between already huge sums of money. Yet, again, no indication of how this data will be managed is given in detail other than to mention that passwords, PINs, et al will not be held by the telecommunication company which is tasked with retention of this data for a period of two years. In response it describes a campaign designed to attempt to flood the attorney general’s email inbox – ironic because this mimics a denial of service attack which is a commonly deployed illicit tactic. Further irony exists I think between the supposed reason for this measure – the prevention of cyber terrorism acts – and the fact that it creates a target for illicit groups in search of the information being retained for criminal reasons.
This article once again brings metadata into the news. In reading the latest about this situation in Australia I was struck wondering just how this data is kept and handled. The reported on political component of the issue seems to revolve around who will foot the bill for the effort of retaining the data (referred to as “the scheme”), but I failed to find information describing how this data would be handled. More importantly, who will be handling this data and what will be their qualifications? From the article it seems the decision of cost sharing is yet to be decided and does not directly mention who will be handling the data. Presumably the Australian government is requiring companies to employ and train individuals to be caretakers of this information. Given the current climate of hostile data breaches it is alarming that more focus is not given to the means and personnel of “the scheme” described in the article. The secure and proper management of this information will be critical to successfully executing the mandate of the government.