USA sammelt Bibliotheksausweise. Und alles andere.

Jeremy Scahill und Ryan Devereaux berichten auf The Intercept über das “Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist“. Darin sind Kriterien festgelegt, nach denen “Terroristen” als eben solche deklariert werden. Konkrete Beweise seien dazu allerdings nicht erforderlich. Zwecks Verleihung des Terroristenstatus wird auf allerlei Informationen zurückgegriffen. Fingerabdrücke, Waffenscheine, “any cards with an electronic strip on it (hotel cards, grocery cards, gift cards, frequent flyer cards)”, Telefone, Social-Media-Accounts, einfach alles. Wirklich alles? Ja, alles:

Screeners are also instructed to collect data on any “pocket litter,” scuba gear, EZ Passes, library cards, and the titles of any books, along with information about their condition—”e.g., new, dog-eared, annotated, unopened.” Business cards and conference materials are also targeted, as well as “anything with an account number” and information about any gold or jewelry worn by the watchlisted individual. Even “animal information”—details about pets from veterinarians or tracking chips—is requested. The rulebook also encourages the collection of biometric or biographical data about the travel partners of watchlisted individuals.

Auch Bibliotheksausweise. Ich konnte die entsprechende Stelle im Original-Dokument “Watchlisting guidance” (PDF) vom März 2013 mangels OCR allerdings leider nicht ausfindig machen. Gibt es noch weitere bibliotheksrelevante Stellen? Und wer kümmert sich eigentlich um die Langzeitverfügbarkeit dieser Dokumente und ihre Verzeichnung in Katalogen?

Bücher im Gefängnis

Ein paar Artikel zu Büchern in Gefängnissen in aller Welt:

Katy Bolger: What Paper Means In Prison

As prisoners fight for the most meager civil rights, book ownership may be at the heart of that struggle. In 1987, the Supreme Court decided that, “Prison walls do not form a barrier separating prison inmates from the protections of the Constitution,” granting, even narrowly, a free speech right. In an earlier 1974 decision, the Court ruled that prisons are prohibited from censoring publications even when they are “inflammatory political, racial, religious or other views,” or are “defamatory” or “otherwise inappropriate.” Yet the whims and subjective views and values of prison mailrooms and censorship committees reign in some states.

Arguably there is content that should be banned from prison reading. A lock-picking manual, a book on bomb making, a treatise on white supremacy—these are the types of books widely deemed to threaten the safety of those in the prison and are universally banned.

Alexandra Silver: Restricted Reading: South Carolina Jail Bans All Books Except for the Bible

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Berkeley County Sheriff/defendant H. Wayne DeWitt “maintains that any actions taken at the jail are justified to preserve health and safety, and to further the pursuit of ‘legitimate penological objectives.’ ” By the way, among the books rejected by the jail, according to the ACLU, is one for prisoners called Protecting Your Health and Safety.

Kayla Webley: What Prisoners Are Reading at Gitmo

Indeed, the Harry Potter series has been one the most popular titles among the 18,000 books, magazines, DVDs and newspapers on offer from the prison library at Guantánamo.

Other offerings in the library started in 2003 include the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Twilight series and a self-help book called Don’t Be Sad. Prisoners don’t browse the shelves of this particular library; instead, they wait for a weekly visit by a cart of books prison officers think they might be interested in.

Jane Sutton: ’50 Shades’ popular among Guantanamo Bay prisoners

The “Fifty Shades of Grey” series of erotic novels are the favorite reading material among “high-value” prisoners at the Guantanamo detention camp in Cuba, a U.S. congressman said.

Rebecca Ratcliffe: What book would you send to a prisoner?

Regulations introduced by the justice secretary Chris Grayling that stop people sending books to prisoners in England and Wales, have caused outrage among writers, teachers and prison experts. But what titles would they send?

Rami Alhames: Brazil: Prisoners Get Four Days Off Sentence Per Book Read

A change in Brazilian Criminal Law now makes it possible for inmates to reduce their jail sentences by spending time reading and studying. The initiative, called ‘Redemption through Study Time’ (Remição por tempo de estudo in Portuguese) and also known as ‘Redemption through Reading’ (Remição pela Leitura), was sanctioned in June 2012 by President Dilma Rousseff.

Und hier noch der Artikel zur Guantanamo Bay detainment camp library in der englischsprachigen Wikipedia.

Bulk Data vom US Patent Office

Das United States Patent Office stellt via Google Patentinformationen in Hülle und Fülle bereit: USPTO Bulk Downloads: Patents

Patent Grants

Patent Application Publications

Additional Patent Data

Wenn man mal nicht weiß, womit man seinen Discovery-Index anreichern könnte, wäre hier vielleicht geeignetes Material. Zu Verwendungsmöglichkeiten steht in der FAQ:

There are no restrictions on the use of the data in these products, unless otherwise prohibited by law or specific agreement.

ALA-Statement zum PRISM-Skandal

Aus der ALA-Pressemitteilung “ALA calls for national dialogue to reform the nation’s surveillance laws”:

The American Library Association (ALA) is, frankly, saddened that two major revelations about our country’s surveillance practices confirm our gravest worries: the government has obtained vast amounts of personal information about the activities, especially electronic communications of all kinds, of essentially everyone in the United States, including millions of innocent people.

ALA-Präsidentin Maureen Sullivan sieht in Bibliotheken einen geeigneten Ort, die Debatte um die beste Balance zwischen Freiheit und Sicherheit zu führen.

CHORUS: Wenig pro, viel contra

CHORUS ist die Antwort der US-Publisher und Fachgesellschaften auf das OA-Memorandum “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (PDF). Scholarly Kitchen hat in einer der sehr wenigen von mir gefundenen positiven Äußerungen zu CHORUS das Modell folgendermaßen beschrieben:

  • Publishers create and support a new domain, CHORUS.gov, with agency input
  • Publishers deposit metadata via CrossRef and FundRef for papers with relevant funding
  • Users can search and discover papers directly from CHORUS.gov or via any integrated agency site
  • Users retrieve paper directly from the publishers’ sites using the version of record

Das Kent Anderson CHORUS unterstützt, ist wenig verwunderlich, schließlich ist er Mitunterzeichner für das Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Viele andere, zum Beispiel Jonathan Eisen, sind dagegen highly sceptical:

This appears to be an attempt to kill databases like Pubmed Central which is where such freely available publications now are archived. I am very skeptical of the claims made by publishers that papers that are supposed to be freely available will in fact be made freely available on their own websites. Why you may ask am I skeptical of this? I suggest you read my prior posts on how Nature Publishing Group continuously failed to fulfill their promises to make genome papers freely available on their website.

Michael Eisen stimmt sogar einen CHORUS of boos an. Wer sonst nichts zu CHORUS lesen möchte, sollte sich dieses Posting ansehen! Auch Jason Hoyt kritisiert CHORUS in einem lesenswerten Posting. Im Blog Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week hat Mike Taylor diese und weitere Stimmen zu CHORUS gesammelt.

Obamas Open-Data-Anweisung

“Open Data – Managing Information as an Asset” (PDF) ist das Dekret Obamas betitelt, das Open Data in den USA (nach meinem Verständnis) zumindest auf Bundesebene zum Standard machen wird.

This Memorandum requires agencies to collect or create information in a way that supports downstream information processing and dissemination activities. This includes using machine­ readable and open formats, data standards, and common core and extensible metadata for all new information creation and collection efforts. It also includes agencies ensuring information stewardship through the use of open licenses and review of information for privacy, confidentiality, security, or other restrictions to release.

[via CreativeCommons.org]

Henry Bourne: "US biomedical research enterprise" ist in Schieflage

Henry Bourne beschreibt in einem Aufsehen erregenden Artikel “The writing on the wall”, wie die biomedizinische Forschung in den USA trotz sich stetig vergrößernder Fördertöpfe stagniert. Abstract:

The biomedical research enterprise in the US has become unsustainable and urgent action is needed to address a variety of problems, including a lack of innovation, an over-reliance on soft money for faculty salaries, the use of graduate students as a source of cheap labour, and a ‘holding tank’ full of talented postdocs with limited career opportunities.

Viele seiner Beobachtungen lassen sich auch auf hiesige Verhältnisse übertragen.