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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Tuesday, February 21, 2006

    Could our Google secrets stay secret?

    Those of us concerned about Google storing our personal computer's files on its servers ... and subsequently being forced to share them with the US Government may take heart from the latest 'silly' story to come from across the Atlantic. The US may capture the contents of our hard disks, but they will probably keep them secret for 50 years! The BBC reported that the New York Times has reported that "US intelligence agencies have been removing thousands of historical documents from public access." Apparently several historians have noticed that documents they had previously consulted have been withdrawn from the National Archives' open shelves. The story continues:
    The restoration of classified status to more than 55,000 pages began in 1999, the paper said.

    ... The files include documents already published or obtained by historians.

    The New York Times said the reclassification programme accelerated after President Bush took office and especially after the 9/11 attacks.

    But because it runs in secrecy, it continued without being noticed until December 2005.

    So we may worry about Big Brother, but not as much as Big Brother worries about Big Brother! If you are still concerned remember the Electronic Frontier Foundation advice about Google Desk Top Search.

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