Electronic Records May Have Survived Twin Towers’ Collapse

More from the Los Angeles Times’ look at the records management implications of Tuesday’s attack:

The destroyed World Trade Center was the repository of countless reams of financial information on companies and individuals. But disaster-recovery experts said Tuesday that most of the largest financial services firms routinely back up data and store it in remote locations, ensuring that the bulk survived the attack . . .

Most firms back up their data on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Virtually all financial firms, at a minimum, back up the most critical information about who owns what, said Mary Moster, spokeswoman for disaster-recovery firm Comdisco Inc.

John Jackson, a Comdisco executive in charge of data backup, said most banking and brokerage customers shouldn\'t be concerned about information loss. The largest companies are the most likely to have the most sophisticated backup, and their customers will suffer from the least confusion. Worldwide, 80 of Comdisco\'s 3,000 clients have instant backup, and \"they tend to be the larger financial services companies,\" Moster said.

More. The Chicago Tribune is also running a related article.

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Destroyed Documents May Leave an Information Void

The drifts of office paper littering the streets of lower Manhattan may represent a massive loss of information for several corporations and government agencies:

The destruction of the World Trade Center, a repository of countless reams of information on companies and individuals, has left some organizations reeling from the potential loss of vast quantities of data. Disaster-recovery experts said Tuesday that most of the largest financial services firms routinely back up data and store it in remote locations, ensuring that the bulk of it survived the attack.

But organizations that heavily rely on paper documents and smaller companies that do not routinely back up their information are vulnerable to significant losses. Among those that depend on paper records are attorneys and insurers, both categories that had substantial operations in the twin towers. . .

The Securities and Exchange Commission\'s New York office disappeared in flames in the collapse of Tower 7, adjacent to the taller towers, jeopardizing the agency\'s probes of initial public offerings and other cases. Wayne Carlin, who heads that office, told Bloomberg News that all 320 employees escaped but that he is concerned about evidence destroyed in the fire.

The SEC can ask companies that are under investigation, or have been charged with securities violations, to produce copies of documents they already have given to the SEC, said Carmen Lawrence, who from 1995 to June 2000 led the New York operation. But she added, \"They\'ll have to scrap many cases and start from scratch on others.\"

More from the Los Angeles Times and a related piece from the New York Times.

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EU Donates $50,000 to Rwandan Library

The European Union has become the third largest contributor to a library construction project in Kigali:

The European Union has contributed US $50,000 towards the building of the Kigali Public Library, Rwanda News Agency (RNA) reported on Monday. Citing a press release from the Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga, the organisation responsible for mobilising resources for the project, RNA noted that this donation makes the EU the third largest donor to the library and entitles the EU to a permanent seat on the library governing board and the right to name one of the library\'s special collections.

More from allAfrica.com. The Kigali Public Library\'s website is here.

\'Hacktivism\' Spike Expected Following U.S. Retaliations

A sharp increase in hacks of U.S. web sites is expected following any U.S. retaliation for Tuesday\'s
attacks:

Security experts and federal cyber-crime officials are bracing for a surge in nefarious Internet activity once the U.S. retaliates for Tuesday\'s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. . . . Chris Rouland, director of “X-Force,” the research and development team for Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems Inc., said aside from a few loosely organized denial-of-service attacks against sites in the Middle East, ISS hasn’t yet seen signs of a corresponding cyber-threat. Yet, that is likely to change in the coming days, Rouland said, as U.S. authorities zero in on the source of the attacks and take retaliatory action.

More from Newsbytes.

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American Library Association expresses condolences

\"The American Library Association (ALA) today expressed its condolences and deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those affected by Tuesday\'s tragic events and urges the public to access information at libraries of all kinds - public, school, academic and special - in the days ahead.


\"All of us have been deeply moved by these events, and our heart goes out to everyone affected by these terrible deeds,\" ALA President John W. Berry said. Berry said librarians can assist the public by providing free information and information services.


Library resources include free Internet access, computers and databases, directories and other information that can assist the public. \"Whether you need to access a computer to learn the latest breaking news, find out where to give blood in your community, identify a professional who can provide grief counseling, or simply seek out books to help your family understand recent events, libraries in every community in America can help,\" Berry said.

ALA Executive Director William Gordon expressed his profound sadness over the recent events and added that the public can find out where they can obtain free computer access in their community by calling (866) 583-1234 toll-free.\"


release site

Clancy-fied information

During NBC\'s coverage of the attack Tuesday morning, Katie Couric asked Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf something like: Did anyone consider that airliners could be used as weapons by terrorists like this? Schwartzkopf\'s reply: Tom Clancy wrote a book about it.

In Debt of Honor, a 747 is crashed into the U.S. Capitol. Clancy discussed the scenario briefly in a 1997 interview (scroll down about halfway). I really like what he says here: "The fundamental strength of America is not in Washington. It\'s in Peoria, Illinois, in Baltimore, Maryland, in Sacramento, California and all the places where Americans work and do business."

I read somewhere that Clancy was interviewed on CNN on Tuesday, but I don\'t see a transcript on CNN.com. Has anyone run across it? Also, are libraries experiencing increased patron interest in Debt of Honor and its follow-up, Executive Orders?

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New York Red Cross Needs Tech Help

This request was posted to TechTV this morning:

The New York American Red Cross is in dire need of technology equipment and services. The field workers and sites have little, if any, means of communication and the central office is processing way too much on completely paper systems. Your help in acquiring these resources would be greatly appreciated.

If you can help, please contact:

Joe Leo, Assistant Director, Business Applications, IT
American Red Cross in Greater New York
phone: 212.875.2409
email: [email protected]
150 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10023

PLEASE NOTE: His email is slammed, so don\'t resend your messages over and over again.

More information on volunteering with the New York Red Cross can be found here.

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Anti-Arab Hate Speech Explodes on Web

Wired has a disheartening article on the explosion of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate speech on the Web:

As the volume of anti-Arab hate speech on the Internet cranked to full blast Wednesday, U.S. Muslims reported rampant harassment on- and offline. Although the U.S. government has yet to finger a perpetrator in Tuesday\'s attack, several lines of investigation point to the involvement of an Arab country. Now America\'s estimated 7 million Muslims are bracing for the backlash. \"We\'ve got reports from all over the country,\" said Joshua Salaam, the Civil Rights coordinator for the Council on American Islamic Relations, a nonprofit group dedicated to promoting a positive image of Muslims in America. \"People are reporting stuff to us from chat rooms that is absolutely hateful. Our own website has been bombarded with death threats.\"

More.

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A Peek @ The Web

Wired has Who Said the Web Fell Apart?. They say the Web was criticized for buckling under user demand and failing to provide help and information, but really it was merely a matter of knowing where to look. Sure, CNN and The NY Times crapped out for awhile, even Slashdot creaked along, but sites like Metafilter and Cam kept us up to date.
The FBI has also released a
cyberthreat advisory beef up physical and cybersecurity efforts.

CNN says Internet proves vital communications tool
, For many, one of the first reactions to the news of Tuesday\'s terrorist attacks was to turn to the Web.

The NYTimes also ran a Story that quoted Cam, and provided a nice look at how many different websites were doing.

\"The need to connect is intense,\" said Donna Hoffman, a professor who studies the Web and Web commerce at Vanderbilt University. \"While the network TV stations blather, the Internet carries the news and connects the masses in a true interactive sob.\"

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Contrary to Early Reports, Web Shines During Crisis

Contrary to early reports that the Web buckled under the heavy traffic that followed the NYC/DC attacks, it appears to have provided a vital and flexible tool for communication. Wired\'s Leander Kahney writes:

The Web has been criticized in many corners for failing to adequately cover the unfolding horror of Tuesday\'s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

On a day when many people were glued to the TV, the complaint was that the Net initially failed to provide the kind of in-depth coverage available from the TV networks. People have complained that sites for the big news organizations, like CNN, The New York Times and the BBC, were unavailable for much of the day due to high traffic.
And what only newspapers and portals were available simply ran wire copy. But under the radar, the Net responded magnificently; it was just a matter of knowing where to look. Immediately after the attack, community websites, discussion groups and mailing lists immediately lit up with vast amounts of information about the attacks . . .

More, still more from CNN and even more from the Washington Post.

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What libraries can do!

Bill Drew writes \"I have been trying to think how libraries might help their user communities in response to the attacks yesterday. I am helping by providing links to information resources I have found or that have been sent to me. I started with links from the Tourbus service sent to me by Jo Anne Ellis of SUNY ESF at Syracuse University. I am then adding others as I find them.
The URL is: morrisville.edu/library/timely.html

Other things we can do:
- listen to your patrons.
- provide a safe haven away from the news if it is needed.
- stay open to provide normality.
- be human and admit your own responses.
- share news and information sources with other libraries and librarians.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

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World Trade Center Tenants

I just recieved a reference question asking about the tenants of each WTC building. The answer can be found here. They are in Excel format and the print is a bit small, but there you have it. Most of the big portals have not listed the tenents for building 7.

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Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines

Danny Sullivan has posted Finding Disaster Coverage At Search Engines over at SearchEngine Watch.

This is both an analysis of how search engines reacted to the terrorist attacks in the United States and advice on how to find the latest information about the disaster..

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NYC / DC Attack Reference Links

Research Buzz has assembled a great list of links for anyone trying to answer reference questions re: yesterday\'s attack.

Thanks to librarian.net for the tip.

What libraries can do to help

There is a discussion developing on WEB4LIB on What libraries can do to help at a time like this.

So far LC has said \"the Library of Congress and the Congressional Research Service, and all of our librarians, are providing reference and information services and analysis to Congress as they deliberate today and over the coming days on \"What next\"...\"

Other people have said that they are staying open, and answering questions on NYC and The World Trade Center.

I am amazed at how everyone is pulling together on this, it\'s truly amazing. Corporations, individuals, everyone is really doing whatever they can to ease the pain, and help us as a country to move forward.

So what else can libraries do to help? Post your ideas below.

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eBay Pulls Twin Towers Related Items Until 10/1

eBay had a change of heart today and banned the sale of
NYC attack related items until at least 10/1:

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York City on Tuesday, people on eBay were apparently bidding up the prices of World Trade Center memorabilia, attempting, they said, to find some items with which to remember the buildings now completely destroyed. Some less savory practices appeared to be going on as well, with people attempting to sell disaster-related domain names and debris scavenged from the attack -- but eBay had been vigilantly combating those practices, taking down the pages as fast as they could go up. . .

More from Wired.

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Feds Push Carnivore in Wake of Attacks

Declan McCullagh of Politech is reporting a spike in the use of the U.S. government\'s Carnivore Web surveillance system following yesterday\'s attacks:

Federal police are reportedly increasing Internet surveillance after Tuesday\'s deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Just hours after three airplanes smashed into the buildings in what some U.S. legislators have dubbed a second Pearl Harbor, FBI agents began to visit Web-based, e-mail firms and network providers, according to engineers at those companies who spoke on condition of anonymity. . . Microsoft\'s Hotmail service has also been the target of increased federal attention, according to an engineer who works there.

More from Wired. McCullagh\'s earlier comparison of the NYC/DC attacks to the Reichstag fire in terms of political effect may be right on the money.

Without Words

Comments?

Updated, 9-11, 2002

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Board Wants Contractor to Direct Library - Ethical Questions Raised

Most of the members of the Missaukee (MI) District Library board want to hurry up and hire a new director before the state enforces legislation that would require library directors to hold an MSLS. Residents are questioning the ethics of hiring on the basis that, among other things, the contractor could write off personal vacations as business expenses. Earlier this year 900 people signed petitions asking for the resignation of board members after they fired two library directors in one year. The members refuse to resign. more... from The Traverse City Record Eagle.

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Checking Out Salinger

Howard Bagwell wants to pull \"The Catcher in the Rye\" off the bookshelves in school libraries, he thinks it\'s inappropriate for teens, unfortunatly he is a School Board member in South Carolina. Bagwell checked out one copy of \"The Catcher in the Rye\" at Summerville High School\'s library last week. He checked another out at Fort Dorchester High on Wednesday. He plans to buy them from the schools instead of returning them.

\"It is a filthy, filthy book,\" Bagwell said. \"It has 269 some odd pages or so, and if you took out all the (profanity), the sarcasm, the mockery of old people, the mockery of women and decent people, you would get to read about 10 minutes\' worth. I can\'t figure out for the life of me why it is considered an important book.\"

I honestly can\'t figure out why it\'s important, or why someone would hate it, either.
Full Story from charleston.net, with props going to Mefi.

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