Government Docs

Pentagon Censors 'Right to Know' Video

Pete writes "Irony rears its head in this AP story appearing on Yahoo! News."The Defense Department spent $70,500 to produce a Humphrey Bogart-themed video called "The People's Right to Know" to teach employees to respond to citizen requests for information. But when it came to showing the tape to the public, the Pentagon censored some of the footage.Officials said they blacked out parts of the training video with the message, "copyrighted material removed for public viewing," because they were worried the government didn't have legal rights to some historical footage that was included."

Feds Asked Depository Librarians to Destroy Federal Publications

On July 22 of this year, the Department of Justice sent e-mails to all 1300 federal depository libraries:
The documents the Department of Justice wanted destroyed were:

* "Civil and Criminal Forfeiture Procedure."

* "Select Criminal Forfeiture Forms."

* "Select Federal Asset Forfeiture Statues."

* "Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Resource Directory."

* "Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000."

Then one week later, they changed their minds. (ed: this was profiled in an earlier edition of LISNews)

The American Library Association issued a strongly worded statement recently that the national organization "disagreed with this categorization of the public documents, two of which are texts of federal statutes, and with the instruction to destroy them. ALA trusts that there will be no repetition of such unjustified instructions to destroy government information.

"The topics addressed in the named documents include information on how citizens can retrieve items that may have been confiscated by the government during an investigation," the ALA statement said.

The federal directives touched off a firestorm of e-mails among the library community all over the country, said HSU assistant librarian Liz Kimura Mottaz.

"People were outraged," she said.

Update here as it applied to Humboldt State University on the North Coast of California.

More access to congressional documents

Daniel writes "In GPO's continuing effort to increase the accessibility of the resources available on GPO Access, users can now browse the catalog of House, Senate and Treaty documents, by Congress, beginning with the 104th Congress (1995-1996).The Browse Documents page is available at: se.htmlHouse and Senate documents include communications and reports from the President and other executive branch officials. Browsing the 108th Congress contents turned up progress reports on Kossovo peacekeeping and the War on Terror, among many other issues.GovDoc trivia - The "catalog of House, Senate, and Treaty documents, by Congress" contains most of the same materials as the Serial Set."

Dept of Justice Rescinds Order for Libraries to Destroy Documents

Fang-Face writes "There is
a very brief follow up at American Libraries Online about that DOJ order to destroy five pamphlets dealing with asset forfeiture. In a nut shell: the order has been rescinded."

Libraries ordered to destroy US pamphlets

Fang-Face writes "Boston Globe has an article about the government ordering the destruction of Justice Department pamplets that provide how-to instructions on prosecuting asset forfeiture cases. The reason for the move is that the documents were produced for government use only. The American Library Association said they don't know why the pamphlets were ordered destroyed, and they intend to challenge the order as an infringement on a century-old guarantee of public access to unclassified documents that the government publishes."

For Publisher of 9/11 Report, a Royalty-Free Windfall

Anonymous Patron writes "The NYTimes Reports the best-selling book in America is a bookseller's dream - it involves no author royalties, has minimal advertising or promotion costs and is in such demand that in some places there are not enough copies to go around. In short, it is a potential fountain of profits for its publisher and bookstores.W. W. Norton & Company, the publisher of the authorized edition of the report, said on Monday that an estimated 350,000 copies had been sold at retailers across the country, and that all the 600,000 copies in the book's first printing had been distributed to wholesalers and retailers. With a list price of $10, the 9/11 Commission Report probably generates revenues of about $5 a copy for Norton, according to executives at rival publishers."

Free 9-11 Report Tops Bestseller Lists

The #1 spot on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble bestseller lists is currently taken by the 9-11 Commission
Final Report. Although you wouldn't know it to read through the GPO Bookstore page, the full report is freely available online via GPO Access. Does everyone buying the printed copies know this? And would they care? See also some cataloging notes from Grace-Ellen McCrann on LIBREF-L.

Allen Weinstein confirmation hearing

The National Coalition For History has a Special Report on the hearings. They say Weinstein's
confirmation may well be delayed until after the November elections. reports At least one senator will ask the Bush administration to disclose its reasons for asking the current archivist of the United States, former Kansas Democratic Gov. John Carlin, to resign, before approving his potential successor, Allen Weinstein.
Senate Governmental Affairs committee site has the hearings.

DOJ orders destruction of Depository Library Documents

Daniel writes "The following "destroy order" was sent out by the Government Printing Office:--------------------July 20, 2004Dear Depository Librarian:The Department of Justice has asked the Superintendent of Documents to instruct depository libraries to destroy all copies of thematerials listed below. Please withdraw these materials immediately and destroy them by any means to prevent disclosure of their contents. The Department of Justice has determined thatthese materials are for internal use only.Documents to be removed and destroyed:Title: Civil and Criminal Forfeiture ProcedureClass: J 1.2:C 49/17Item no: 0717Shipping list: 2004-0276-MShipping list date: May 7, 2004Title: Select Criminal Forfeiture FormsClass: J 1.2:F 76/8Item no.: 0717Shipping list: 2004-0038-PShipping list date: December 12, 2003Title: Select Federal Asset Forfeiture StatutesClass: J 1.2:AS 7/2/2004Item no.: 0717Shipping list no.: 2004-0077-PShipping list date: February 5, 2004Title: Asset forfeiture and money laundering resource directoryClass: J 1.89/3:M 74/2004Item no.: 0717 A 11Shipping list no. 2004-0120-PShipping list date: March 24, 2004Title: Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (CAFRA), PL no.106-185, 114 Stat. 202 (2000)Class: J 1.2:C 49/16Item no: 0717Shipping list no.: 2000-0367-PShipping list date: September 23, 2000Both GPO and the U.S. Department of Justice regret any inconvenienceresulting from this request and we appreciate your cooperation. ...

P2P for Government Documents

VictorianMoss writes: "Wired is reporting that government and court documents are now being made available via peer-to-peer software. The Download For Democracy site is preceded by similar projects such as LOCKSS-DOCS and GPO Access.

Given how online government information can go poof or be altered, this project sounds like a good idea, albeit a partisan one.


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