Keeping public information public: an introduction to federal records laws (Distrct Dispatch)

District Dispatch: Keeping public information public: an introduction to federal records laws. “The federal government generates an almost unimaginable quantity of information, such as medical research, veterans’ service records, regulations and policy documents, and safety inspection records, to name just a few examples. For decades, ALA has advocated for policies that ensure government information is appropriately managed, preserved and made available to the public, including through libraries. Federal records laws play important roles in those processes. This series will introduce those laws and highlight two current issues that impact public access to government information: the management of information on federal websites and the preservation and destruction of government information.”

Google lifts lid on FBI data requests: Now you can read actual letters online (ZDNet)

ZDNet: Google lifts lid on FBI data requests: Now you can read actual letters online. “Google has expanded the National Security Letter section of its Transparency Report with new examples of National Security Letters (NSLs) that it’s received from the FBI and is now cleared to disclose.”

OpenCorporates: Introducing Trademarks

OpenCorporates: Introducing Trademarks. “Here at OpenCorporates, our core mission has always been about making official public data about companies more widely available, more usable and more useful. Much of this comes from one of the 120+ company registers we use as a primary source, but an increasing amount comes from other public sources, which now includes US and global trademark registers.”

Frontline: As “Climate Change” Fades from Government Sites, a Struggle to Archive Data

Frontline: As “Climate Change” Fades from Government Sites, a Struggle to Archive Data. “When the Environmental Protection Agency’s website underwent an overhaul of climate change information on a Friday in late April, Toly Rinberg and Andrew Bergman, both Harvard Ph.D. students in applied physics, set off to figure out what was gone. Sitting in their shared Washington, D.C. apartment, they started a spreadsheet to track the changes. Suddenly missing, they noticed, were scores of pages dedicated to helping state and local governments deal with climate change. The EPA site where those pages lived, titled ‘Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local, and Tribal Governments,’ would disappear for three months, only to come back in July without the word ‘climate’ in its title. The new website now focuses only on energy policy and resources, and is down to 175 pages from 380.”

Theranos: Tracking a Startup in Trouble Through Public Data (Enigma)

Enigma: Theranos: Tracking a Startup in Trouble Through Public Data. “Theranos, a medical technology startup born in the dormitories of Stanford University, had a meteoric rise and an equally spectacular fall. To better understand how Theranos rose to prominence only to succumb to its present, diminished state, we traced the company’s footprint through public data and news reports. In doing so, we gained a nuanced view into the health of the company over time. While some of the information became publicly available only after hard-hitting news stories, the data provides valuable context around both Theranos and the potential risk associated with other similar companies.”

MarketWatch: Republicans might make this major change to the CFPB

MarketWatch: Republicans might make this major change to the CFPB . “It has been a chaotic week at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with two leaders battling for control of the organization. The outcome of the fight could have big implications for consumers — and the complaints they make to the watchdog agency. Advocates worry President Donald Trump’s pick to head the watchdog agency could neuter one of its most high-profile assets: a database of hundreds of thousands of complaints filed by consumers about issues ranging from predatory debt collectors to errors on credit reports. Republicans have argued that the database shouldn’t be public, while consumer advocates say the public list of complaints is an important tool for consumers.”