The American Civil Liberties Union on Friday dropped a lawsuit against the government over Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. The section is often called the "library provision" because it allows federal officials to demand the records of library patrons, among others, by means of secret subpoenas granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In a statement, the ACLU said Congress had made improvements to the provision when it extended the Patriot Act on March 9. The revised law allows "people who receive a demand for records to consult with a lawyer and challenge the demand in court," the advocacy group said. But according to the ACLU, the library provision is still unconstitutional since–at least initially–it bars recipients of the subpoenas from disclosing that they have received them. Citing that and other issues, the ACLU said it will still consider providing legal help to individuals who receive demands for information under the provision. —Andrea L. Foster, from The Wired Campus, a service of The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Librarian Cindy L. Chick notes on a recent LawLibTech posting some tips on internet searching:
- Northern Light is back as a business search engine.
- When you’re looking for definitions, try Answers.com, Wikipedia, Yahoo Reference or Google’s define feature.
- For popular terminology and technology topics, try searching tas at social bookmarking sites such as del.icio.us
- Microsoft’s newly re-named search, Live Search, sometimes has more recent new content than Yahoo or Google.
- Brand new from Live.com is the "linkfromdomain" search.
- Exalead is the only search engine with proximity searching.
Be sure to stop by the Reference Desk for more detailed information.
The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal standard for geographic nomenclature. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS for the U.S. Board on Geographic Names as the official repository of domestic geographic names data; the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government; and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products.
Brian Williams is leaving us for UC Irvine and thus his tenure as the expert in foreign/international research, reference services, and blogging is now at an end. We are the richer for Brian’s tenure here at the LRC, and wish him well. We are searching for his replacement and hope to have someone in place by the end of the semester. In the meantime, we will do our best to uphold his high standards. Best of luck, Brian, and thank you for all you have done for the students and faculty here at USD.
Google has developed an archival news resource, Google News Archive Search. The news archive extends back in time over 200 years: "Where do they get news that old? Google supplements the free web sources with the traditional, for-fee services that are willing to give you one article for a price…" (LawLibtech)
For more information, visit SearchEngineWatch.com: Google Debuts 200 Year News Archive Search, by Chris Sherman, and InfoToday Newsbreak, Traditional Information Industry Opens Premium Content to Google News Archive, by Barbara Quint.
Harvard Law is doing some interesting things with digital worlds — Visit the Chronicle [password protected] for a link to a YouTube piece on their virtual reality classroom. [Andrea L. Foster, Harvard to offer its first course in a "Virtual World," The Chronicle of Higher Ed.] See CyberOne Law in the court of public opinion at http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/cyberone/. [hat tip Amy M ]
Interesting post from ALA TechSource Blog on the NextGen Catalog: "The NGC movement builds on all the great work done on cataloging in the past, but for the most part refuses to think of "the catalog" as a monolithic and separate entity. Instead, one of the more interesting concepts about the NGC—not universally shared in these discussions, but increasingly gaining traction—is that the NGC is no longer a stand-alone catalog unto itself but offers sets of content and services that are malleable, portable, and intellectually related to other services we offer, such as journal articles, full-text books, and multimedia." [ ALA TechSource ]
What’s on deck for the Supreme Court of the United States this session? Sentencing Law & Policy Blog suggests we visit Law.com for Marcia Cole’s article on the New Supreme Court Term. And speaking of SCOTUS, this blog links to several key free sources for Supreme Court information online (Right-hand column): Curiae Project (Yale) ; Duke SCt Online ; FindLaw ; Justia ; LII ; LexisONE ; OYEZ ; SCOTUS (Official).