Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Monday, December 23, 2002

More on Total Information Awareness....The government doesn't want a centralized database subsuming all the other public and private databases in the nation. Instead it wants tools for reading what it needs to read, wherever it may happen to reside and in whatever form it may happen to be coded. In short, it needs tools for access and interoperability --uncannily like what scientists and scholars have been building for years, in part for use in the FOS movement. Two tools that have already been mentioned are P2P (in the form of Ray Ozzie's Groove), and XML. P2P lets agencies share what they know without storing it in a central location. XML is the lingua franca for making structured information universally readable.

(PS: We know access and interoperability. We can do access and interoperability. Do we want to do TIA? Do we want to tweak these tools for use in government surveillance? Do we want TIA research grants? The government has already shown its willingness to consider tools built on open standards, but what about tools that provide access and interoperability openly? Is this is a case of a near overlap of interest that that makes each side look at the other more closely --and then walk away?)