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Appendix A

Some Problems Studied Within Information Sciences

Subject Area and Problems

Contributions to Research with Applications to EM

Cognitive Science: expert systems; knowledge bases; hypertext; human-computer interaction

Artificial Intelligence: software to emulate human intelligence

Semiotics: Signs, both individually and grouped in sign systems, and includes the study of how meaning is transmitted and understood

  • human factors (ergonomics); robot studies

  • vulnerability analysis

  • intelligence agency communications interoperability; cyber-terrorism; information warfare

Communications: Information flow (information sending, receiving), and information sharing

Cybernetics: communication, feedback, and control mechanisms in living systems and machines

Telecommunications: Distance electronic information exchange

Systemics: Relationships of systems—transactions, processes, inputs, outputs, especially information/communication systems

  • defense simulation; telemedicine

  • decision systems; online database systems and related telecommunications and networking technologies; specialized search functionalities; large machine-readable databases for the dissemination and graphic representation of disaster-related information; GIS (Geographical Information Systems); CAMEO (Computer-Aided Management of Emergency Operations) ALOHA (Area Location of Hazardous Atmospheres); E Team (manages every phase of a crisis)

Computer Science: manipulation and storage of document records in electronic information storage, processing, and retrieval systems; information management; databases

  • computer hardware and software to manipulate documents and document records for emergency, disaster, and crisis information storage and retrieval systems

Information Science: information behavior, information processing, information retrieval, information storage, information dissemination

  • user information seeking, needs, preferences—relevance and utility assessment

  • development of standards for processing and communication of information; monitoring of the national information infrastructure (human, technological, materials and financial) to ensure maintenance of information systems and services related to the public interest

  • protocols (procedures) for information

Library Science: Acquisition, cataloging, classification, and preservation of information

Bibliometrics: All quantitative aspects and models of communication, storage, dissemination and retrieval of scientific information

Citation analysis: Citation frequency and patterns in scientific journals article citations; implications for how and where an author’s work is subsequently cited

Co-citation analysis: Literature coherence and changes over a period of time; maps oeuvres and their authors relationship to other oeuvres and authors

Content analysis: Thesauri and frequency of terms, co-word/co-authorship/co-citation analysis for interdisciplinarity purposes

Cybermetrics: Quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the whole Internet drawing on bibliometric and informetric approaches

Informetrics: Quantitative aspects of information in any form, not just records or bibliographies, and in any social group, not just scientists

Webometrics: Quantitative aspects of the construction and use of information resources, structures and technologies on the Web draws on bibliometric and informetric approaches

  • holdings of past research

  • study of all published literature and its usage in all disciplines to ensure scholarly productivity and communication in disaster research

  • indexing, citation indexing, keyword indexing, text analysis and natural language searching systems to aid researchers and practitioners in the finding of information vital to disaster situations

  • extensive development of these sub-disciplines and specialties to aid researchers interested in investigating interdisciplinarity

  • formal logic (Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT) to improve database searching

  • formulation of national information policies related to issues of privacy, security, regulating dissemination, access, intellectual property, acceptable use

  • concept of “library” as an unbiased holder of all information regardless of content, political or moral implications

Appendix B

Librarianship and Information

Librarianship typically protects and preserves recorded information, as well as advocates the rights and privacy of the information of American citizens. Public libraries and universities lobby for changes in law to benefit personal information rights of individuals. Librarians and educators—many who consider the violation of privacy of information rights to be disastrous—have been at the forefront of the fight for information privacy for a couple of centuries. Many support the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments from the 1791 Bill of Rights, quote Warren and Brandeis’ renowned 1890 article, The Right to Privacy and uphold the Freedom of Information Act (1966), the Federal Privacy Act of 1974, and the Electronic Privacy Act of 1986 where Congress realized the need to protect private citizen records collected by the government.

The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights was passed by the United States Congress on September 25, 1789. However more than a century would pass before the judicial branch recognized and implemented the right to privacy implications stated in the First, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments. The First amendment addresses the right to privacy by giving citizens the freedom of speech, interpreted by law to mean that citizens have the freedom to express their thoughts, views, and preferences without fear of retribution. The Fourth Amendment protects citizens’ privacy by ensuring that their personal possessions are not searched or seized without warning and without “probable cause.” The Fifth Amendment protects citizens’ private property from seizure for public use.

The Right to Privacy

Warren and Brandeis introduced the idea that people have the freedom and right, as American citizens, to expect that not only their tangible possessions, but also their intangible personal information—what they think, believe, say, and read—to be safe from public intrusion. If citizens disclose their thoughts in a private place, they have the expectation that their private thoughts, their private information remains in that private place.

Freedom of Information Act (1966)

The FOIA was enacted to allow persons to request access to federal agency records or information. In response to the FOIA, states adopted their own open records acts governing public access to state and local records. However, exceptions were made in most states, including Texas, to protect the confidentiality of library user records. In 1973, Texas enacted the Texas Open Records Act, later to be revised as the Texas Public Information Act of 1995 (The Act). The Act allowed the public access to all government entity records, except for records containing personal information about individuals. Library records—which includes database search records; circulation records; interlibrary loan records; other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, programs or services; and information obtained in reference interviews—were exempt from disclosure except under certain circumstances. Before the USA PATRIOT Act, American citizens were free to walk into a library, pick out a magazine, sit down and read, and walk out again without anyone knowing who they are, where they live, or what they chose to read. These freedoms were understood unless a court issued a subpoena showing probable cause that the disclosure of their records was necessary to protect the public safety; the record was evidence of a crime; or the record was evidence against a particular person who committed a crime.

Federal Privacy Act of 1974

The FOIA allowed access to government-held records. Some government-held records contained confidential information about individuals. Congress passed the Privacy Act in 1974 to ensure the protection of individual privacy from data collected by the government. The law allows individuals to view, copy, and correct their own records. It also prevents agencies from sharing data.

Electronic Privacy Act of 1986

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) updated wiretapping laws for digital communications. It banned the capture of communications between network points -- it protected electronic communications while they are en route. However, in 1996, the FBI urged Congress to pass the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Digital Telephony Act), a law that  forces telecommunications carriers to design their systems so that law enforcement agencies can tap into them if necessary.

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