MIT project tracks government officials

A student project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeks to help citizens track government officials the way that some agencies would like to track citizens.

The MIT Media Lab's Government Information Awareness Project, which went online July 4 at opengov.media.mit.edu, is a collection of software and data about federal officials and industry lobbyists. Its name is a play on Terrorism Information Awareness, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's R&D program for developing advanced data-mining and decision-support tools for homeland security.

Graduate student Ryan B. McKinley developed GIA under the direction of Media Lab assistant professor Christopher Csikszentmihalyi. Both are in the lab's Computing Culture group.

'As the government broadens internal surveillance, and collaborates with private institutions to access data on the public, it is crucial that we maintain a symmetry of accountability,' the GIA creators said in a statement on the Web site.

A note on the GIA home page today noted that some features of the Web site, including personalized alerts, are unavailable due to high demand. Because the site is a student project, the Media Lab wasn't expecting that much site traffic, Media Lab spokeswoman Alexandra Kahn said.

Featured

  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Pandemic tests electronic records management

    Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

  • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/Shutterstock.com)

    Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

    The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

Stay Connected