Author Archive

Robert Gellman

Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy: Is the time right for FOIA amendments?

Now that members of Congress who favor the Freedom of Information Act control the agenda, what should they do?


Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy: Chief privacy officers stuck in the middle

CPOs face several institutional problems: little power, limited resources and no natural support base.

Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy : Government should use DRM sparingly

Application of digital rights management to information in government hands could prevent public access to documents, or prevent agencies from sharing data.

Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy: A new approach to classification

It may be time for a whole new approach to an intractable problem'namely, overclassification of government documents.

Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy:The ills of sharing health network data

One of the big IT projects of the coming decade is the National Health Information Network. No one really knows what NHIN is, what data it will contain or how it will be controlled. It's the details that present tough choices and killer conflicts.

Cloud & Infrastructure

Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy: 72-hour rule could foster a web of deceit

A coalition trying to curb the passage of legislation without effective public notice is pushing to have Congress post each bill on the Web for 72 hours before it can be brought up for debate on the floor.

Robert Gellman | @Info.Policy: FOIA order a mere specter of reform

There is little evidence that FOIA reform legislation is on a fast track, although you never know what might show up in ethics reform legislation.

Another View: Time for FOIA Amendments?

About every 10 years, Congress amends the Freedom of Information Act. There is no fixed schedule or reauthorization involved, but that's the historical pattern.

@Info.Policy: Will privacy officers really protect privacy?

Did Congress need to mandate the creation of chief privacy officers in agencies?


@Info.Policy: Hill's new privacy requirement is a waste

There's a major new legislative development on federal privacy, but a key provision is not likely to help agencies or improve privacy much.

@Info.Policy: Want another view of government IT? See GIQ

From time to time, I review books on information policy in this space. Today I want to let you know of a scholarly journal covering information and telecommunications policy, information management, and e-government practices and policies at all levels.

@Info.Policy: GPO beats NARA at retrieving old documents

Ever need a document from prehistory? I don't mean the Stone Age, when there weren't any documents.


@Info.Policy: Is your sensitive data secure enough?

How many different categories of sensitive government information can you name?Let's begin with information classified by executive order for national defense or foreign policy purposes. Information about atomic weapons is a different kettle of fish, restricted by statute.


@Info.Policy: Is there privacy after death?

In March, the Supreme Court decided a Freedom of Information Act case involving photos of Vince Foster, a Clinton White House aide who committed suicide. The principal issue was whether relatives of deceased individuals have a protectable privacy interest.

@Info.Policy: Consumer credit has lessons for terrorism databases

GCN readers need to understand how the credit reporting system works. Why? Just about everyone is the subject of a credit file, and lenders, employers, insurers and others use that file to make basic decisions about you.

Cloud & Infrastructure

@Info.Policy: Future history reports on Internet's demise

This obituary is 'preprinted' from a future edition of Government Computer News. Today the Internet was pronounced dead. The immediate cause of death was universal disinterest.


@Info.Policy: Better ways to complain about privacy rules

If you have visited a doctor or hospital lately, you probably received a notice of your health privacy rights for the first time in your life.