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ART has issued a statement opposing the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Request for Records Disposition Authority (DAA-0048-2015-0003) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) records appraisal, which identify for destruction (going back 50 years as well as date forward) records from every agency within the DOI, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and others. These records touch on a range of subjects including oil and gas leases, mining, dams, wells,timber sales, marine conservation, fishing, endangered species, non-endangered species, critical habitats, and land acquisition.
We urge NARA to gather public input, including the input of specialists in these fields, about the long-term importance of these records, and we ask them to consider other methods of retention, such as keeping the records in an electronic format.
In addition, we strongly recommend that NARA deny the proposed change of “disposition authority” from individual bureaus to the office of the Secretary of Interior, a cabinet-level political appointee, which could overly politicize records retention across the entire agency going forward.
Read the full statement here.
ART has issued a statement to the New York City (NYC) Charter Revision Commission affirming our hope that the 2019 Charter mandates the Commissioners and heads of the NYC Department of Records and Information Services (DORIS) be trained archivists, librarians, and/or records managers, holding the degrees of MLIS and/or MA in Archives and Records Management. As archivists, librarians, records managers, and related information professionals, we are required to hold graduate-level degrees, and we strongly believe that the heads of DORIS need to have this level of education to be able to effectively carry out their duties. The Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner should also be professional archivists, librarians, or records managers holding the education and experience defined in the City Charter, and not political appointees. Read the full letter here.
Last October, ART wrote a letter to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) opposing the destruction of 11 types of records relating to abuses of detained individuals in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, including documentation of deaths and sexual assaults.
The Library Journal mentioned these efforts in a recent article describing the overwhelming opposition to the proposed retention schedule, as well as NARA's plans to open a 15-day public comments period on the revised ICE retention schedule via the Federal Register.
ART has joined 24 other organizations in opposing the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) proposal to collect citizenship and country of birth information about state and local prisoners, a data collection project of dubious efficacy and accuracy.
Read the full letter here.
Archivist of the United States, David S. Ferriero, provided an update on the AOTUS Blog about the the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) work to review and revise Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records retention schedules relating to deaths and sexual assaults of detainees in government custody.
Ferriero states that, "As part of the regular process of reviewing the submission from ICE, NARA received an unprecedented number of comments. Comments under review by NARA include three congressional letters with a total of 36 signatures (29 house members, 7 senators); a petition from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) with 23,758 comments, a petition from UltraViolet with 1,475 signatures; written comments from 187 individuals and six organizations; and phone calls from seven individuals."
ICE previously requested imminent destruction of records of deaths and sexual assaults of detainees, which the Roundtable publicly opposed in its ART Statement on ICE Retention Schedules.
On June 22, 2018, Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Daniel Coats, responded to the coalition letter ART signed on May 31, 2018, regarding ODNI failure to report information as required by the USA FREEDOM Act for it's call records program that replaced the bulk collection program outlawed by the same legislation. Read the response here.
ART has signed pair of letters spearheaded by the ACLU regarding ODNI failure to report information as required by the USA FREEDOM Act for it's call records program that replaced the bulk collection program outlawed by the same legislation (a bulk collection program developed to target immigrants). This letter highlights potential unlawful surveillance and collection of data of persons in the U.S., as well as failures of transparency on the part of the government in disclosing the extent of surveillance and data gathering mechanisms. Read the letter to the Director of the ODNI here, and the letter to the House Judiciary Committee here.
ART has also signed a letter issued by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), highlighting the Department of State proposal to ask visa applicants to provide social media identifiers, telephone numbers, and email addresses used in the past five years, among other information. This is yet another form of data gathering by the US Government that will undermine civil liberties and free speech, and an issue which we've pushed back on previously, in our official statement on the DHS/ICE Visa Lifecycle Vetting initiative. Read the full letter here.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has abandoned the software component of its “Extreme Vetting Initiative,” also named the "Visa Lifecycle Vetting" initiative, which aimed to automatically mine Facebook, Twitter, and the broader Internet to determine whether visitors to the U.S. would "contribute to American society", further national interests, or intend to commit crimes or terrorist acts, language lifted directly from President Trump’s Muslim Ban of January 2017.
ICE has eliminated the machine-learning requirement from its vetting initiative, opting to hire a contractor that can provide human personnel to execute the job. While this represents a victory for government transparency and accountability activism, a vetting plan (with human personnel) is still moving froward, with a contract expected to cost more than $100 million, to be awarded by the end of the year.
Read the Washington Post article breaking the news, as well as the ART Advocacy Committee’s initial coalition letter with the Concerned Archivists Alliance (CAA) opposing the Extreme Vetting Initiative.
This past February, the ART Advocacy Committee organized Investing in Archivists: Advocating as a Lone Arranger, hosted by the New York Municipal Archives. The Advocacy Committee is pleased to finally publish the video recording of the event.
Investing In Archivists: Advocating as a Lone Arranger
Yue Ma, Director for Collections and Research, Museum of Chinese in America
Yue Ma, Director for Collections and Research at MOCA, manages the museum collections, library, and archives at 70 Mulberry Street. Yue oversees daily acquisition, preservation, digitization, research, and online projects. In addition, she assisted with the permanent exhibition “With a Single Step,” and co-curated the exhibition “Waves of Identity: 35 Years of Archiving.” Prior to MOCA, Yue worked at the Shenzhen City Archives in China. Educated globally, she received a B.Sc. and a MBA in China, and then received a MA in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from a joint program at Ryerson University in Canada and George Eastman House in America.
Elena Rossi-Snook, New York Public Library Reserve Film and Video Collection
Elena Rossi-Snook is the Collection Manager for the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library. She has an M.A. in Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia and was the 2002 recipient of the Kodak Fellowship in Film Preservation. She has served as a curriculum consultant for the NYU Moving Image Archiving and Preservation MA program, on the Board of Directors of the Association of Moving Image Archivists and is the chair of the AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force. Elena’s documentary film WE GOT THE PICTURE was made an official selection of the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. Rossi-Snook teaches film history at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Julianna Monjeau, Archivist, Public Design Commission of the City of New York
Julianna Monjeau is the Archivist and Records Manager of the Public Design Commission. She holds a Master’s Degree in Archives & Public History from New York University. She manages the accession and preservation of all public records reviewed by the Public Design Commission, prepares and manages archival grants, provides research services, manages the digitization of Design Commission records, provides public tours of the archive, and promotes the collection on the agency's social media platforms.
Michael Andrec, PhD CA, Archivist, Ukrainian History and Education Center
Michael Andrec has been the archivist at the Ukrainian History and Education Center since 2010. Michael has been tasked with single-handedly bringing the nearly 200 collections containing documents, photographs, ephemera, and recorded sound that the Center had accumulated since the 1960s up to professional standards of arrangement, description, preservation, and accessibility, while at the same time providing reference services, outreach, and web site/social media content. Outside of the archives, Michael is a consultant in statistics and data analytics, programming, and web design and development. He is a member of the Academy of Certified Archivists and other national, regional, and local archival associations, and has served on the board of A.R.T.
New York City Municipal Archives, Room 111 (Municipal Archives and Municipal Library Reading Room), 31 Chambers St, New York, NY 10007
Date of video: 2-22-2018
Format of original video: Digitally captured on an iPhone 8
ART has joined over 300 organizations in singing Census Stakeholder letters to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) & Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), calling upon them to promptly hold oversight hearings with regards to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census.
Read the House OGR letter here
Read the Senate HSGAC letter here