|Building an Electronic Records Archive at the National Archives and Records AdministrationRecommendations for a Long-Term Strategy
The federal government generates and increasingly saves a large and growing fraction of its records in electronic form. In 1998, the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) launched it Electronic Archives (ERA) program to create a system to preserve and provide access to federal electronic records. To assist in this project, NARA asked the NRC to conduct a two-phase study to provide advice as it develops the ERA program. The first two reports (phase one) provided recommendations on design, engineering, and related issues facing the program. This report (phase two) focuses on longer term, more strategic issues including technology trends that will shape the ERA system, archival processes of the ERA, and future evolution of the system. It also provides an assessment of technical and design issues associated with record integrity and authenticity.
|Signposts in CyberspaceThe Domain Name System and Internet Navigation
The Domain Name System (DNS) enables user-friendly alphanumeric names—domain names—to be assigned to Internet sites. Many of these names have gained economic, social, and political value, leading to conflicts over their ownership, especially names containing trademarked terms. Congress, in P.L. 105-305, directed the Department of Commerce to request the NRC to perform a study of these issues. When the study was initiated, steps were already underway to address the resolution of domain name conflicts, but the continued rapid expansion of the use of the Internet had raised a number of additional policy and technical issues. Furthermore, it became clear that the introduction of search engines and other tools for Internet navigation was affecting the DNS. Consequently, the study was expanded to include policy and technical issues related to the DNS in the context of Internet navigation. This report presents the NRC’s assessment of the current state and future prospects of the DNS and Internet navigation, and its conclusions and recommendations concerning key technical and policy issues.
|Basic Research in Information Science and Technology for Air Force Needs
The U.S. Air Force is developing new force capabilities appropriate to an emerging array
of threats. It is clear that advances in information science and technology (IS&T) are
essential for most of these new capabilities. As a consequence, the Air Force is finding it
necessary to refocus its IS&T basic research program to provide stronger support for
reaching these goals. To assist this effort, the AFOSR asked the NRC for a study to
create a vision and plan for the IS&T-related programs within the Office’s Mathematics
and Space Science Directorate. This report provides an assessment of basic research
needs for Air Force systems and communications, software, information management and
integration, and human interactions with IS&T systems. The report also offers a set of
priorities for basic IS&T research, and an analysis of funding mechanisms its support.
|Catalyzing Inquiry at the Interface of Computing and Biology
Advances in computer science and technology and in biology over the last several years
have opened up the possibility for computing to help answer fundamental questions in
biology and for biology to help with new approaches to computing. Making the most of
the research opportunities at the interface of computing and biology requires the active
participation of people from both fields. While past attempts have been made in this
direction, circumstances today appear to be much more favorable for progress. To help
take advantage of these opportunities, this study was requested of the NRC by the
National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of
Health, and the Department of Energy. The report provides the basis for establishing
cross-disciplinary collaboration between biology and computing including an analysis of
potential impediments and strategies for overcoming them. The report also presents a
wealth of examples that should encourage students in the biological sciences to look for
ways to enable them to be more effective users of computing in their studies.
|Summary of a Workshop on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management
Section 214 of the E-government Act of 2002 called on the Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government in the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to "ensure that a study is conducted on using information technology to enhance crisis preparedness, response, and consequence management of natural and manmade disasters." The section cited as a goal "to improve how information technology is used in coordinating and facilitating information on disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, while ensuring the availability of such information across multiple access channels." In early 2005, FEMA, via a subcontract through Battelle Memorial Institute, asked the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council (NRC) to undertake a two-phase study on these issues.
Summary of a Workshop on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management culminates phase 1 of the project. CSTB established the Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management, and a public workshop was held under the committee's auspices on June 22-23, 2005. The committee's goal for the workshop was to establish a base of information for its study by hearing about present and future uses of
IT from the perspective of federal, state, and local disaster management officials and users together with a sampling of relevant IT research and development activities.
A variety of representatives of federal, state, and local government agencies, private industry, and the research community participated. Panelists at the workshop presented a range of views on the present state of the art and practice and future opportunities to harness information technology to aid in the management of natural and human-made disasters. This report summarizes some of the key points made by workshop participants. This report also contains the workshop agenda and includes biographical information for committee members and staff.
In phase 2 of its study, the committee will supplement the inputs received at the workshop with information gathered at several site visits and a series of additional briefings. Phase 2 will culminate in a final report, expected in spring 2006, which provides findings and recommendations on requirements for effective use of information technology for disaster management, research and development needs and opportunities, and related research management and technology transition considerations.
|FORCEnet Implementation Strategy
FORCEnet is currently defined as the operational construct and architectural framework for naval warfare in the information age that integrates warriors, sensors, networks, command and control, platforms, and weapons into a networked, distributed, combat force that is scalable across all levels of conflict from seabed to space and sea to land. Although this definition views FORCEnet as the operational construct and the architectural framework for the entire transformed Navy, some have viewed FORCEnet merely as an information network and the associated FORCEnet architecture merely as an information systems architecture. FORCEnet Implementation Strategy provides advice regarding both the adequacy of this definition and the actions required to implement FORCEnet.
|Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting
Many election officials look to electronic voting systems as a means for improving their ability to more effectively conduct and administer elections. At the same time, many information technologists and activists have raised important concerns regarding the security of such systems. Policy makers are caught in the midst of a controversy with both political and technological overtones. The public debate about electronic voting is characterized by a great deal of emotion and rhetoric.
Asking the Right Questions About Electronic Voting describes the important questions and issues that election officials, policy makers, and informed citizens should ask about the use of computers and information technology in the electoral process--focusing the debate on technical and policy issues that need resolving. The report finds that while electronic voting systems have improved, federal and state governments have not made the commitment necessary for e-voting to be widely used in future elections. More funding, research, and public education are required if e-voting is to become viable.