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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Fighting Deletion

Melissa Chan reports at Time:
An Arizona man who has published thousands of animal welfare documents on his website since the government purged the once-public information is pledging to keep digging up data until federal officials reverse course.
Russ Kick, a 47-year-old writer and anthologist, said he immediately sprang into action last week when the U.S. Department of Agriculture suddenly pulled from its website a slew of papers regarding animal welfare at thousands of facilities across the country. Since then, he has made public again more than 10,000 documents, and thousands more are set to hit the web soon.
“We have the right to know what’s going on,” Kick told TIME on Thursday. “The more we know about what’s going on, the better.”
For nearly a year, Kick has been running a website called, where he has re-published information wiped from several agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration and Environmental Protection Agency. His only goal, he said, is to increase transparency and make important government documents more easily available.
More about the site here. 

At CNN, Eli Watkins and Laura Jarrett writes about Trump's deleted tweets:
Deleting a tweet is commonplace -- Twitter does not allow users to edit their messages after they post. The question is whether Trump is violating the Presidential Records Act of 1978, which requires all the president's records be preserved for eventual release to the public on a delayed basis long after the commander in chief leaves office.
The National Archives and Records Administration is tasked with managing the records. Reached by CNN on Friday, NARA spokesman John Valceanu said the PRA should be followed but directed all questions about the current president to the White House.
Reached for comment, Kelly Love, a White House spokeswoman, said Saturday, "We have systems in place to capture all tweets and preserve them as presidential records; even if they have been deleted."
She did not immediately provide further details, including whether those "systems" would apply to Trump's personal account as stringently as they do the @POTUS account. The PRA specifically does not distinguish between personal and work efforts, and the last provision of the law prohibits personal communications unless there is government redundancy.