However, it sends a chill down my spine when government says that they want access to a huge archive of every communication, supposedly because they are historic. And the Library of Congress may in fact have no nefarious intentions. The problem is that what the current crop of people intend is not what is important, The problem is what future government officials may use this access to such a vast database for. We already know that Congress just gave authorization to the military to have the authority to round up and detain Americans, without charges, for who they deem to be a threat to national security. What is going to be their benchmark for a "threat"? Will it be for people who are actually trying build some device that will kill thousands, or millions, of people? Or will it also be used for people who "tweet" something derogatory about the government, or some government official? Or maybe some guy or girl who blogs their opinions about a government that they think has gotten too large?
Freedom of speech is a very precious thing. We are already seeing some subtle, and not-so subtle examples of government clamping down on free speech.
The government essentially having all of these "tweets" delivered to them on a silver platter certainly gives me pause. And a little chill up my spine.
Library of Congress to receive entire Twitter archive
By Michael O'Connell
Federal News Radio
Federal News Radio
Tweets, emails and other electronic communications can be considered "government documents" and must be preserved. The National Archives handles official government materials, while the Library of Congress' mandate is to deal with anything that may have long-term historical interest.
"We're basically in the same situation as the National Archives, only on a much larger scale," said Bill Lefurgy, digital initiatives program manager at the Library of Congress national digital information infrastructure and preservation program. "We tend to have a much larger perspective in terms of what we collect." He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris Tuesday morning to talk about the library's digital mission.
But how much digital information are we talking about? How about all of the tweets from Twitter's archives?