[Air-L] Presidential Records on ICTs

John Paul Laprise j-laprise at northwestern.edu
Tue Nov 12 01:40:30 PST 2013

Hi everyone,

Sharon Traweek's recent post on the SIGCIS listserv about declassification and US government records has prompted me to make a general announcement. I've mentioned this to some of you in conference conversations or you probably are aware of this if you've run across my work but I'd like to make a general announcement for all:

For the past eleven years (six years as a grad student and going on five years as a faculty member), I have been pursuing ongoing research on White House information technology policy. To that end, I have been filing regular and persistent requests at Presidential Libraries (Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush (present)) for documents related to a very wide range of ICT keywords. The keyword list is a living list informed by research. In some cases, these records are available but not yet opened and my filing has the effect of fast tracking their availability. In some cases I've filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests and subsequent appeals to open closed record sets. With classified documents I've filed mandatory review requests and subsequent appeals to declassify records. This takes time and persistence. The end result is that in excess of 200k pages of documents are opened that were not previously available on request. This work continues as the Bush Library comes online and I have made the initial requests to open records there.

The long and short of this is that there is a very rich documentary record open and available to interested scholars. 

Best regards,

John Laprise, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Communication in Residence
Northwestern University in Qatar
Northwestern University

-----Original Message-----
From: members-bounces at sigcis.org [mailto:members-bounces at sigcis.org] On Behalf Of Sharon Traweek
Sent: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 3:40 AM
To: members at sigcis.org
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] de/classification of US government archives re sci/technology

I would appreciate references to any scholarly studies focused specifically on the opening of US cold war government archives of classified  [secret] research in the sciences and engineering fields. I have searched for a review article on this topic, including the changing US government strategies for de/classification, but have not found one. 
That is, I am looking for research on the history of the de/classification process at US government archives 1945 to the present and public access to such materials concerning science and technology. I am aware of passages on this topic distributed in various histories of particular cold war sciences and technologies and in some histories and legal studies of the US Freedom of Information Act of 1966 and the relevant Presidential Executive Orders [12958/13292/13526] on this topic issued since 1995.
Sharon Traweek, UCLA

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