Thursday, October 19, 2017


Courtney has been processing the Michigan Outdoors Writers Association (MOWA) collection since the term began.  The collection includes clippings, photographs, publications, minutes, correspondence and memos, lists of members, and incorporation documents.

MOWA was founded in 1944 for "the development and wise utilization of all our natural command a campaign of education of the people to the urgent need for conservation of our wildlife and of natural resources and pledges the dissemination of vital information."

Courtney is definitely making progress. Here are some images:
How the collection arrived

Courtney holding up part of the collection

Processing in action

Boxes mostly processed (dark gray)


photographs in the photograph album

photograph album cover (1 of 2 oversized volumes)


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

proof of what we suspected with collected bulk social media data

As some of us have long suspected, UK spy agencies admitted that they collected bulk personal data from social media on suspects and the general public and shared it with foreign governments and corporate partners. The sharing aspect was revealed for the first time in a report in a legal case brought by Privacy International after learning in March 2015 that bulk personal datasets were collected on both suspects and the general public. It is still unclear whether or not the data sets were somehow intercepted or companies gave information to the surveillance  agencies. Read more about it here

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

U.S. Presidents born in October

I was wondering which U.S. presidents were born in October. The answer is quite a few.

The Gettysburg Battlefield National Park has a list: John Adams (on the 30th), Rutherford B. Hayes (on the 4th), Chester Arthur (on the 5th), Theodore Roosevelt (on the 27th), Ike Eisenhower (on the 14th), and Jimmy Carter (on the 1st). For more information see

If you are interested in researching any of the presidents, the Clarke has a variety of collections, in various formats, that document the U.S. Presidents.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Twitter changes

In an effort to stop unwanted sexual harassment and violence of various types in social media, Twitter will have some new rules concerning "unwanted sexual advances, non-consensual nudity, hate symbols, violent groups, and tweets that glorifies violence." This time the change is a reaction to an overwhelming response from mostly women via #WomenBoycottTwitter, after Twitter blocked Rose McGowan's account after she said Harvey Weinstein had raped her, and then posted a private phone number. Twitter said the reason it blocked her account was because posting the phone number violated its rules. A serious questions is, is that really why she was blocked, or was there a push from industry insiders to limit her ability to use social media to communicate about the alleged crime?  She then petitioned other women to tweet. Their responses were immediate, numerous, and powerful:  "The hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter became the number one global trend on the social media platform Friday." Twitter responded to it. A bigger question, outside of Twitter, is will Weinstein be convicted? And,  will the attitude of powerful men thinking they can do whatever they want with women in the industry, US and world, continue status quo or change? Read more about Twitter's changes here

Friday, October 13, 2017

FB to share Russian data from our last federal election

FB is going to share detailed info with US congressional committees, including fake accounts and ads, pages they link to, information about who was targeted. Ads and fake accounts were removed by FB, although some of the fake accounts may have become real accounts, which are not removed. More than 10 million people on FB saw more than 3,000 ads. FB also took steps to prevent those who put up the ads from profiting from it and from foreign influence affecting US elections. If they influenced the election they profited. Read more about it here

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Kaspersky software and US government info: a sad, ongoing hacking tale

Here's an interesting timeline of events.
2014: Israelis breached Kaspersky's corporate systems and implanted multiple back doors to gather data.
Kaspersky cyber security software, which is used widely internationally and was in 2014 used by approximately 24 US government agencies, including State, DOD, Energy, Justice, Treasury, and the military.

After the Israelis breached Kaspersky, they discovered Russians were hacking into US government classified info sites. The Israelis reported the Russian hacking to the NSA with specific documentation proving that it was happening. The article does not state the date they reported the Russian hacking, but I'm going to assume it was politically smarter for them to report it sooner rather than later, probably in 2014 or early 2015.

June 2015: Kaspersky engineers discovered and reported an intruder in their systems. Israel was not named in the report. At the time, Israel was not included in the UN Security Council Iran nuclear deal discussions, and so may have breached K to access data about the situation.

Sept. 13, 2017: the US ordered all federal executive branch agencies to stop using  Kaspersky software.  Better late than never, right? Note the date span, 2014 to 2017.

How much Kaspersky corporate leaders or the founder knew or willing participated in the hack of US info is unknown. Major point here - The US government continued to operate with Kaspersky software on its computers, knowing there was a major security problem with it for several years. This makes you wonder if whoever was in charge of US cyber security decisions should really have been in that position and who really has enforcement power and sufficient understanding of the situation. The other question is how much data has been hacked, stolen, or manipulated, and how many people and programs or projects were put at risk. Maybe some false information was planted to see what would happen to it. Why did it take three years before US agencies were ordered to stop using K software?  Read more about the hacking here

Oct. 5, 2017: Russian hackers stole highly classified US info from A NSA contractor's computer, using Kaspersky software. So, this means that 1/2 a month after US government agencies were ordered not  to use K software, at least one contractor is still using it, so that means the agency he worked with had to still be using it or their computer systems could not have worked together. Wouldn't you think that a federal order would be part of a contract to prevent the clearly illegal use of a software from being used again? Someone dropped a ball big time. A clear lack of communication, oversight and enforcement happened. Read more about this here

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

CMU. School of Music collection updated

One of my volunteer processing students, Ashley Blackburn, recently finished added boxes of bound CMU. School of Music collection, mostly programs of musical events, to the existing collection, which grew to 15 boxes (7.5 cu.ft.) from 2 boxes (1.25 cu.ft.), 1904-2017. We are now proofing the encoded finding aid. Boxes, labels, finding aid, OCLC and LMS catalog records have been amended. This was a month's worth of work. Good job Ashley!

The School of Music collection is on the bottom three shelves in front of Ashley.