After WikiLeaks, is it all over for The Archives? – Podcasts

The Recordkeeping Roundtable in conjunction with the NSW Branch of the Australian Society of Archivists presented ‘After WikiLeaks, is it all over for The Archives? WikiLeaks and the future of recordkeeping in a connected world’ on March 23 at the Australian Technology Park, Redfern.

L-R: Anne Picot, Cassie Findlay, Linda Tucker, Barbara Reed, Stephen Gillies Photo: Louise Trott

What can the archives/records profession learn from WikiLeaks and from the connected world more generally? And what are our users’ expectations now and in the future? Indeed, who are our users? How do we translate our theories and models into this new environment? What can we contribute?

What is the future for ‘The Archives’ in a post WikiLeaks, connected world?

In this panel discussion and Q&A session, speakers explored questions of trust, authenticity, secrecy, access and uses of records/archives in a Web 3.0, post WikiLeaks world.


Podcasts

View live Tweets from the event courtesy of @kateandthegirlz


About the event

WikiLeaks’ tsunami of diplomatic cables has swamped the timid release of government information trialled by a number of Western governments over the past decade. These succinct, nearly contemporary and (in the case of CableGate) gossipy documents have made access to government records sexy. The outrage of the US Administration has ensured that the cables remain front page news.

Wikileaks’ frontman, Julian Assange, refers to them as an archive, a direct challenge to the archival profession’s claim to the domain of preserving and providing access to government records. And in this context it is hard to get excited about the release of 30 year old Commonwealth Cabinet records, the one annual event in Australia guaranteed to get the word “archives” into the press.

Where does that leave the recordkeepers and archivists? What has WikiLeaks done to the public notion of what is an archive?

World-wide there is a demand for more responsive and accountable government, for better governance, public and corporate, not just in the Middle East. People want reliable and useable information documenting what governments and corporations do so they can form their own judgements and act to rectify problems. Records as evidence should be the scaffold on which such political analysis and reform are built.

Yet we remain anchored to the paper world – the world of siloed file registries, blanket closures lasting decades and gatekeeper models of providing access. After WikiLeaks it really won’t do.

So what can the archives/records profession learn from WikiLeaks and from the connected world more generally? And what are our users’ expectations now and in the future? Indeed, who are our users? How do we translate our theories and models into this new environment? What can we contribute?

What is the future for ‘The Archives’ in a post WikiLeaks, connected world?


About the panel

  • Anne Picot (Facilitator) is the Deputy University Archivist at the University of Sydney, and a member of Standards Australia’s IT21 Records Management Committee.
  • Cassie Findlay is an archivist and recordkeeping professional who is currently responsible for State Records NSW’s digital records strategy, “Future Proof”. She authored the chapter on ‘Digital recordkeeping’ in the Australian Society of Archivists’ textbook Keeping Archives (third edition).
  • Stephen Gillies is the President of the System Administrators Guild of Australia and the Principal Consultant for the IT security and advisory business 3rd Base Networks (3BN). He is a founding member of the Internet Society of Australia and a member of the IEEE.
  • Linda Tucker is the manager of casework and compliance for the NSW Office of the Information Commissioner. Linda works with the small but energetic casework team on the investigation and review of agency responses to their right to information obligations under the Government Information Public Access Act. Prior to joining the OIC, Linda worked in employment and migration law as a solicitor and barrister and as an academic on international environmental law.
  • Barbara Reed is a Principal of Recordkeeping Innovation, a consultancy and training company specialising in records, archives and information management. She has been a Senior Lecturer at Monash University’s School of Information Management and Systems, has contributed to a number of national and international standards for recordkeeping and heads the Australian delegation to the International Standards Organisation’s committee on records management.


Acknowledgements

With thanks to our sponsors, ATP Innovations.

The Recordkeeping Roundtable would also like to acknowledge the work of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York and the Metro NYC Chapter of ARMA, who inspired us with their event ‘WikiLeaks and the archives and records profession’, held on January 25, 2011 in New York.

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About Cassie Findlay

Digital archivist and recordkeeping professional, co-founder of the Recordkeeping Roundtable. @CassPF on Twitter.
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3 Responses to After WikiLeaks, is it all over for The Archives? – Podcasts

  1. Anne Picot says:

    Thanks Cassie, Super Archivist for getting everyhting up and running. great tos ee our venture in the cyberworld.
    Last night ABC2 screened a doco I liked because it focused on teh political context and impact of the Wikileaks revelations. We tend as recordkeepers to fucus more on the what, when and how of records and access and leave the content commentary to others. This is not being “objective” I submit. We need to do more to include the wider context of what we are preserving and making available, this is very much part of the meanng.
    here’s the link to the doco:
    Wikileaks: War Lies and Videotape
    http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/742249
    Anne Picot

  2. Honey says:

    Is Barbara Reed is the Senior Lecturer in Recordkeeping in the Department of Librarianship, Archives and Records at Monash University?

    • Hi – Barbara has taught at Monash in the past, but is not currently there. She is one of the directors of a consultancy in Sydney called Recordkeeping Innovation (amongst other things).

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