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DigiCULT
.
Info
4
How Serious is the Threat?
The first DigiCULT Forum was held
in Barcelona on the day pre-ceding the
DLM-Forum
. A report on the DLM-
Forum 2002 is available (for subscribers
to their newsletter) through Project-
Consult.
http://www.project-consult.com
From the conclusions of the
European DLM-Forum 2002
@ccess & Preservation of
Electronic Information:
best practices and solutions
Barcelona, May, 6th-8th, 2002
The successful DLM-Forum 2002
confirmed its role as the leading
event for archivists, records and infor-
mation managers of the European
public sector. Since the mid 1990's the
DLM-Forum has evolved as a platform
for multi-disciplinary cooperation bet-
ween archivists, public administration,
research and the ICT industry, with a
view to identifying and promoting best
practices and concrete solutions.This
3rd DLM-Forum extended the partici-
pating community and thereby enriched
the exchange of information and
expertise on electronic document and
records management.This event
brought a new quality of partnership, in
particular with the ICT industry.The
Forum also launched the European
DLM network initiative.The acronym
DLM was newly interpreted as `Docu-
ment Lifecycle Management' to reflect
the broadened scope of this initiative.
http://www.dlmforum2002.org
paper records, once they have been
migrated to electronic media.
`Organisations ­including governments-
do so, to save storage space, but that is very
short-sighted. If you keep the records on
paper, you will still have something when
your electronic records have become
unreadable due to obsolescent technology
or the media used. If
you do want to save
space, migrate the
documents to micro-
film. It might be old-
fashioned in the age of
digitisation but in
terms of authenticity it
is a proven technology.'
M
icrofilm and
paper will have
to do until systems and
protocols have been
developed that can
guarantee the authenti-
city of records, not just
for the time being, but
for the next 500 years
or so. Duranti: `A lot of
research as to be done to develop criteria
and guidelines for authenticity, and specify
them for different kinds of electronic
records. InterPARES with its involvement
of 25 governments can also play a role in
implementing these specifications.We have
to succeed. If not, chances are that societies
may come to a grinding halt, because the
authenticity of official records cannot be
guaranteed anymore.That is how serious it
is, at the moment.'
contained no information, that serial
numbers were missing or used twice for
different messages, along with other
anomalies.The result being, that the
Commission could not prove nor disprove
whether the data had
been tampered with,
leading to the dismissal
of the database as a
reliable source of
record keeping.
`I
n general it is very
easy to tamper
with electronic data',
states Duranti. `Even a
14 year old kid can get
into a poorly secured
system, which most
systems are. And, they
do it, because the
development of ethics
has not kept up to pace
with the advances in
technology, as the spread
of computer viruses around the world
reflects. As a system manager, you can
never be sure that records retrieved from
the system are the same as the records that
you stored. It is very difficult if not
impossible to prove that the record had
not been tampered with.'
B
ecause, most governments and other
institutions have no systems in place
to guarantee the identity and integrity of
records, Duranti, is against plans to destroy
`F
or cultural heritage organisations
collecting and storing is no longer
sufficient.The changing dynamics in the
demand for access, requires closer
attention on the changing user needs. And
not just the traditional users of creators,
preservers and historical researchers, but
also the undefined users of tomorrow,
especially in the commercial context.
Cultural heritage organisations charged
with the preservation of our common
history, must, along with the onus of
ensuring the authenticity and integrity of
their objects, also react to the challenge of
making possible or at least leaving open,
every potential future use of their objects.
As a member of the Steering Committee
in the DigiCULT Forum project, I am
honoured and pleased, to carry on from
the remarkable work of the initial
S
O M E
W
O R D S F R O M T H E
DigiCULT F
O R U M
- S
T E E R I N G
C
O M M I T T E E
DigiCULT work, embodied in the Final
Report of 2001. I look forward to the
contribution the DigiCULT Forum pro-
ject will make through their `technology
watch dog' role, in assisting the cultural
sector, in facing these technological
challenges and opportunities.
Paolo Buonora,
Italian State Archives
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