"How to Access the Federal Government on the Internet 1998", Bruce
Maxwell, 1997, 1-56802-295-6, U$28.95
%A Bruce Maxwell bmaxwell@...
%C 1414 22nd Street N.W., Washington, DC 20037
%I Congressional Quarterly Inc.
%O U$28.95 800-638-1710 fax 202-887-6706 bookhelp@...
%P 282 p.
%S Washington Online
%T "How to Access the Federal Government on the Internet 1998"
For those interested in (the U.S.) government, and access to its
information, Maxwell has provided a very useful compendium of
addresses. As he admits, this is not an exhaustive list to U.S.
federal government systems available through the Internet, but it
definitely gives a good, broad starting field. University and other
sites with a specialized interest in the government are listed,
although strictly political organizations are rare. For example, the
"Queer Resources Directory" is included, but the Electronic Frontier
Foundation is not.
The reader is expected to be reasonably familiar with the Internet
use: the information given in the introduction is intended only to
help keep the listings brief. (One addition to the introduction is a
section on the reliability, or lack thereof, of Internet data. The
piece notes that not all discrepancies are due to propagandists:
source material providers have been known to release multiple versions
of the same document.) The site descriptions do note the type of
access method (increasingly, of course, this is the World Wide Web).
General instructional material has been removed, helping to reduce the
size of the book, and limit it to the reference information itself.
All of that would be extremely valuable for those interested in
government and access to information, but since the feds have fingers
in just about every pie, there is much more. The various departments
provide information on access to information, agriculture, arts and
museums, business, children and families, defense, computers,
demographics, education, emergency response, energy, environment,
foreign affairs, medicine, history, employment, law, technology,
space, and transportation. Government sites often provide the most
informative content to be found in the net. Maxwell has added to this
with a very useful index: I didn't really expect to find anything
under computer viruses but was pleasantly surprised to note an entry
for the NIST Computer Security Resource Clearinghouse and the CIAC
(Computer Incident Advisory Capability) site. (Which points out the
fast changing nature of the net: since the book was published NIST
has, alas, virtually eliminated its role in this area.)
For the avid U.S. government watcher, an essential. For the serious
Internet information gatherer, regardless of nationality, a very
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1995, 1996, 1998 BKHAFGOI.RVW 981025
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