Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Privacy Your Rights Online

This Blog Is Republishing All the Animal Welfare Records the USDA Deleted (vice.com) 91

Last year, thousands of animal welfare records were removed from the web by the Department of Agriculture. Now, a government transparency blog is on a mission to recover and republish as many of these records as possible. From a report on Motherboard: "Whenever there are documents that were online, but got pulled offline, they're automatically important," said Russ Kick, who runs the blog The Memory Hole 2, where many of the documents have already been re-published. "Nobody's going to go through the trouble to delete something that doesn't matter." The documents, which were removed by the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) late last week, included inspection records and annual reports made under the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. The USDA indicated that removing the documents was in response to a court decision, but a spokesperson contacted by Motherboard would not specify what court case. The records were typically used by animal welfare groups to keep tabs on how well these laws were being enforced, but were also used by the general public to research the inspection records of everything from dog breeders to circuses and zoos. "I've learned that if I see something and think 'I'm really surprised the government posted this,' I need to download it," Kick told me. "So when I found these reports, I thought 'this is surprising,' and I downloaded them."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

This Blog Is Republishing All the Animal Welfare Records the USDA Deleted

Comments Filter:
  • Fahrenheit 451 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

    First, disappear all the records. History is for losers. Information is sad.

  • Shock of all shocks (Score:4, Informative)

    by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Thursday February 09, 2017 @10:50AM (#53832431)

    Trump did not order the files taken down, having been done under the not-so-watchful eye of Barack "Government should be transparent" Obama.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Great! So this is something that both democrats and republicans can get upset about.

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Thursday February 09, 2017 @11:04AM (#53832541) Homepage
      Except he most likely did, considering the files were taken down last week [vice.com], not last year. TFS has it wrong (though it says last week later in the summary).
  • wait, The Memory Hole *2* [thememoryhole2.org]??!!!1
  • Privacy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by otterpop81 ( 784896 )

    Because privacy is a basic human right, unless it's records about others.

    • by sjames ( 1099 )

      And a company is not a human.

    • Corporations have been promoted from people to humans now?

    • Unless it's information about businesses and corporations, which exist only as legal fictions tolerated by the population because of their supposed economic benefits. If you cloak yourself from legal liability for your crimes behind a legal fiction, don't be surprised that the fiction has fewer rights than you.

    • by Falos ( 2905315 )

      Knowledge that has been "in the wild" can never be quarantined, no more than a ritual gesture can revert virginity. Doesn't matter how ethical you feeeeel about it. Pee's in the pool. Cat's outta the bag. One way valve, barring time travel.

      This makes for some weird laws, which think they can control a concept, a mental abstract, everywhere in the universe. Simultaneously. Forever.

      Data is a contagion. It's only yours to control if quarantined.

  • by bigman2003 ( 671309 ) on Thursday February 09, 2017 @11:03AM (#53832525) Homepage

    I work at a place that gets inspected by APHIS. APHIS also puts our material into quarantine.

    We have permits for all kinds of things that sound icky and salacious. If someone read the reports they might think, "Wait, something bad is going on here- why are they doing this? Let's follow the trail and find out what they are doing!"

    They would be very disappointed to find out what is really going on- that it is all part of 'normal' business. That the icky sounding stuff would be absolutely pedestrian if you understood it.

    APHIS is a prettyboring place once you get over the idea of 'quarantine'. My guess is that these records would be boring at first glance, andpretty much just spreadsheet data regardingregular inspections once you have an understanding of what they are doing.

    But...maybe that's all just a conspiracy...

    • by Reziac ( 43301 ) *

      The reason they were pulled down is because the records contain home addresses, and animal rights groups use 'em to find targets to harass and destroy. I guess if you're all up for doxxing people you don't like, the records should stay public.

  • Alternative facts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sh00z ( 206503 )
    More Trump lies. It was last WEEK, not last year.
  • Like this one [bloomberg.com] for example...

    People should be more careful who they vote for

    • by denzacar ( 181829 ) on Thursday February 09, 2017 @12:20PM (#53833053) Journal

      "The review of APHIS' website has been ongoing, and the agency is striving to balance the need for transparency with rules protecting individual privacy.
      In 2016, well before the change of Administration, APHIS decided to make adjustments to the posting of regulatory records.
      In addition, APHIS is currently involved in litigation concerning, among other issues, information posted on the agency's website.
      While the agency is vigorously defending against this litigation, in an abundance of caution, the agency is taking additional measures to protect individual privacy.
      These decisions are not final. Adjustments may be made regarding information appropriate for release and posting."

      A blatant and stupid lie.
      Trump administration forgets that people from the Obama administration are still alive and around.

      Matt Herrick, [usda.gov] director of Communications of USDA under Obama, tweeted this [twitter.com] regarding the disappearing of animal abuse reports:

      Decision by @usda 2 remove animal abuse reports not required.
      Totally subjective. Same option given 2 past admin. We refused. #transparency

      And it's not the first (and probably not the last) time that Trump administration, once caught doing something they shouldn't be doing, tries to blame it on Obama.
      Like the Muslim ban, Yemen raid fiasco (BTW, that was "winning" [independent.co.uk]), Trump's disastrous calls to Mexican and Australian heads of state... [foxnews.com] and now this.
      More here. [msnbc.com]

      • Like the Muslim ban,

        Is there a ban on being muslim? I know of none. I suspect you are talking about the suspension of immigration from seven specific countries, using the incorrect language the mass media has attached to it.

        Have you read the "Muslim ban"? I have. See no reference to muslims or Islam anywhere in it. You can read it [whitehouse.gov] for yourself and point out the places I missed, perhaps? I do see references to refugee status for religious persecution, but the religion is not specified any further than "must be a minority reli

        • Is there a ban on being muslim? I know of none. I suspect you are talking about the suspension of immigration from seven specific countries, using the incorrect language the mass media has attached to it.

          NOPE! Comrade.
          I am talking about Trump and his cohorts trying to blame Obama for their own unconstitutional actions - for which they just got their asses handed to them the federal appeals court. Sad.
          CONGRATULATIONS COMRADE! TRUMP WON! ENJOY!

          But do feel free to put up any strawman you like. After all... there's already a strawhead puppet put up in the White House.

          Or a tu quoque fallacy.

          Trump is not unique in something like this.

          Which, AGAIN, manages to also be a false equivalence fallacy.
          Cause not since King George the Third ruled in today's US part

          • NOPE!

            Glad you admit there is no "Muslim ban".

            I am talking about Trump and his cohorts trying to blame Obama for their own unconstitutional actions

            No, actually, you were providing a list of why you hate Trump. The first one, your "Muslim ban", doesn't exist. The others were specious hyperbole.

            RIIIIIGHT! OK... So that's the new standard?

            Well, your new standard for "disaster" seems to be "did something I don't like." I'm just trying to bring us back to a more reasonable standard. You claimed the calls were "disastrous", I'm just trying to figure out exactly what that disaster was. Do you have anything at all, or just more flummery and insult?

            IT ain't 1960's bro. Nobody's putting up missiles.

            Right. North

            • Truly... Pathetic. Such a loser. Sad.

              You just keep banging them red herrings kiddo, pushing them irrelevant conclusions...
              None of those are arguments. Nor are they addressing the facts I stated. You know... Facts. As in reality.

              But you just keep on keeping on! Enjoy! Trump won! Don't be such a loser son! Go on!
              Run naked through the streets yelling "WE WON! WE WON! WE WAAHAHAAAHAAN!!!"
              Instead of being such a pathetic, sad, little loser that you have to keep resorting to fallacies.
              At least you could LIE... It

    • by Toad-san ( 64810 )

      "Adjustments may be made ..."

      Kinda hard to adjust a bulk deletion, ne?

      • Kinda hard to adjust a bulk deletion, ne?

        Not when the "deletion" is a takedown from a website.

        I take things off my websites (I run five) all the time. Does that make all that stuff "automatically important"? That's what Russ Kick thinks:

        Whenever there are documents that were online, but got pulled offline, they're automatically important

        So every time I update my personal website with a new "editorial" on some issue and take down the previous one, my opinion suddenly becomes important to him?

        And does the fact that you don't have a link to the d

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      Umnh.... when the president is known to believe in denying facts, and trying to hinder their spread, and is believed to be a liar, then you shouldn't be surprised if people don't trust what his spokesmen say, especially if it apparently furthers his stated agenda.

  • "Nobody's going to go through the trouble to delete something that doesn't matter." What ???!!!??? I do that all the time.
    • "Nobody's going to go through the trouble to delete something that doesn't matter."

      What ???!!!???

      I do that all the time.

      You are also not a government where every decision is a culmination of hundreds of man-hours of meetings, discovery, reports and more meetings.

  • I'll take "Things you'll never hear from a Clinton" for $500 Alex.

    And the answer is: "Nobody's going to go through the trouble to delete something that doesn't matter."

  • Nobody's going to go through the trouble to delete something that doesn't matter

    What the hell is he talking about. Clearly he's never run out of disk space before.

  • And I irrecoverably delete the wrong files all the time.

  • Nobody's going to go through the trouble to delete something that doesn't matter

    While I sympathize with Mr. Kick, and remain skeptical of the new administration, this statement is just stupid.

    Things get deleted all the time, especially by people who later decide they would prefer the information were still up. Every time a website gets refreshed, they may preserve the data from before the refresh, but the data from two refreshes or more gets mangled. In any organization, there will be data rot.

    Now, the fact that this is a government organization makes the problem even worse, because n

To program is to be.

Working...