Sarah Glassmeyer, Reference and Access Services Librarian at the University of Kentucky College of Law, has written an interesting post about the authentication of digital legal information, entitled Radical Trust and Legal Information.
Glassmeyer argues that concern over authentication of digital legal resources published by free access to law services such as the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University (LII) is overstated. Glassmeyer argues that free-of-charge legal resources published by reputable institutions like the LII should be considered reliable if they accurately reproduce the data in the original versions of the resources published by the government, even in the absence of formal authentication.
Glassmeyer analogizes the confidence that the legal community should place in respected free access to law services, to the “radical trust” that Web 2.0 services — and their readers — place in user generated content.
Glassmeyer’s post is the latest contribution to the recent, lively discussion of authentication of digital legal information. Other contributions to this discussion include John Joergensen’s recent post on embedded metadata and authentication at the Hacked Librarian blog, and the conversation about authentication at the Law.gov panel at last week’s Princeton Open Government Workshop.