Filed under Library News: Mills Innis Thode Alerts e-Resources Web Resources
Many patrons will have heard the CBC radio news yesterday morning (7 November 2006) which suggested that users of the RefWorks software provided free of charge at McMaster University may be at greater risk than others when they cross the border into the U.S. See this link on a CBC web site for a similar story released about a week ago.
Yesterday morning's radio news story suggested that U.S. authorities can search RefWorks accounts because such accounts and the data amassed in them by users reside on (or are connected to) computers in the U.S. where the Patriot Act, created in the wake of the events of September 11, gives U.S. authorities surveillance rights.
RefWorks users at McMaster University and in OCUL -- the consortium which makes RefWorks available in Ontario universities -- can rest assured that their data is beyond the reach of such surveillance. The software which is used in Ontario is mounted on servers at the University of Toronto which are managed by our own Scholars' Portal, a service of OCUL (the Ontario Council of University Libraries).
The accounts of McMaster users of RefWorks are not subject to surveillance under the U.S. Patriot Act.