Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Some Articles on Digital Signature and Validation

As you may know, we keep an eye out for digital signature and digital validation articles.  Here are a couple that may be of interest.

Finally, there is also an the American Bar Association's work on Digital Signature Guidelines.  The link is:

Oakland County Video System Recognized

Government Computer News recognized Oakland County, Michigan for their OakVideo videoconferencing and document sharing system with their Agency Award in the October 8, 2007 edition.  The article titled "Law & Video" explains: the OakVideo judicial-arraignment system, lets law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, community corrections and the courts save and secure case records on a centralized server.

Monday, 22 October 2007

NIEM Executive Briefing Webinar

We received the following press release:

On Wednesday, November 14, 2007, a NIEM Executive Briefing will be offered as a Webinar. This briefing will provide an overview of the NIEM program and will describe the data model and its components. It will also provide an overview of the current NIEM domain, NIEM program accomplishments, the current status of the NIEM model, and the state of NIEM adoption and use, and we will delve into future plans for NIEM. A major focus of the session will be the value of NIEM and how it leverages and expands the successes of standards-based information sharing. Participants will learn about the NIEM governance structure and how to successfully get involved with NIEM. The changes and improvements made to NIEM via Release 2.0, also known as the Harmony release of NIEM, will be discussed. The session will end with an update on the availability of NIEM tools and resources and a brief look to the future of NIEM.

To register, send your name and e-mail address to Ms. Shelby Glover at Prior to the call, you will receive an e-mail notification of the conference call, dial-in instructions, and Web site address for the Webinar. Program content questions should be directed to Ms. Eileen Rixmann of the IJIS Institute at (703) 726-3681 or

Monday, 15 October 2007

"Who Killed the Virtual Case File?"

An article posted on IEEE Spectrum Online discusses the long and difficult process, and project management challenges that the US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had in creating their "Virtual Case File" and other systems.  The full article is at:

RFID used in State's Attorney Office

Dan Zinn, CIO for the Office of State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in West Palm Beach, Florida sent us the following article:

State Attorney Barry Krischer had a problem within his office.  How do you handle 18,000 active felony case files that traverse three different floors, are processed by multiple divisions, and go in and out of the building?  His answer was RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).  The federal government and Walmart have been using RFID to track shipments and goods and a few law firms have used it to manage their file libraries.  Hospitals use active RFID to track “Crash Carts” and other critical mobile equipment.  This was the first time that passive RFID has been implemented to track case files as they move through and in and out of a building.

The Technology was simple.  It was like “LoJack” for a file and using GPS coordinates on Google Earth to let staff see the location of the file on a floor plan.  Making it work was a complex system integration project.  The office used the services of the Innerwireless Corporation located in Richardson, Texas and Computer Information and Planning located in Jacksonville, Florida.  CIO Dan Zinn headed the project which involved integrating the PanGo RFID technology from innerwireless into the office case tracking system known as STAC and designing and installing antennas throughout the floors that the files commonly traversed.

Staff only sees the results.  To locate a file a staff members selects the case in STAC, they then press the ‘control I’ keys on their computer and a new screen appears showing the location of the file or the last door that it passed through when exiting the building.  It gives the date and time along with a number of other case details.  The case locator can also be accessed using the office intranet.
This project has just begun.  Plans call for increasing the granularity of the locations to improve location time; integrating RFID staff ID tags to track who was transporting the file and tracking other office fixed assets.

About the technology:  Active RFID tags are tags powered by a battery.  An example is the transponder that is used to pay tolls or to go in and out of parking lots.  This type of technology costs several dollars per unit.  Passive RFID uses tags that harness the power from a radio frequency to activate the tag and then send the information back to the receiving antenna.  The cost for this type of technology starts at less than a quarter.

The RFID project started in 2004 with an initial collaboration with Wal-mart.  The technology was not mature enough at that time to go forward.  The tags started at $5.00 and there were no standards.  Since 2004 RFID Standards were agreed upon, the cost per tag dropped significantly and the technology and software applications improved.  Today RFID is a viable business solution.  For more information on this project, go to the Office of State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

NIEM Fellowship Program Announced

Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Program Management Office (PMO) has announced a fellowship program to select staff members to serve the three primary operational committees that comprise the core governance of NIEM. A fellowship will be offered to selected individuals to provide senior management support for the NIEM Business Architecture Committee (NBAC), the NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC), and the NIEM Communications and Outreach Committee (NC&OC). For more information see the complete announcement at:

CTC-10 a Success

We would like to thank all of the attendees and our supporting sponsors and exhibitors for another great Court Technology Conference.  Conference papers and presentations will be posted in the near future on the CTC-10 website at:

ebXML Messaging Service Spec Approved

The Global Infrastructure and Standards Working Group (GISWG) has approved the addition of the Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) ebXML Messaging Service Interaction Profile to our specification set (also see JRA v. 1.4 and Web Services SIP v. 1.1).  The final version 1.0 of this SIP can be downloaded from