Digital Culture

Security strikes again

I just helped a student at the desk with a problem that is, after analysis, laughable. But the student was frustrated beyond words at it…here’s the situation.

The student bought a Lexar Secure Jumpdrive (not this specific model, but a similar one), and used it to save a bunch of papers off of their desktop to bring in to the library and print. Except that the software that the Secure Jumpdrive uses requires Administrative rights on the computer system to run…which means that none of the computers on campus could read her files.

I walked her through how to save the files to her desktop, put them on her university webspace, and then format the drive to get rid off the offending software. I get the thought behind the security on a thumbdrive…but trying to explain that to a student who only sees that she can’t use the tool she bought is like explaining DRM to someone for the first time. Yes, you bought it. Yes, you should be able to do that. No, you can’t actually do that. Such fun!

By griffey

Jason Griffey is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at NISO, where he works to identify new areas of the information ecosystem where standards expertise is useful and needed. Prior to joining NISO in 2019, Jason ran his own technology consulting company for libraries, has been both an Affiliate at metaLAB and a Fellow and Affiliate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and was an academic librarian in roles ranging from reference and instruction to Head of IT at the University of TN at Chattanooga.

Jason has written extensively on technology and libraries, including multiple books and a series of full-periodical issues on technology topics, most recently AI & Machine Learning in Libraries and Library Spaces and Smart Buildings: Technology, Metrics, and Iterative Design from 2018. His newest book, co-authored with Jeffery Pomerantz, will be published by MIT Press in 2024.

He has spoken internationally on topics such as artificial intelligence & machine learning, the future of technology and libraries, decentralization and the Blockchain, privacy, copyright, and intellectual property. A full list of his publications and presentations can be found on his CV.
He is one of eight winners of the Knight Foundation News Challenge for Libraries for the Measure the Future project (, an open hardware project designed to provide actionable use metrics for library spaces. He is also the creator and director of The LibraryBox Project (, an open source portable digital file distribution system.

Jason can be stalked obsessively online, and spends his free time with his daughter Eliza, reading, obsessing over gadgets, and preparing for the inevitable zombie uprising.

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