Three blocks north of Union Station in Washington, D.C., on the seventh floor of an ordinary brick building, a small office of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration churns out a publication known as the Federal Register. This newspaper of sorts, which runs to hundreds of pages per business day, is the public record of rules, proposed rules, and notices that have been issued by federal agencies and executive orders from the president. In the office's library, there are shelves upon shelves of blue-green books that hold past issues of the Federal Register, a bureaucratic archive stretching back to 1935. And if you look up Volume 68, No. 34, Appendix A to Subpart C of Part 164, you'll find a 169-word security standards matrix that tells you everything you ought to be doing to protect your electronic data.
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