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EFF Launches Search Tool for Uncovered Government Documents
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 12:08:32 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: EFF Press <press () eff org>
Date: March 16, 2009 9:18:43 AM EDT
To: presslist () eff org
Subject: [E-B] EFF Launches Search Tool for Uncovered Government Documents
Reply-To: press () eff org

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 16, 2009

Contact:

David Sobel
  Senior Counsel
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  sobel () eff org
  +1 202 797-9009 x104

Marcia Hofmann
  Staff Attorney
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  marcia () eff org
  +1 415 436-9333 x116

EFF Launches Search Tool for Uncovered Government Documents

New Search Engine Highlights EFF's Transparency Efforts
During Sunshine Week

San Francisco - In celebration of Sunshine Week, the
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today launched a
sophisticated search tool that allows the public to closely
examine thousands of pages of documents the organization has
pried loose from secretive government agencies.  The
documents relate to a wide range of cutting-edge technology
issues and government policies that affect civil liberties
and personal privacy.

EFF's document collection -- obtained through requests and
litigation under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) --
casts light on several controversial government initiatives,
including the FBI's Investigative Data Warehouse and DCS
3000 surveillance program, and the Department of Homeland
Security's Automated Targeting System and ADVISE data-mining
project.  The documents also provide details on Justice
Department collection of communications routing data,
Pentagon monitoring of soldiers' blogs, mismatches in the
Terrorist Screening Center's watchlist, and FBI misuse of
its national security letter subpoena authority.

The new search capability enables visitors to EFF's website
to conduct keyword searches across the universe of
government documents obtained by EFF, maximizing the value
of the material.

"Until recently, documents obtained under FOIA often
gathered dust in filing cabinets," said David Sobel, EFF
Senior Counsel and director of the organization's FOIA
Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) Project.  "We
believe that government information should be widely
available and easy to research, and our new search engine
makes that a reality."

EFF is launching the tool during national Sunshine Week, an
annual, non-partisan event that promotes government
transparency.  The celebration is particularly significant
this year, because it comes after eight years of a
presidential administration that was widely criticized for
its secrecy and two months into a new administration that
has promised "unprecedented" openness.

"We welcomed President Obama's declaration -- on his first
full day in office -- that he will work to make the federal
government more open and participatory," EFF Staff Attorney
Marcia Hofmann said.  "There's certainly a lot of work to do
-- so much government activity has been hidden from public
view in the name of 'national security' and the 'war on
terror.'"

For the new FOIA document search tool:
http://www.eff.org/issues/foia/search

For more on EFF's FLAG Project:
http://www.eff.org/issues/foia

For this release:
http://www.eff.org/press/archives/2009/03/16

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/


    -end-

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