carl_malamudAlthough court records are technically available to the public, you have to pay to get copies. Even digital copies. That does not sit well with Carl Malamud (or with me, for that matter).

I mentioned public.resource.org last year, but since then, it has grown to include 50 years of federal appellate decisions and 20 percent of all the information available on PACER, the federal courts’ archaic document management system.

Malamud claims one of the reasons he is pursuing greater public access to court records is because “there are also massive privacy violations lurking inside some court filings, since clerks, judges and lawyers aren’t adhering to rules about what can and can’t be in legal filings.” Thousands of social security numbers, for example.

“If we want to be serious about personal privacy, we can only do so if we are also serious about public access.”

public.resource.org is really just a repository. To search the repository, try the free AltLaw.org search engine, which indexes the documents in public.resource.org.

To add to the database yourself, visit pacer.resource.org and upload (recycle) your PACER documents. It is quick and easy, and you will be helping to make public records truly public, for a change.

Online Rebel Publishes Millions of Dollars in U.S. Court Records for Free | Wired (via BoingBoing)

(photo: Joi)

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