Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Web Site Makes Gov't. Reports Available

Filed under
Web

A new Web site aims to make widely available to the public certain government reports about topics from terrorism to that congressional researchers prepare and distribute now only to lawmakers.

The site - www.opencrs.com - links more than a half-dozen existing collections of nearly 8,000 reports from the Congressional Research Service and centrally indexes them so visitors can find reports containing specific terms or phrases.

It also encourages visitors to ask their lawmakers to send them any reports not yet publicly available - and gives detailed instructions to do this - so these can be added to the collection. None of the reports is classified or otherwise restricted.

The site, being announced Monday, is operated by the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington-based civil liberties group. The project is a response to years of rumbling and wrangling by open-government advocates over a lack of direct accessibility to reports from the policy research arm of Congress.

"This initiative ought to embarrass the Congress into changing its policy and making these documents universally available," said Steven Aftergood, director of the project on government secrecy for the Washington-based Federation of American Scientists. Aftergood has collected hundreds of CRS reports and distributes them from his group's own Web site.

The research service, with a staff of more than 700 and a nearly $100 million budget, does not object to public distribution of its reports, said Jill Brett, a spokeswoman for the Library of Congress, the service's parent organization.
"It's up to Congress when they're made public and how they're made public," Brett said. "The law says we only make them available to Congress."

Lawmakers often cite the reports during congressional debates, but the research is generally not available to the public. Congress does allow lawmakers to publish reports on their individual Web sites and send them to constituents who request them.

Associated Press

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Software

  • Flowblade Video Editor 1.12 Released, Adds 2 New Tools
    A shiny new version of open-source video editor Flowblade is available for download. Flowblade 1.12 introduces a pair of new tools. Progress has also been made towards creating a distribution agnostic .AppImage, though, alas, there are still kinks to be ironed out so you won’t find an app image of the current release.
  • Vivaldi 1.8 Web Browser Launch Imminent As First Release Candidate Is Out
    Vivaldi's Ruarí Ødegaard announced today, March 24, 2017, the release and immediate availability of the first Release Candidate of the forthcoming Vivaldi 1.8 web browser for all supported platforms. Dubbed as Vivaldi Snapshot 1.8.770.44, the Release Candidate of Vivaldi 1.8 is here to fix some last-minute bugs for the new History feature, which is the star of the new upcoming web browser release based on the latest Chromium 57 open-source project, as well as to improve the user interface zoom functionality.
  • Epiphany 3.24 Web Browser Has New Bookmarks UI, Improves Tracking Protection
    GNOME 3.24 arrived a couple of days ago, and it's the biggest release of the popular desktop environment so far, shipping with lots of new features and improvements across all of its applications and components. During its 6-month development cycle, we managed to cover all the major features implemented in the GNOME 3.24 desktop environment, but also the various improvements included in many of the apps that are usually distributed under the GNOME Stack umbrella.
  • Firefox Sync Support Is Coming to GNOME Web
    GNOME Web (aka the browser formerly known as Epiphany) is working to add Firefox Sync support, letting users keep bookmarks, history and open-tabs in sync across devices.

Games and CrossOver

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers