Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has announced that they are removing the archives for 5 important courts from their infamous PACER system. PACER is the ten-cent-per-page access to U.S. District and Appeals courts dockets and opinions."
Public.Resource.Org, in cooperation with our friends at the Free Law Project and the Internet Archive have sent in formal proposals to 5 Chief Judges asking for an Administrative Order to access this data. We are represented in this request by two very senior litigators, Professor Mark A.Lemley and Thomas R. Burke.
Our proposal builds on top of the 2008 work we did with Aaron Swartz to perform a comprehensive audit of District Court and Court of Appeals dockets for privacy violations. Our work led to changes in the rules of procedure and a thank you from the Judicial Conference of the United States. The proposal says that if they are not going to provide this data on PACER, if they give it to us we will audit (and clean up) the data for privacy violations, report back to the courts, and make the historical corpus available on RECAP. RECAP has over 1 million PACER cases, but that's not enough.
PACER is very personal to me. Our judiciary is based on the idea that we conduct justice public, not in star chambers and smoke-filled back rooms. Our system of justice is based on access to the workings of our courts, and when you hide those workings behind a pay wall, you have imposed a poll tax on access to justice. Aaron and many others believed very deeply in this principle and we will continue to fight for access to justice, equal protection, and due process. These are not radical ideas and the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts should join us in our commitment.
(Image: Really old law books, Umjanedoan, CC-BY)
Warner Bros has sued talent agency Innovative Artists for running an internal-use Google Drive folder that let its clients and staff review movies in the course of their duties. They say the company ripped “screeners” (DVDs sent for review purposes) and put them on the server, whence they leaked onto torrent sites.
Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine has a history of blocking his critics on social media, including Grant Stern, who runs the Photography is Not a Crime group.
Since 2014, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been representing “Mr Kidane,” an Ethiopian-born US citizen whose computer the Ethiopian government hacked while he was living in DC, in order to extract the identities of his contacts in Ethiopia and target them for violent human-rights-abusing reprisals over their democratic opposition to the country’s ruling dictatorship.
TV antennas are making a comeback, and the Ghost Indoor HDTV antenna is a great example of why. Unlike the old bunny ear-style antennas, this compact antenna is barely noticeable and picks up channels easily. Plus with the addition of streaming services like Netflix, we find ourselves with plenty to watch without a pricey monthly cable bill. The Ghost […]
I’ve never really felt the need to purchase a smartwatch because a lot of them aren’t very functional, but at just shy of $30, the Martian Notifier Smartwatch was worth checking out. For that low of a price, it actually does feature an impressive amount of functionality, and comes in handy when you don’t want to be carrying around your […]
Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]