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)
Every year, the Senate passes a secret bill (that is, a bill whose text is a secret during its debate) that re-authorizes intelligence agencies’ surveillance powers; this year, someone (possibly chairman Richard Burr, R-NC and/or Tom Cotton, R-AR) has snuck in an amendment that would give the FBI the power to demand warrantless access to […]
When Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, they acquired Java, Sun’s popular programming language, pitched from its inception as an open standard for the networked computer.
When Purdue Pharma’s patent on the MS Contin was close to expiry, the Sackler family who owned the company spent millions trying to find a product that could replace the profits they’d lose from generic competition on MS Contin: the result was Oxycontin, a drug that went on to kill Americans at epidemic scale.
We’d all love a 75-inch TV screen on which to view our favorite shows. But not all of us can drop the cash needed to get one of those broadcasting beauties (or even have the space needed to house them).Thankfully, there’s an alternative. With the SainSonic Mini LED Portable Projector (only $59.99 in the Boing Boing Store), you can project a picture […]
If you want to add some real firepower to your programming repertoire, learn Java–one of the most adaptable, widely-used programming platforms around. You can easily do that with this Ultimate Java bundle, now just $69 in the Boing Boing Store.Across 14 lectures and 117 hours of content, the educators at online academy eduCBA will walk you through […]
Every company wants to harness the power of social media, but few understand how to make that happen. Be one of those select few with this Social Media Marketing Course & Certification package, now just $29 in the Boing Boing Store.Over 12 modules of course material, you’ll learn what it takes to increase a brand’s […]