2015/01/29

National PACER Download Day

Do you like any of the following three things?
  1. Government transparency
  2. Aaron Swartz' work to improve the Internet (like RSS)
  3. Convenient access to public documents
If any of these are important to you, please consider participating in the National Day of PACER Protest.

PACER is the acronym for Public Access to Electronic Court Records, the computerized system that publishes U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents. Techdirt had a post about the national PACER download day earlier this month that explained a bit of the background for the event.
"...Carl Malamud, the leading champion of freeing up public documents and laws, has announced a National Day of PACER Protest...PACER...is the horrific, antiquated paywall system by which the federal courts lock up tons of public documents and only make them available at 10 cents per page (with some exceptions)...PACER, itself, is of dubious legality. The law that established PACER says that the fees collected can only be used for the system itself, yet the system is so profitable that the money flows back into other areas of the judicial system, and the Administrative Office of the US Courts doesn't want to give up on its cash cow...Malamud has proposed May 1st as a day when he wants lots and lots of people to use PACER accounts to download documents (and RECAP them)..."
Tonight I met with another person interested in participating in the National Day of PACER Protest. We agreed to work together on organizing and promoting a northeast Wisconsin event which participates in this national effort to make public documents more accessible.

Over the next couple months this blog will have more information about the national download day -- although our plan is actually to organize a two day event, May 1 - 2, 2015. May 1 is a Friday, and some people may be available to participate on a Saturday but not on a Friday.

If you feel this is a worthwhile cause, please take the time right now to put an item on your schedule for May 1 or May 2 to help with this initiative. You can help make government more transparent and make these public documents conveniently accessible.

If you're interested in working with us to organize or help host the event, please contact me at bwaldron {att} gmail [dot] com.

See you on May 1st or May 2nd, if not before then!

*****

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