March 2, 2009 | By Tim Jones

Yes We Scan: Carl Malamud for Public Printer

It's hard to find many people who've worked as hard to create an open and transparent government as Carl Malamud. To name just a few of his recent accomplishments: He's convinced C-SPAN to license Congressional hearings under Creative Commons, worked to free California and Oregon state legislation from nonsensical copyright restrictions, and was instrumental in making the SEC's EDGAR database free and public.

If you look over his work and website, it's easy to see why people call him "The Rogue Archivist." But why should such important public services be the job of a so-called rogue? Shouldn't the government itself get behind these efforts?

To that end, Carl last week announced his candidacy for Public Printer of the United States, and EFF's Fred von Lohmann has joined The Committee to Reboot .Gov that Carl formed for this purpose.

While appointments like this aren't usually the subject of a public campaign, much less public endorsements, we think Carl's case is worth making an exception. His agenda is ambitious and impressive. He seeks to "make all primary legal materials produced by the U.S. readily available." He seeks to include "principles of bulk data distribution in legislation." And, as the GPO is responsible for the printing of passports, he seeks a full audit of the security risks posed by the faulty Radio Frequency I.D. (RFID) chips recently installed in passport cards.

On President Obama's first day in office, he announced his commitment to "an unprecedented level of openness in Government." Appointing Carl Malamud to Public Printer would be an excellent step towards that goal.

If you agree, announce your support of Carl's effort.

[Note: EFF has represented and continues to represent Carl in various matters]


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