EFF has partnered with a coalition of government watchdog groups in launching governmentdocs.org, a site that consolidates government documents produced by Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from various organizations. The FOIA is a law that forces the federal government to disclose documents detailing its activities when asked.
Often, organizations making FOIA requests seek to hold the government accountable for abuse, corruption, and unfulfilled promises to citizens. Governmentdocs.org allows visitors to search a database of government documents uncovered by watchdog groups, facilitating broad citizen review of critical records of government activity. In addition, registered users of the site can comment on documents, bringing their own insight and expertise to the table.
EFF's FOIA Project has focused on uncovering government documents related to privacy and technology, and has made important and chilling discoveries, such as former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' long-standing knowledge of the FBI's abuse of National Security Letters (NSLs) in the wake of surveillance loopholes created by the USA PATRIOT Act. EFF has a tradition of posting searchable PDFs of government documents for anyone to review, and is committed to broadening open government efforts by sharing our findings with other organizations through governmentdocs.org. Documents obtained by EFF through its FOIA requests will continue to be posted at the EFF website, in addition to the new collaborative site.