Friday, February 13, 2009

Malamud for GPO Head

This is in connection with making Federal court records available online.

Unfortunately, Congress controls GPO, not the President, so Mr. Malamud can't be named GPO head by Obama, as he suggests in this NYTimes article. But otherwise he has a case:
Mr. Malamud said his years of activism had led him to set a long-shot goal: serving in the Obama administration, perhaps even as head of the Government Printing Office. The thought might seem far-fetched — Mr. Malamud is, by admission, more of an at-the-barricades guy than a behind-the-desk guy. But he noted that he published more pages online last year than the printing office did.
IMO, if data generated by the government is to become public, it ought to be free and easily searchable, as through Google. I strongly dislike operations like PACER, which charges a fee to access court records. (In their defense, it appears in 1988 they asked Congress for money to provide the records free, Congress said "no", get the money by user fees. But technological innovation has outstripped the courts ability to push IT solutions.

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