In addition to his many other noble and forward-thinking projects (here, here, here), information pioneer Carl Malamud has taken up the issue of public access to federal court documents. The federal judiciary makes most documents filed in federal court litigation available through its search platform known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER). The catch is that the government charges 8 cents a page to read/print/download the documents, which can quickly add up when you're looking at a case of any complexity. To improve public access to these materials, Malamud is asking individuals who pay for PACER access to recycle their documents, which he classifies and publishes for free on his website. This is a great idea. Now we just need someone to come along and make the documents easily searchable and individually accessible. As always, we're grateful for Carl's pioneering work.
Wired has more details on the project.