June 28, 2005

CDT Set Up Public Access To Congressional Policy Briefings [7:53 am]

Hard-to-Get Policy Briefings For Congress Are Now Online — The CDT is asking for a collaborative effort — ask your Congressperson for copies of Congressional Research Services reports in PDF form, and then upload it to their file sharing site set up to distribute these otherwise difficult to access reports.

A Washington research group has created a Web site where the public can read, submit and download the difficult-to-find public policy briefs members of Congress use to get up to speed on issues.

The Center for Democracy and Technology has created an online database of Congressional Research Service reports that anyone with an Internet connection can now tap free of charge.

[...] The CDT, a technology policy organization, complained that the reports are paid for with taxpayer money and ought to be readily available for free to anyone who wants one.

“Taxpayers pay $100 million a year for this resource, yet they don’t have ready access to it,” said CDT spokesman David McGuire. “We don’t think they should have to pay twice to get their hands on it.”

McGuire predicted the Web site, http://www.opencrs.com , will find an audience among academics, reporters, bloggers, librarians, college students and anyone else looking to bone up on an issue.

[...] “Take Action!” the Web site says. “Call your members of Congress and request a PDF copy of the following CRS report. Once you receive it, submit it to Open CRS.” The group estimated it has collected almost half of the reports the agency has produced in the past five years.

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