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“RECAP the Law and the Movement to Free Government Records” with Stephen Schultze


January 11, 2010 12:45pm - 2:00pm


Location: Robert Crown Law Library, 2nd floor Reference Lounge.

Join us for a talk on “RECAP the Law and the Movement to Free Government Records” given by Stephen Schultze.

Schultze is Associate Director at the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University (formerly of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard). His research focuses on government transparency, telecoms policy, and open source.

The movement for government transparency has often focused on just two of the three branches of government: the executive and legislative. The RECAP project takes this movement to the third branch—the judiciary. Today, government puts federal court records online in a system called PACER: Public Access to Electronic Court Records. Created by the courts in the late 1980s, the system was ahead of the curve when it first appeared. But today, PACER is a relic of an earlier era. It keeps documents behind a pay-wall and suffers many usability shortcomings.

RECAP enables citizens to easily share federal court documents. The goal of this project, over time, is to publish an extensive archive to the public for free. This will not only help people who are interested in a particular case, but will also pave the way for others to build more and better tools.

In his talk, Stephen Schultze will discuss both the technical workings of RECAP, as well as the policy implications of the project.

Pizza served! Feel free to bring a brown bag lunch.

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