Wikileaks Hits The Jackpot With Congressional Research Service

from the transparency-is-the-name-of-the-game dept

A bunch of folks have been submitting the rather impressive fact that Wikileaks now has 6,780 reports from the Congressional Research Service free to download. As the post on Wikileaks notes, CRS reports are technically public domain, but have remained in a quasi-secret state, because CRS only releases them to members of Congress. However, the research reports tend to be considered quite credible, non-partisan, timely and useful. That's often why Congress members don't want them anywhere near the public. However, there have been some members of Congress who recognize what a travesty this is, and have been pushing to make the reports open. You have to wonder if a staffer for one of them is responsible for the "leak."

It's great, then, to see these documents get some well-deserved, and much-needed sunlight. However, the really interesting thing will be what the response is from both Congress and the CRS -- both of whom have mostly fought against any attempts to publicly release the documents. It will also be worth watching whether or not these leaks continue as new CRS research comes out, or if there will be something of a crackdown to try (and inevitably fail) to get this information out there.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Dan J., Feb 9th, 2009 @ 8:39am


    If the documents are public domain and government produced, anyone know why they aren't subject to FOIA requests?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anna, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 9:06am

    Open CRS

    This is great. It's especially great that they also sent them to Open CRS,, which had an extensive collection of CRS reports already. Wikileaks might have added a few thousand to the list, but Open CRS is still the place to go for these types of reports.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    hongpong, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 9:09am

    Re: FOIA

    Apparently not subject to FOIA because it is a branch of the Congress, which gets to have secrets secrets apparently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    please, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Open CRS

    please OpenCRS have been doing this for years, nothing new - take a look around:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Andrew, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: Open CRS

    please - nothing new?

    Of the 6,731 reports we sent to OpenCRS, 6,284 were new to the OpenCRS collection.

    Many CRS reports focus on long-term issues, such as the United States relationship with other countries, or key legislation. These reports keep the same report number over decades of editions. Of the 6,284 reports not in OpenCRS, 4,079 were new editions and 2,205 were completely new.

    Doesn't look that way to me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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