The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a searchable online database that contains all of the documents obtained by Edward Snowden and made public since last June.
“These documents stand as primary source evidence of our government’s interpretation of its authority to engage in sweeping surveillance activities at home and abroad, and how it carries out that surveillance,” Emily Weinrebe of the ACLU’s National Security project wrote on Thursday.
“The ACLU hopes to facilitate this debate by making these documents more easily accessible and understandable,” Weinrebe wrote. “Toward that end, today we are launching the NSA Documents Database.”
The database is searchable by document title, category, or full-text content, allowing anyone with online access to delve through all the documents and find information on whatever previously secret government info-slurping they’re interested in.
There’s also a filtering function that allows you to sort the documents based on the type and area of surveillance you’re interested in. “For example,” Weinrebe writes, “you can have the database return all documents that both pertain to ‘Section 215’ and ‘Internal NSA/DOJ Legal Analysis’.”
As more documents are released, they will be added to the database as part of the ACLU’s effort to ensure that the public has easy access to the information that, after all, they paid to have collected by the NSA.
“The fact is,” Weinrebe wrote, “that most of the documents contained in this database should have never been secret in the first place.”
The inauguration of the searchable collection comes just in time for some leisurely weekend browsing, eh, Reg readers? ®