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13 million of declassified CIA documents online: full-text search

By law Freedom of Information Act the Central Intelligence Agency since December 31, 2006 is required to remove the security classification on the documents older than 25 years and provide free access to them. CIA formally fulfilled the requirement of the law: it has created a database of declassified documents CREST (CIA Records Search Tool) and organized a "free" access to it on ... four computers in the branch building of the National Archives in College Park, NY,  Maryland, which is open to the public from 9:00 to 17:00. Here scouts mad an obvious omission: as for the CIA, it was necessary to limit the time of the archive, for example, from 7:00 to 7:10 on one day a week.

This chaos lasted until the present time. In the end, justice prevailed. Since January 2017, all data base CREST was declassified and opened the internet with full-text search. Now everything really works as it should. All information is open.

Each year, by 31 December CIA replenish database CREST with new declassified documents older than 25 years, with a preliminary editing (removing fragments of documents that are the subject of state secrets). For example, on December 31, 2016 database contains all documents since the CIA was founded in 1947 and up to December 31, 1991. The problem was only that the general public does not really had the opportunity to gain access to these documents.

In June 2014 MuckRock activists filed a lawsuit against the CIA, claiming to provide free access to the CREST data, as well as to the various metadata associated with this database.

Legal proceedings were not easy. CIA lawyers were trying to delay the process in every way.

However, on November 18, 2016 CIA lawyers officially threw the white flag, and promised to provide online access to CREST data base in the first quarter of the 2017 and periodically replenish it.

Digital cartography and GPS navigation 26-01-2017