Seemingly taking a page from Julian Assange and Wikileaks, the Central Intelligence Agency has taken the unprecedented step of creating a searchable online database of declassified material – open to the general public.
In a press release dated January 17th available on CIA.gov, the agency announced how “The largest collection of declassified CIA records is now accessible online,” adding that “approximately 930,000 documents, totaling more than 12 million pages, are now available in the CIA’s Electronic Reading Room on CIA’s website.” According to the release, the database spans a period of 7 decades dating from the early 1940’s through late 1990’s and everything in between.
Search The Entire CIA Archive for Yourself: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/collection/crest-25-year-program-archive
Previously these records were only accessible at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland and to access to the documents required an in person visit to this facility – where you could only work on 1 of 4 computers. For the first time in history though, as Joseph Lambert, Director of Information Management for the CIA surmised, “Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography. The American public can access these documents from the comfort of their homes.”
Why did the CIA release all of this information online?
The publishing of this weeks archive happened for two reasons, first was the legitimate concern for our Federal Government to provide greater transparency and accountability to the American public. Over the last several years in particular this has become an important political dispute/talking point and dating back to 2000, the CIA has made several attempts to do just this.
Second, the information was mandated to be released online in accordance with a 2014 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the CIA and won by a nonprofit journalism organization known as MuckRock. In accordance with the courts decision against the CIA, the agency was mandated to dump these records online in a browse-able database. However, when the initial ruling was levied, the CIA estimated that it would take up to 6 years to pull off – this weeks release comes more than 3 years ahead of schedule.
According to early reports on the matter, citizens now have access to anything from intelligence reports on Nazi Germany during WWII to declassified UFO reports to abandoned CIA operations such as Project Mockingbird and MK Ultra. One thing is for certain, this weeks release is like a conspiracy theorists dreams come true – buckle up for all those reports.
Regardless of all the crazies out there, there is simply no way to quantify how important this database really is until people start reporting on this information over the course of the next several days/weeks/months. Believe me, if you are not careful you can spend hours poking around and reading through some of this material – it is pretty interesting.
This Content Was Created Under An Alt_Publishers License