To commemorate Sunshine Week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)last week launched a search tool that allows the public to closely examine thousands of pages of government documents the organization has obtained through litigation and FOIA requests. The documents relate to a wide range of cutting-edge technology issues and government policies that affect civil liberties and personal privacy, according to a release from the organization.

EFF's document collection covers such controversial government initiatives as the FBI's Investigative Data Warehouse and DCS 3000 surveillance program, and the Department of Homeland Security's Automated Targeting System and ADVISE data-mining project. The documents also provide details on Justice Department collection of communications routing data, Pentagon monitoring of soldiers' blogs, mismatches in the Terrorist Screening Center's watchlist, and alleged FBI misuse of its national security letter subpoena authority.

The new search capability enables visitors to EFF's Web site to conduct keyword searches across the universe of government documents obtained by EFF, maximizing the value of the material.

"Until recently, documents obtained under FOIA often gathered dust in filing cabinets," said David Sobel, EFF senior counsel and director of the organization's FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) Project. "We believe that government information should be widely available and easy to research, and our new search engine makes that a reality."