Exposing Government Documents Online

By Deane Barker on November 28, 2003

One Man Against Secrecy: Interesting story about what one guy can do with a Web site.

Armed with a pocket-size copy of the Constitution, the Freedom of Information Act and an investigator’s patience for source-building, Aftergood is out to slay what he sees as the arbitrariness of the U.S. system for classifying documents to keep them secret.

To do that, he asks foundations and donors for $150,000 a year (“in a good year”) to keep his online newsletter, Secrecy News, and staff of one — himself — going. He often scoops the national media with anecdotes about government attempts to keep information secret.

I predict that he’ll die in a car crash inside of six months, with a empty bottle of whiskey at his feet, a blood alcohol level well under the legal limit, and a strange set of skid marks on the road that no one can quite explain.

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