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Message 00410: Fwd: public.resource.org PACER audit

Not to be forwarded, please. Peter Martin (dean emeritus of Cornell Law School) and Peter Winn are taking a series of steps in consultation with me. This is to a fairly junior staff member in the AO of the Courts. The next step, if things go well, is direct contact with two of the more important judges. (I will be offering to complete the audit of the PACER system to the judges ... it is thought that perhaps my timeline for completing an audit might be more aggressive than that proffered by the PACER people.


Begin forwarded message:

From: "Peter W. Martin" <peter-xxxxxxx@lawschool.cornell.edu>
Date: November 10, 2008 10:01:11 AM PST
To: xxxxxxx@uscourts.gov
Cc: "Winn, Peter (USAWAW)" <xxxxxxx@usdoj.gov>, Carl Malamud <xxxxxxx@media.org >
Subject: Re: public.resource.org PACER audit

Michel -

I strongly concur in Peter Winn's suggestion that the Administrative Office complete the audit begun by public.resource.org.

peter w. martin
jane m.g. foster professor of law
cornell university

Winn, Peter (USAWAW) wrote:

Dear Michel:

As we discussed last week at the Privacy Conference, I am forwarding to you the jump link to the audit recently performed of some of the PACER records by the non-profit group, public.resource.org.

The audit shows that there may be a serious lack of compliance with recent rules enacted by the Judicial Conference relating to privacy. Please note that the data showing privacy violations cover both the period after the privacy rules of December 2007 became effective, as well as before that time, when local privacy rules in most federal district courts contained the same requirements. These data show that our general expectation that the adversary system would be able to insure compliance with the privacy rules, has turned out to be incorrect. I would suggest that the Administrative Office consider completing the audit begun by public.resource.org to get a handle on this problem. The results might then be communicated to Chief Judges and Clerks in individual districts where problems were identified, so appropriate action could be taken to address the rule violations.

I am copying on this email Mr. Carl Malamud, who worked on the audit, and who I understand would be happy to answer any questions about how his audit was conducted.

Peter A. Winn

Assistant U.S. Attorney

700 Stewart Street, Suite 5220

Seattle, WA  98101-1271

Tel: (206) 553-4985