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Message 00836: Re: PlainSite Update

Too bad they don't teach ethics at Harvard. :)

Hope things going well.

On Jan 9, 2012, at 5:15 AM, Aaron Swartz wrote:

> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Aaron Greenspan <xxxxxxx.org>
> Date: Mon, Jan 9, 2012 at 4:10 AM
> Subject: PlainSite Update
> To: Lawrence Lessig <xxxxxxx@pobox.com>, Jonathan Zittrain
> <xxxxxxx@law.harvard.edu>, Harry Lewis <xxxxxxx@seas.harvard.edu>,
> Benjamin Edelman <xxxxxxx@hbs.edu>, Aaron Swartz <me@aaronsw.com>
> Cc: Sabeel Rahman <xxxxxxx@fas.harvard.edu>, Eric Teasley
> <xxxxxxx@stanford.edu>, Ying Lei <xxxxxxx@stanford.edu>
> Hi there,
> I hope you're all well and that the new year has been a good one so
> far. I just wanted to let you know of some new developments as far as
> PlainSite goes.
> A while ago I stumbled across the PACER data that Aaron Swartz
> liberated in 2008 and was shocked to find it sitting only in
> compressed tarball format on Carl Malamud's servers. Princeton has
> done some interesting work with it under Ed Felten via RECAP, but
> basically the data isn't that much more accessible, at least by search
> engine, than it was three years ago.
> As you may remember, FaceCash is no longer operational due to the
> California Money Transmission Act, but the codebase still works, and
> an integral part of the system for both money transmission and
> anti-fraud purposes is the ability to track legal entities separate
> from people. This basically means I have a decent database of
> companies, and I decided to put it to good use with PlainSite.
> Aaron's PACER data is now available on PlainSite, in a way such that
> each case is cross-referenced with the laws that it's about, the
> lawyers representing the parties, the parties themselves (working on
> this, big companies are easier), the judges presiding, and the PDF
> documents in the docket. I also have just-now-working code that should
> allow users to add their own cases just by uploading the history file
> and summary from PACER.
> We're also planning to link companies to PlainSite issues (problems
> and solutions), each other (lobbying groups and PACs with
> indecipherable names), donations, and politicians. I also think it
> would be neat to analyze how often judges rule for certain types of
> parties.
> The URL is http://www.plainsite.org, but here are some example pages
> to give you an idea:
> The FaceCash lawsuit: http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/case.html?id=716056
> Judge Lloyd: http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/judge.html?id=126
> Apple, Inc.: http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/index.html?id=3404
> One of Microsoft's lawyers:
> http://www.plainsite.org/flashlight/attorney.html?id=75749
> If you have any thoughts, feedback would be great to hear.
> All the best,
> Aaron