The Federal Courts Are OK With RECAP

As most of you know, recently a Firefox plugin was released called RECAP. The idea behind RECAP is that is captures documents retrieved from PACER and uploads them to a free database. In response, at least some federal courts sent out a sky is falling, beware of evil hackers email in which they stated, in part:

Please be aware that RECAP is “open-source” software, which means it can be freely obtained by anyone with Internet access and could possibly be modified for benign or malicious purposes.  This raises the possibility that the software could be used for facilitating unauthorized access to restricted or sealed documents. Accordingly, CM/ECF filers are reminded to be diligent about their computer security and document redaction practices to ensure that documents and sensitive information are not inadvertently shared or compromised.

I have seen some pretty significant criticism leveled at the courts for the emails that were sent out. For the most part, I have agreed with the criticism I have seen.

I was happy to see today, however, that the Administrative Office of the United States courts is taking a more reasoned approach to RECAP. As reported by the Consumer Law & Policy Blog, the Administrative Office has “no problem with counsel using RECAP.” This is good, and reasonable, news and I am happy to hear it.

To find out more about RECAP, go here.

An Interesting New Extension for Firefox

Nerino Petro points us toward a new Firefox extension that is designed to help make public records freely accessible. The extension works by saving a copy of each document you download from PACER into a free database. This is an interesting concept and I am wondering how well it will succeed.

You can find out more information about the extension (called Recap) here.

Also, if you have not been to Nerino’s website recently, you should stop by. He recently updated the site with a new theme that looks absolutely great. I find it much easier to read than the old design.