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Is your search engine finding the government information you need?

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and OMB Watch have released a report, Hiding in Plain Sight: Why Important Government Information Cannot Be Found Through Commercial Search Engines (Dec. 11, 2007), that highlights "a critical gap in online access to vital government information." The press release for the report says:

"It is unclear if agencies know there is a roadblock between the public and their information and have not taken the adequate steps to correct the problem, or if the agencies simply do not realize that their important information is not being found and indexed by search engines," said Sean Moulton, Director of Federal Information Policy for OMB Watch. "In today’s Internet age, either answer is unacceptable." 

The report uses several search examples that Americans might expect to result in access to trustworthy government information. Instead, the results overlook a vast amount of useful government information.

The report is also included in the testimony of Ari Schwartz, Deputy Director, Center for Democracy and Technology at the December 11, 2007 Hearing of U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on E-Government 2.0: Improving Innovation, Collaboration, and Access. See: CRS Reports, E-government, Thomas, indexing of the government web, and more!

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