CIA to put millions of declassified documents online

CIA to put millions of declassified documents online
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The CIA will publish more than 11 million declassified documents onto the internet, making its library of old files dramatically more accessible to the public, the agency announced this week.

Currently, the CIA Records Search Tool (CREST) is only accessible to researchers who travel in person to an office of the National Archives in College Park, Md., severely limiting the public’s access. Once there, users can search through the database’s millions of electronic records that have already been reviewed and approved for public release.

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That will change soon.

“CIA does intend to move the documents located on the CREST system to CIA.gov,” agency spokesman Jonathan Liu said in a statement Thursday.

Once they're on the agency’s website, people will be able to search through the 11 million pages just as visitors to the National Archives office in Maryland can currently do.

“This will dramatically increase the ability of the public to access these documents, which currently are available only by going to [the National Archives and Records Administration] in person,” Liu said.

The CIA was unable to provide a specific date when the documents will be posted online, “but we are moving out on the plan to make the transition,” said Liu.

The development was previously reported by the Federation of American Scientists’s project on government secrecy.