Emma Best is creating free access to government files
21

patrons

$84
per month
I'm a journalist and researcher working to get government information released and freely available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act, declassification reviews, and archival work. Sometimes I also publish leaked data, including things from and about WikiLeaks. Although completely legal, my FOIA work is so extensive that the FBI considers me "vexsome" and appears to have considered investigating me over it.

Since 2015, I've published millions of government documents (well over 10% of the text items on the Internet Archive). I've also analyzed these documents, discussing things from the earliest known instances of Russian attempts to influence elections. My work appearing without paywalls in MuckRock, Motherboard and Unicorn Riot and referenced by outlets like BuzzFeed, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Hill, Politico and Axios

The number of government documents that I've helped make freely available rivals or exceeds that of top mainstream outlets, even those like WikiLeaks. For instance, until recently, CIA's declassified database could only be accessed by using one of four computers, all of them just outside of Washington D.C. Now they're online for anyone to search or download in their entirety at the Internet Archive.

While I analyze and write about these documents (nearly 200 articles on them), I consider publishing them to be more important because it enables and empowers an entire generation of journalists, researchers and students of history. 

In addition to the nearly 1,000,000 CIA documents now available for download from the Internet Archive, some of my notable uploads include:


I've also launched several projects, including: 

  • The Reagan's Wrongs Project, looking at Iran-Contra, Debategate, the Inslaw scandal and more.
  • The Scientology is Fair Game project: A look at Scientology, including their infiltration of government, attacks on private citizens and the deaths of people in their care. This project resulted in a successful FOIA lawsuit against the FBI.
  • The Haters Project: A look at the hundreds of hate groups around the United States.
  • Declassifying CIA's Internal Histories: A project to release and collect as many of CIA's internal histories as possible, many of which rely on still classified documents and interviews not available to the public.
  • The War on Oversight: A look at CIA's decades long effort to undermine the Government Accountability Office and to sidestep oversight.

I hope you'll help me change our understanding of history, because transparency has a tendency to lead to government reform.
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
17 patrons
You're awesome! Even if you can only give $1, every little bit helps. 
Pledge $5 or more per month
3 patrons
$5 might not sound like a lot, but we all know that there are plenty of times when $5 can make a difference and I really appreciate you making the difference. 
Goals
$84 of $2,000 per month
This covers enough expenses to let me continue giving the work away, without resorting to paywalls or ads.
1 of 1
I'm a journalist and researcher working to get government information released and freely available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act, declassification reviews, and archival work. Sometimes I also publish leaked data, including things from and about WikiLeaks. Although completely legal, my FOIA work is so extensive that the FBI considers me "vexsome" and appears to have considered investigating me over it.

Since 2015, I've published millions of government documents (well over 10% of the text items on the Internet Archive). I've also analyzed these documents, discussing things from the earliest known instances of Russian attempts to influence elections. My work appearing without paywalls in MuckRock, Motherboard and Unicorn Riot and referenced by outlets like BuzzFeed, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Newsweek, The Hill, Politico and Axios

The number of government documents that I've helped make freely available rivals or exceeds that of top mainstream outlets, even those like WikiLeaks. For instance, until recently, CIA's declassified database could only be accessed by using one of four computers, all of them just outside of Washington D.C. Now they're online for anyone to search or download in their entirety at the Internet Archive.

While I analyze and write about these documents (nearly 200 articles on them), I consider publishing them to be more important because it enables and empowers an entire generation of journalists, researchers and students of history. 

In addition to the nearly 1,000,000 CIA documents now available for download from the Internet Archive, some of my notable uploads include:


I've also launched several projects, including: 

  • The Reagan's Wrongs Project, looking at Iran-Contra, Debategate, the Inslaw scandal and more.
  • The Scientology is Fair Game project: A look at Scientology, including their infiltration of government, attacks on private citizens and the deaths of people in their care. This project resulted in a successful FOIA lawsuit against the FBI.
  • The Haters Project: A look at the hundreds of hate groups around the United States.
  • Declassifying CIA's Internal Histories: A project to release and collect as many of CIA's internal histories as possible, many of which rely on still classified documents and interviews not available to the public.
  • The War on Oversight: A look at CIA's decades long effort to undermine the Government Accountability Office and to sidestep oversight.

I hope you'll help me change our understanding of history, because transparency has a tendency to lead to government reform.

Recent posts by Emma Best

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
17 patrons
You're awesome! Even if you can only give $1, every little bit helps. 
Pledge $5 or more per month
3 patrons
$5 might not sound like a lot, but we all know that there are plenty of times when $5 can make a difference and I really appreciate you making the difference.