Providing Electronic Access To Public Records Is 'Expensive' And Other Government Excuses For PACER Fees

Tim Cushing | Techdirt | February 11, 2013

from the well,-if-you're-not-going-to-give-it-away,-i-guess-we'll-just-have-to-go dept

Steve Schultze at Freedom to Tinker wants to know why the general public is still being asked to pay for access to public records. Since these records are generated using tax dollars, a person would reasonably expect they would be free to access, especially since they're the ones footing the bill. Of course, reasonable expectations are shattered by government entities daily and PACER is no exception.

As Mike noted in 2011, the fees to electronically access PACER records continue to rise, even as costs drop, leaving most Americans locked out by prohibitive fees (and a less-than-intuitive user interface). Schultze notes that not only are these fees excessive, they very likely are illegal...