CIA publishes more than 12 million classified files online

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has published over 12 million pages of declassified documents online. The records include UFO sightings along with psychic experiments and extrasensory perception from the Star Gate programme, as well as several hundred thousand pages of intelligence analysis and science research and development. Previously, the documents were only available to the public on four physical computers at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. every day.

This is the first time that the CIA is making its database known as CREST or CIA Records Search Tool online. Back in 1995, the CIA was ordered by then-President Bill Clinton to declassify secret government documents at least 25 years old that were also of “historical value.”

But the CIA didn’t make the archives searchable until 2000. However, in 2000, the CIA abided by setting up the computers at the National Archives. Years ago, the CIA posted the titles of the CREST collection on its website but it was only accessible in person that required visiting the National Archives.

The CIA decided to move the documents online to show their commitment to increasing the accessibility of declassified records to the public.

“Declassifying all the documents in the world doesn’t accomplish anything if people can’t get access to them,” said Steve Aftergood, the Director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. Continue reading

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