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Firefox gives free PACER info

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An add-on for the Open Source browser Firefox helps users get past a paywall in the US PACER electronic system.

PACER is an electronic system that allows attorneys and the general public to access millions of federal court records.

The add-on, called RECAP, can be found here. The authors say that it is wrong that the  judicial branch still requires citizens to provide a credit card and pay eight cents a page for its documents. In an ideal world this should all be free.

When a RECAP user buys a document from PACER, the RECAP extension sends a copy of that document to the RECAP archive.   Then if anyone else wants it, the extension notifies them when documents they’re searching for are already available for free from the public archive.

The RECAP library is hosted by the Internet Archive and hopes to be eventually  the US’s  most comprehensive public archive of freely-available federal judicial records.

It has been developed by Princeton Lawyers so we assume that it has a legal right to exist.