The Central Intelligence Agency said this week that it will post its database of declassified CIA documents online, making them broadly accessible to all interested users.
The database, known as CREST (for CIA Records Search Tool), contains more than 11 million pages of historical Agency records that have already been declassified and approved for public release.
Currently, however, CREST can only be accessed through computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, MD. This geographic restriction on availability has been a source of frustration and bafflement to researchers ever since the digital collection was established in 2000. (See CIA’s CREST Leaves Cavity in Public Domain, Secrecy News, April 6, 2009; Inside the CIA’s (Sort of) Secret Document Stash, Mother Jones, April 3, 2009).
But that is finally going to change.
The entire contents of the CREST system will be transferred to the CIA website, said CIA spokesperson Ryan Trapani on Tuesday.
“When loaded on the website they will be full-text searchable and have the same features currently available on the CREST system at NARA,” he said.
CIA was not able to provide a date for completion of the transfer, but “we are moving out on the plan to make the transition,” Mr. Trapani said.
In the meantime, “The CREST database housed at NARA will remain up and running at least until the website is fully functioning,” he said.
These policy proposals will simplify the affordable housing qualification process for all federal housing programs, primarily focusing on PBV and LIHTC, to move eligible households into vacant units more quickly.
A uniform software tool for inputting building permit data would make the U.S. Census Bureau’s Building Permit Survey (BPS) more reliable, and it would also facilitate more fine-grained geographical analysis of new housing development.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) should prioritize funding water projects for local governments that would expand the production of new housing in their service areas if given the water resources to do so.
Congress needs to amend the definition of a manufactured home to remove the phrase “on a permanent chassis.” By doing this, Congress can eliminate wasted construction materials, allow new multifamily design options under the HUD Code, and unleash competition from factory-built manufactured housing.