November 15, 2013
For lovers of primary documents, there are few sites as rewarding, and beguiling, as Cryptome.
A relatively unadorned site operating since 1996, it is host to tens of
thousands of documents, many generated by various government agencies
around the world, with a focus on freedom of expression, privacy,
cryptology, dual-use technologies, national security, intelligence, and
secret governance. In today’s Requester’s Voice, founder John Young
shares the method to the site’s madness, how broken public access
poisons media and democracy, and why he suggests spending just one hour a
year on FOIA.
MuckRock: Cryptome is a repository for all sorts of
documents, data, and mirrored websites. How do you decide what is a good
fit for the site, and where does the material come from?
John Young: Material focuses on fits infosec,
comsec, spying (all kinds, gov-com-edu-org- personal), and the
underlying technology of those.
Material comes from thousands of contributors from
gov-com-edu-org-personal, some unknown, some who wish to reman
anonymous, others who wish to be identified or don’t care.
MuckRock: How much is from FOIA Cryptome’s administrators have filed, and do you get contributions from others who have used FOIA?