Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


A Request

My latest request for documents under New York State’s freedom of information law was just responded to. There are 1289 pages of documents covering the period 6/2006 to 12/2006. By way of comparison, my two previous requests covered the period 12/2005 to 5/2006, and yielded 400 pages or so.

The nice folks in NY made the first one a freebie (about 150 pages), but since I told them I’d be making these requests regularly the charge has been 25 cents per page, so the latest batch of docs is $322.25.

I have no objection to NY charging this amount, and by the time you read this the check will be in the mail, but the growth rate scares me.

I have been scanning in these documents, and (sloooowly) working on a database-driven web page folks can use to get at them. The idea is to link this document repository to’s DLDOS archive. One thing that’s kind of cool at the moment is that my second batch of scans (linkage below) actually OCR’ed the docs, making them searchable. I’ll probably be crazy enough to let them get indexed by Google, too.

Anyway, if you think this work is worthwhile, and you trust me and can afford it, it’d be cool if you could send a few bucks my way to support this ongoing initiative. Any funds I get will be spent solely on expenses directly related to obtaining, filing, and scanning these documents for on-line examination and download. I do all the work myself, and will NOT be accepting or soliciting payment for my time. So far, I have spent maybe $10 on file folders and $71.75 in duplication costs paid to NY. I figure that henceforth 95% of the cost of this effort will be fees to various government entities, and 5% will be office supplies so I don’t drown in what I get back.

I want to make this easy, so I set up with PayPal
PayPal—eBay's service to make fast, easy, and secure payments for your eBay purchases!

If you prefer not to use that service (and that’s cool with me), but still want to help, you can email me at
and we’ll work something out.

I am maintaining an on-line record of how much I have spent on what, and how much I have taken in (but not from whom), so folks can get a sense of where any funds are going. Obviously, this all depends on me not lying to you, so maybe you should keep the contributions below four digits at first :^).

ZIP archives of my first two rounds of documents are available at

for those who are interested.



[Update: Link to record of expenses/contributions added.][…and fixed]