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Thursday, March 5, 2015

New Snowden Archive Offers Public Access to Surveillance Documents

Activist Post

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) has announced the launch of the Snowden Archive, a comprehensive database of all of the documents published to date from the Snowden leak.

Created in partnership with the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, the Archive is the world’s first fully indexed and searchable collection of publicly released Snowden documents.

The Archive is a powerful resource for journalists, researchers and concerned citizens to find new stories and to delve deeply into the critically important information about government surveillance practices made public thanks to Edward Snowden.

“We are extremely proud to launch the Snowden Archive as a tool for Canadians, and the world, to better understand the scope and scale of mass surveillance programs,” said CJFE Executive Director Tom Henheffer. “We believe this tool is just the start of many important stories to come, and hope this will help the public engage in conversation about government surveillance practices.”

The Archive allows users to search Snowden documents by:
  • Agency that created the document in question
  • Journalist and media outlet that first broke the story from the document
  • Full text of the document
  • Keywords, surveillance program names and more
“Investigative journalists and university researchers share a public interest mission to advance understanding of controversial issues. This is exemplified in the collaboration between CJFE and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto to make available the Snowden Archive,” said Professor Andrew Clement of the University of Toronto. “The Archive can help everyone learn more about how our governments are watching us all.”

Project Partners and Supporters

The Snowden Archive is the result of collaboration between Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Politics of Surveillance Project at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. The Archive was designed and built by George Raine, a recent graduate of this Faculty’s Master of Information program, with the assistance of Jillian Harkness, currently a student in this program. Supporters of this initiative include the Surveillance Studies Centre, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Queen’s University; the Digital Curation Institute, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto; and the Centre for Free Expression, Faculty of Communications and Design, Ryerson University.

About CJFE

CJFE monitors, defends and reports on free expression and access to information in Canada and abroad. Rooted in the field of journalism, we promote a free media as essential to a fair and open society. CJFE boldly champions the free expression rights of all people, and encourages and supports individuals and groups in the protection of their own and others' free expression

About the Politics of Surveillance Project

The Politics of Surveillance Project has as its mission to render more publicly visible and democratically accountable the hidden forms of surveillance that are increasingly a part of everyday life. It is a sub-project of The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting, a seven-year Major Collaborative Research Initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

The Snowden Archive and additional information on the project can be found at

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