We told you last week about RECAP, a computer program that, over time, will cause all documents available on PACER (for a fee) to become publicly available free of charge. (Here’s where we originally learned about RECAP.)
The courts have noticed. The District of Nebraska just sent out this announcement:
“A new software application or ‘plug-in’ called RECAP was designed by a group from Princeton University to enable the sharing of court documents on the Internet. Once a user loads RECAP, documents that he or she subsequently accesses via PACER are automatically sent to a public Internet repository. Other RECAP/PACER users are then able to see whether documents are available from the Internet repository. RECAP captures District and Bankruptcy Court documents, but has not yet incorporated Appellate Court functionality.
“At this time, RECAP does not appear to provide users with access to restricted or sealed documents. Please be aware that RECAP is ‘open-source’ software, which can be freely obtained by anyone with Internet access and modified for benign or malicious purposes, such as facilitating unauthorized access to restricted or sealed documents. Accordingly, CM/ECF filers are reminded to be diligent about their computer security practices to ensure that documents are not inadvertently shared or compromised.
“The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO) and this court will continue to analyze the implications of RECAP or related-software and advise you of any ongoing or further concerns.”