Army reopens online library to public

The Army reopened its Reimer Digital Library to the public only a month after it decided to close it off. It announced the decision to reopen the library Feb. 21.

On Feb. 6, the Army placed the library behind its Army Knowledge Online firewall, which blocks access to any Web users without a password-protected account.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) complained about the restriction because the library contained only unclassified and nonsensitive documents. On Feb. 13, the organization filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all of the library’s contents and then posted those documents to its Web site.

The organization vowed to continue peppering the Army with regular FOIA requests to keep its mirror of the library up-to-date.

Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at FAS, noticed one inconsistency: A manual for unmanned aircraft could not be publicly accessed even though the document was marked for public release. The federation has since mirrored the document.

Other than that, Aftergood said, the library appears to be complete and up-to-date.

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