George Raine, a recent graduate of the Faculty of Information’s Master of Information program at the University of Toronto, has created the Snowden Surveillance Archive, a searchable database of all the publicly released classified documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The leaks reveal the widespread surveillance practices by security and espionage agencies in the US and allied countries.
Archive project partners are Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and the Politics of Surveillance Project at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information. Funding came from The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting, a seven-year Major Collaborative Research Initiative funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
There are currently close to 400 documents in the Archive. The Archive website explains that these are “a small fraction of the estimated 50,000 documents Snowden turned over. Most of these will likely not be published, but as new documents are published, they will be added to the Archive.”
It is possible to search by program name, target, agency, classification and ordinary keyword.
Other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have released files that Snowden leaked to journalists in June 2013 but the Snowden Surveillance Archive claims it is the world’s first fully indexed and searchable collection of the files.
Many of the documents have been published by The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El Mundo and The Intercept. In this country, the CBC has been shedding light on Canada-related files leaked by Snowden.