There's a new project that uses a wiki (a dynamic website that any user can edit) for the review and analysis of documents produced in response to a FOIA request regarding treatment of prisoners at Gitmo.
This is the first time I have seen a wiki used for document review -- it is a stupendous use of the technology. Distributed litigation is about to hit the big time.
While reviewing 4,000 pages might not sound like the kind of undertaking that requires dozens of volunteers, organizers say the documents frequently contain the kind of minutiae that require advanced degrees to understand and which take a great deal of time to peruse.
"I think the project is important because there is this huge amount of documentation and it's not clear how thoroughly it's being looked at," said George Phillies, one of the project's leaders. "I think it's important to the American people because it's not clear what is being done in their name."
The advantages of using a wiki for this type of project come out clearly:
Befitting a project that was born on a technologically innovative website, Hu and Phillies and their team are employing wikis -- web pages that can be edited by anyone -- to process the results of their document reviews. The wiki displays each document's review status, and ensures that participants are on the same page, can see each others' progress and can be certain work is not unintentionally duplicated.
Again the FOIA:Detention Practices Project is here.