This edition of the In-Sites column contains some useful sites for performing various types of research. The information garnered during the 2000 national census is being made available electronically. At www.census.gov you can find a wealth of statistical information regarding economic, housing and social characteristics from the 2000 census, as well as certain data on past periods and projected future statistics on a number of subjects. The information is provided at the federal, state and county levels, making comparisons between these political subdivisions easy.
A site containing much information regarding the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiapost/mainpage.htm. Run by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Information and Privacy, the site is a good place to begin searches regarding recent issues under FOIA. The site contains summaries of federal court decisions concerning FOIA, policy statements by and for federal agencies concerning various aspects of FOIA, including recent guidance concerning FOIA and homeland security issues, seminars concerning FOIA-related issues, and job openings for attorneys and legal assistants at federal agencies involving responding to FOIA requests.
Have you ever needed to track the progress of a bill at the federal or state level and were unsure where to go online to find the correct site? An article listing federal, state and commercial bill tracking resources can be found at www.llrx.com/columns/roundup18.htm. The author lists a number of useful resources to track legislation both at the federal and state levels. Links are included to governmental and commercial legislative tracking Web sites.
The Federal District Court for the Southern District of Illinois has a Web site informing practitioners about the court's electronic filing system. At www.ilsb.uscourts.gov/cmecf.htm you can find information on the hardware and training needed to utilize the system, schedules for training on use of the system, and links to bankruptcy court databases.
Have you ever been curious as to who is contributing to Illinois' political campaigns, and which candidates are receiving the money? The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform maintains a Web site at www.ilcampaign.org/search that provides information on these questions, and can be searched by either the candidate's or contributor's name.
Finally, if you have the home or business telephone number (assuming its not an unlisted/unpublished number) of an individual whose name and address you do not know, you can find out who is listed at that number at www.reversephonedirectory.com. You simply type in the telephone number into one of six separate search directories listed at the site, and the name and address of the individual at that number is shown. You can also access certain public, military and criminal records through other portions of this site.