The following post appears courtesy of the FBI.
This week the FBI and the Department of Justice are celebrating Sunshine Week—a national effort promoting open government and freedom of information. The FBI has introduced new tools and initiatives to help make FBI information and records more accessible to the public and easier than ever to use. In October 2010, in response to citizen feedback, the FBI launched a major overhaul of its website FBI.gov. The new FBI.gov features a user-friendly design and simple navigation. New pages and features have also been added. Many pages can now be converted into RSS news feeds so you can easily keep track of content that interests you. A new search function in the popular Wanted by the FBI section makes it easier than ever to help find fugitives and missing persons. Another new tool, an online version of the National Stolen Art File can help determine if the artwork you’re interested in buying might be stolen. Other new and ongoing initiatives include:
- The Vault - A revamped electronic reading room, the Vault makes records past and present searchable by keyword and topic. Records are also easier to read through a convenient web document viewer.
- Crime Statistics - Run searches of Uniform Crime Reports more easily, including through a new online tool that builds usable sets of crime data going back to 1960.
- Child ID App - Download the FBI’s first mobile application to keep photos and other vital information about your child right at hand in the unlikely event he or she goes missing.
- Social Media—Visit the FBI on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to join the conversation and get its breaking news and other content.
- Podcasts - Listen to and download the Bureau’s four regular shows on iTunes, along with new video versions of “Wanted by the FBI.”
- FBI in español - The first web portal for Spanish-speakers which provides translations of key webpages and stories targeted to Hispanic audiences.
- Widgets - Incorporate FBI content into your website or blog.
- E-Mail and Text Alerts - Join the 200,000 subscribers who have FBI news and information across 250+ categories sent straight to their inboxes or wireless devices. Text message alerts are also available.
The public has responded to these initiatives by coming to the FBI website in record numbers in recent years, with more than 50 million visits in 2011 alone. Stay tuned for more new tools and features in the months to come.