March 15, 2010
Westlaw Knows Where You Live and More, But It Always Did
One of the other changes in Westlaw is the way public documents searches are handled. The WestlawNext concept of searching across databases is now part of Westlaw's PeopleMap. One search will bring all records associated with a person, including assets and relationships to other people in a graphical flow chart. Those other individuals are also subject to the same kinds of search with a single click.
I remember several years back teaching part of a CLE for the Illinois Attorney General's Office and getting clearance to see the law enforcement side of the databases where the information on people is, what's the word, a bit more "granular" than the simple public records side. I assume Thomson Reuters is adding the same search capability to that part of the database as well. There was public outrage when the Pentagon "Total Information Awareness" project was proposed to collect information on individuals domestically. Although Congress killed the project, it lives onin a more diffuse form with parts of it at other agencies. I think the government has an easier time by simply buying the same information from the commercial sector. No one seems to mind that for some reason. From a law enforcement perspective, what's not to like in PeopleMap? The West product page for PeopleMap is here. [MG]