We’re delighted to announce that Mike Klein, Sunlight Foundation’s Co-Founder and Chairman of the board, has generously contributed $400,000 to the Sunlight Foundation for the Web Integrity Project.
We’re proud of what the program has achieved since its launch in February 2018, spotlighting numerous instances of unjustified removals of resources from federal websites relating to health, immigration, and criminal justice, and sparking national dialogue about transparency and protecting public information that we all depend on.
This funding will enable us to continue our work of monitoring and reporting on changes to federal websites, and expand our focus to additional portions of the federal government’s Web presence, pertaining to topics such as foreign relations and civil rights. We will also be able to strengthen our efforts to research and advocate for better Web governance policy.
Over the last eight months, WIP has repeatedly demonstrated the value of continuing this work. Our model of systematically monitoring and documenting changes to .gov websites brings to light shifts in policy and priorities under the Trump administration, as well as informing and engaging a number of different communities who depend on online government resources.
Among other contributions, WIP has revealed:
- The takedown of the Department of Justice’s juvenile justice office webpages about still-active programs and policy guidance, highlighting the office’s shift towards a more punitive approach
- A pattern of quiet removals of Affordable Care Act information from Medicare.gov, Medicaid.gov, and other websites for agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Multiple instances of agencies undermining access to Web content for or about the LGBT community, including the removal of a lesbian and bisexual health factsheet and the removal of language about sex discrimination protections
- The take down of 26 documents for training asylum officers — still in use by immigration attorneys to prepare asylee cases — from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website
- The shutdown of HHS’s public medical guideline database, which was widely used by medical professionals
Collectively, WIP has sourced more than 90 news articles and driven multiple congressional oversight efforts by the House and Senate. We’ve also analyzed our findings with policy-driven work that explains how and why the government is undermining Web resources and the follow-on impact felt by the public, in each case working to demonstrate clearly how Web resources are being altered.
We’re grateful for Mike Klein’s contribution and we’re excited to continue holding the government accountable by revealing shifts in public information and access to Web resources.
John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation’s Executive Director
Toly Rinberg, Rachel Bergman, and Andrew Bergman, WIP Co-Founders
Sign up for regular Web Integrity Project updates here.