Website Change Tracker

The Web Integrity Project’s Website Change Tracker aggregates and classifies significant removals of content and reductions of access to information across the federal government’s websites since January 20, 2017. Find out how to use the Tracker and the classification here.

Tracker items

1) Removal of 26 Documents for Asylum Officer Training from the USCIS Website

Assessment of change: Website monitoring report

Published by: Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project

Published on: May 29, 2018

2) Removal Of The Department Of Energy’s Online Phonebook

Description of change: The Department of Energy (DOE) removed its phonebook, which provided access to DOE employee contact information. The information made available by the search engine is not available elsewhere online.

Classification of change:

  • [7d] Altering​ ​or​ ​removing​ ​search​ ​engines​ ​and​ ​open​ ​data​ ​platforms > Removing​ ​a​ ​search​ ​engines​ ​or​ ​open​ ​data​ ​platform​ ​that​ ​provides​ ​access​ ​to documents,​ ​datasets,​ ​or​ ​information​ ​that​ ​are​ ​only​ ​accessible​ ​there

Communication by agency: After the removal, the DOE’s Office of Public Affairs issued a statement that it “had received complaints from the workforce regarding the release of their direct contact information and the disruption to their operations as a result of outside personnel reaching out directly [rather than] working through the appropriate channels.”

Reporting: E&E News first reported on the search engine removal: Employee phone directory vanishes from website

Significance: The removal of the phonebook was done without notice or explanation and has entirely removed the vast majority of DOE employee contact information from public view. This removal significantly diminishes the public’s ability to know who is employed at the DOE and how to contact DOE employees through email and phone. In contrast, the Environmental Protection Agency still maintains a searchable Web staff directory, as do many other government agencies.

Detailed Description of Changes in Access and Content

Webpage 1: Phonebook

3) USDA removed animal welfare reports from public view

Description of change:

Classification of change:

Communication by agency:



Detailed Description of Changes in Access and Content

Webpage 1: Phonebook

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