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Leaked NSA documents will be stored in public database

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All of the documents detailing the National Security Agency's various surveillance programs released since The Guardian first broke the story back in June are now searchable in a database, the American Civil Liberties Union announced today.

"The fact is that most of the documents contained in this database should have never been secret in the first place," the organization said in an announcement today. "Now, with newfound access to these records, we can educate ourselves about the true nature and scope of government surveillance in its many forms. This database will serve as a critical tool with which we will hold our government accountable."

There are more than 200 documents in the database dating back to 1986

There are more than 200 documents in the database dating back to 1986. The documents range from orders from the secret Foreign Intelligence Service Court to memos from the desk of former attorney general John Ashcroft, to the now-infamous PowerPoint slides explaining the PRISM surveillance program. The text of the documents is fully searchable, and there are filters to sort by type of surveillance, legal authorities involved, and purpose of the surveillance. The ACLU says it will continue to update the database as new documents are released.