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US govt’s pay-to-search scheme falters

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The US government’s fee-based Web search engine has been halted only a few hours after going live. The facility was intended to allow anyone to search through the US government’s databases to find information, documents and so on. The facility carried a $30 per month, or $15 per day, fee for access, which prompted some criticism in the US. The US government has around 20,000 different online resources containing over four million pages. Some US politicians said that US taxpayers had already paid for the information to be created and that it was wrong to charge them to search through that information, according to online news serviceTechweb. The service went live yesterday, but it has already been pulled, according to Bloomberg, which quotes a story in today’s New York Times. The scheme is being scrutinised to see if it is in line with the Clinton administration’s policy of allowing unrestricted access to information, the report said. ®

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