January 19, 2017

Sources to Search: Exploring the Newly-Expanded CIA Public Archives

The CIA just announced this week that they’ve added almost a million records and over 12 million pages to their CREST (CIA Records Search Tool) library, significantly expanding the data in the tool and providing a lot of fascinating insights into different periods of American history, including notable moments like the Bay of Pigs invasion.

The newly declassified records are over 25 years old, so they only reach into the early 90s. Nonetheless, researchers might still find them interesting, given that they contain records on lots of folks who were in public office and government in the 70s and 80s, and the CIA logged its interactions with legislators, and kept an archive of relevant news clippings, etc. These new records significantly expand the tool, and make it a must-search when doing diligence on anyone with a long public track record.

And some of the records contained are very interesting and relevant today. A cabinet briefing from 1984, for example, contains a lengthy memo from then-deputy U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, titled “Microeconomic Measures to Deal with the Trade Deficit”. It’s a lengthy document, covering trade and tariff policy with dozens of countries, and hitting on a host of policy questions (i.e. “Tariff and licensing problems with Mexico”) which might be of interest given his pending appointment to be the next U.S. Trade Representative, and may offer some additional insights into his policy views.

The archive also catalogues a lot of activity between the agency and legislators, and other government officials at the time. You can search the archive here. In general, you’ll want to use “” around your searches. Find anything interesting? Let us know!

Databases like CREST are integrated into the illumis research platform and be accessed and monitored through the tool. Contact us if you’re interested in a trial.

Please Note: This post was updated in June 2020 to reflect our company’s new name: illumis


compliance updates
David Lombardy recently launched his own regulatory and compliance consulting firm, Pillar Compliance Group, to assist investment managers with the development, implementation, and ongoing monitoring of their compliance programs. In reviewing the regulatory environment around pay-to-play compliance, he saw the value in using illumis’ political contribution monitoring platform to provide the best risk coverage available for his clients.
compliance updates
For the last few months, Blucora – a FinTech company providing software solutions for wealth management and tax preparation – has waged a war against Ancora, an Ohio-based investment advisor who had acquired a minority stake in the company and sought to reconstitute Blucora’s board.
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We are excited to announce that illumis has been named “Best RegTech Startup” in the 2021 FinTech Breakthrough Awards! The award recognizes our creativity in mitigating operational risk related to political contributions and pay-to-play risk.