Before You Start: Ethical Considerations
Government entities frequently post information on websites either because they are required to do so by law, or because it is the most efficient way to meet their legal obligations to make the information available to citizens. EDGAR stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval and is the system used to electronically file and retrieve financial information on publicly-traded companies through the US Securities and Exchange Commission. FinCEN is part of the Treasury Department and works to prevent and detect financial crimes. The Small Business Administration allows companies to register their information in the Pro-Net database. The database reports owner's names, contact information, industries, DUNS number, and products and services offered. NAIC is the national organization for state insurance regulators. Their website contains background information about insurance and the insurance industry as well as specific information about insurance problems and links to local regulators. Cornell's website contains much of the same information that Findlaw contains in more straightforward interface.