The U.S. government harbors a trove of mailing list resources useful to lawyers. Exploring just one cabinet-level agency lead us to some interesting finds. Nearly all of these lists are announcement-only, but there are some fascinating gems among them.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.hhs.gov) is a behemoth bureaucracy, but within it repose myriad resources for the adventurous list-lurker. Exploring only a small segment of that department revealed enough lists to flood anyone’s inbox. We took a peek at only a tiny corner, coming up with the gazillion lists operated by the National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov/) has a gazillion lists shown at https://list.nih.gov/cgi-bin/show_list_archives, ranging from CYTOKN-L, the NIH Cytokine Interest Group (CIG) email discussion forum with 521 subscribers to MEDIGAPENFORCE, Medigap Regulation and Enforcement Activities with some 2,839 subscribers.
That was more than a little mind-boggling, so we snuck over to another side of the same department’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (http://www.fda.gov), where we found yet another menu of lists at
http://www.fda.gov/emaillist.html. This page provided more description and categorization of its lists, along with subscription buttons and notes about the frequency of distribution of lists ranging from Drug Shortages and FDA-related Federal Register Notices to Breast Implants. Deciding to narrow down the search, we took a look at the Indian Health Service (http://www.ihs.gov/), still within the same department, where we found yet more lists at http://www.ihs.gov/cio/listserver/index.cfm?module=list&option=list&newquery=1, ranging from Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence to the Behavioral Health Initiative Newsletter and the Breastfeeding Forum. Returning to the HHS home page and exploring some more, we came upon the Office for Civil Rights-Privacy Listserv at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/listserv.html, which promised information about the OCR HIPAA Privacy Rule educational materials, FAQs, guidance and technical assistance materials.
Who knows what finds might lurk within the Department of Defense or the Department of Justice? We’ll just have to find out another day.