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It’s Good PR to Support ‘Freedom of Information’ and ‘Open Government’ policy – but not terrorists like WikiLeaks

December 7, 2010

Amid the hysteria surrounding WikiLeaks it’s worth taking a step back and thinking about what this means for all of the proponents of Open Government.

Over and over again we hear the need for governments to be more transparent, about the need for information to be shared so  governments can be more accountable to the people they represent. The US in particular has been strident in its assertions about the benefit of community engagement.

On 21 January, secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a landmark speech about internet freedom, in Washington DC, which many people welcomed and most interpreted as a rebuke to China for its alleged cyberattack on Google. “Information has never been so free,” declared Clinton. “Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.”

So given all of this encouragement towards Open Government, why the backlash against WikiLeaks?

John Naughton of The Guardian examines the current furore and asks the question, is this the first real test in the battle between the established order and the culture of the Internet?

Definitely worth reading – http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/dec/06/western-democracies-must-live-with-leaks

In a similar vein, also see ReadWriteWeb’s take on it http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/the_weakest_link_what_wikileaks_has_taught_us_abou.php

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