Leslie Harris, Open Government: Next President Has "Open" Opportunity, The Huffington Post, Oct. 31, 2008
The turn of the century should have marked the dawn of the Golden Age of government openness.
That didn't happen.
Instead of taking advantage of advances in Internet technology and usage to make the government more accessible to the people, the current administration spent a great deal of time deliberately reducing the amount of non-classified government information available online -- all under the flimsy rubric of improving security. The next administration will have an opportunity -- no... an obligation -- to change that dynamic using the Internet to bring the workings of government to the people it is supposed to serve.
Of all the policy challenges facing the next president, this is one of the very few over which he will have near-outright control. When, in response to the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration encouraged agencies throughout the federal government to withhold public information from their Web sites whenever possible, it did so unilaterally, triggering a regressive trend that open government advocates are fighting to this day.