Monday, March 14, 2005

U.S. media hold Sunshine Week to protest clampdown on access to government info

This week marks "Sunshine Week" for our neighbours to the South. As one organizer explained:

"(N)ever has freedom of information been under greater siege. The open hostility to FOI flows from Washington and the Department of Justice. The actions in our nation's capital are mimicked more and more on a state and local level."

According to an article in Sunday's Guardian (UK) newspaper, "In addition to decreasing some types of information released under FOIA, the federal government is increasing the number of documents deemed secret and has pulled thousands of documents and databases off public Web sites... Since Sept. 11, 2001, at least 20 states have proposed new laws to control public records, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures...A new state-by-state study of public records laws by the Better Government Association concluded that the array of legislation is so haphazard that it hampers 'the citizenry's ability to examine even the most fundamental actions of government'."

In parallel, an American student organization,, organized BlogShine Sunday to encourage bloggers throughout the U.S. and beyond to spotlight their own experiences with obtaining access to government documents.

You can find a roundup of media coverage on the Sunshine Week web site.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:16 pm


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