Posts Tagged ‘open data’

Open data: by itself, the big society amounts to little more than “behave decently”

08/12/2010, 12:00:10 PM

by Jon Bounds

Cablegate, while sounding like a new property development in a run-down corner of Birmingham city centre, has provoked a little bit of excitement.

For me, though, it felt like a diplomatic version of Facebook. Suddenly, the minutiae and all the slightly wrong things that we all say in private are recorded and popped onto the internet for anyone who can be bothered to search. And, if you are realistic, and not prone to Daily Mail-ish bouts of outrage, the content was not that shocking.

What has been shocking is the reaction. Both in the press – which should really be able to square Wikileaks with the principles of investigative journalism – and within governments, which are all for transparency and open data these days, aren’t they?

Transparency and open data are the new online panaceas. They are wonderful. Except, of course, when they arise from anything that is not tightly controlled by government. Releasing spending data is “forward-looking”; releasing diplomatic cables (or even details of transactions alleged within FIFA) is “not in the national interest”. (more…)

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