Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Lately, In Transparency – #1

by June 30th, 2011

To complement the work at Public Data Ferret hub, we’re using the Ferret’s Twitter account to accent news highlights from the world of government transparency, freedom of the press and human rights. Here are some of the most recent finds, for June 27 through June 29, 2011.

The Muslim world wants “accountability, free press, democracy and jobs. But above all, they want basic human dignity.” Via HuffPo.

Gartner analyst: Gov 2.0 needs 2 be more social, and break barriers to social media creativity to meet constituent needs.

GAO os all up in DoD OIG’s grill about laxity on military internal sexual assault and harassment cases.

Now truly post-Blago, Illinois still ain’t ready for reform.

Public Data Ferret intern Kyle Kim, a recent grad of Whitworth College, has his first report at Public Data Ferret: “UW Gay Discrimination Case Reinstated By Appeals Court.”

Salil Shetty of Amnesty International, on Egypt: “In a deeply worrying trend, the authorities appear to be trying to criminalise dissent – the new ‘Law No.34’ makes any strike or demonstration that ‘prevents or delays or obstructs from working any state institution or public authority or a public or private workplace’ illegal.”

Federal transparency begins with spending data that must be online, free and “reasonably parse-able” Sunlight Foundation’s Ellen Miller tells Congressional committee. Long way to go.

Germany “outraged” about reporter detained by Iran. AP via SacBee.

Jesse Lichtenstein in Wired: “Massive data dumps and even friendly online government portals are insufficient. Ordinary people need to know what information is available, and they need the training to be conversant in it. And if people are to have anything more than theoretical access to the information, it needs to be easy and cheap to use. That means investing in the kinds of organizations doing outreach, advocacy, and education in the communities least familiar with the benefits of data transparency.”

Japanese electronics firm’s defamation suit proceeds against Malaysian blogger and his exploited worker claims. Worrisome.

Public Data Ferret intern Melissa Steffan of Seattle Pacific University daylights a GAO report warning our nation’s defense and development agencies to pay much closer attention to the bona fides of their Afghani contractors.

Crowd-sourced data on radiation exposure suggests validity of community engagement and need for ongoing calibration. Via the essential Alex Howard of O’Reilly Radar.

Local government matters, but a lot of key business slips through the cracks. Public Data Ferret intern Andrew Taylor of Western Washington University delivers the 411 on the City of Shoreline’s matching grant to help the community develop a park next to a closed elementary school that has been vandalized.

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