Support the Public Online Information Act Support the Public Online Information Act

Support the Public Online Information Act

by Andrew Price

March 20, 2010
Here's a piece of legislation worth getting behind. Rep. Steve Israel (D-New York) has introduced a bill that would make sure government information that's "public" in theory is also public in practice.
The bill, the Public Online Information Act (POIA), directly confronts the problem that massive quantities of government data and documentation are still largely inaccessible because they are difficult to find and difficult to read, despite being designated as "public,"according to Israel."Right now, our government will stamp something 'public' and lock it away in a warehouse in Maryland. That's about as accessible and transparent as a nuclear missile silo," said Representative Israel.... People across the country-from scholars to school children-should be able to see any public government information from the convenience of their computer."
Amen. The information that's currently "public" but inaccessible includes all sorts of shady stuff: Information about government officials' personal financial interests, reports disclosing lobbying activities by government contractors, that sort of thing.Here's a little video about the bill from the Sunlight Foundation:[
/youtube]You can see the text of the bill, track its progress, and contact your representatives to urge them to support it here.
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Support the Public Online Information Act