Thursday, December 09, 2010

full open government scenario

How OPEN is it possible for a government to be? What if full disclosure (live but also recorded) of "any and all discussions, etc. involving the people's business" were required by law? Imagine:

-- All government personnel (i.e. any elected official and anyone who is an employee or contractor of the government) must wear a POV cam with audio whenever awake. Any non-government personnel must wear one any time they are involved in any aspect of government business. Streaming and recording off by default while e.g. at home, but TBD minutes retroactive recording on detection of certain keywords or activities which can only be unsealed by order of a court after showing cause, etc. Instant transition to public live stream/recorded should any related party (lobbyist, coworker, superior, other government entity, etc.) make contact by any means. Shouldn't be too tough to do; they're all wearing one too.

-- All text-based electronic discussions of government business must be held in a public chat/discussion board-type environment where only the parties involved are allowed to post (except during public comment period, etc.).

-- Telephone conversations among e.g. any two or more such entities conducting government business will be streamed and recorded.

-- Must be deployed at all levels of government (including quasi-gonvermental boards, etc.) in order for a state to receive federal funds. After all, it involves/affects interstate commerce somehow. It always does.

-- By default, all is made public; only a court of competent jurisdiction can make an event private or secret a priori/posteriori, (though backwards-egg construction remains a thorny problem) and must specify the earliest reasonable date by which the information must be revealed.

-- Severe penalties ($$ and time) for evading or attempting to evade disclosure or to conceal anything related to the program (and there's always the good ol' "conspiracy to" charge to fall back on...)

-- Information available only to citizens of the US, who must verify their identity and status at the time. etc.

Technology framework to be provided, developed, and paid for entirely within the US, by US citizens. Open source. You think we can't do it? Got iPhone or Android?

It's not like we're going to run out of hard disk space or bandwidth or anything and, once everyone expects it and becomes accustomed to it, what will happen? What will a meeting be like between your Senator and a lobbyist when both are required by law to stream and record the event? What happens now? Talk about "Reality TV." w00t!

Nobody would like it, but they'd get used to it soon enough. After all, isn't it our trusted authorities who are always the first to fall back on that old "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you don't have anything to worry about" canard?

Would I like my life streamed? No, but we're already heading down a no-more-privacy hole, and besides, I'd go along while involved in any discussions of government business. Are there privacy issues? Yep, but then there are transparency ones to be considered as well. Our government wants to get intrusive with us? "OK," we say, "let's start with you." I listened to the pre-Turkey Day Biden-committee TSA hearings and, just when anything was about to get remotely informative, the answer was always "Well, Senator, again, we're going to have to cover that behind closed doors."

I'm just sayin.' Play the FULL OPEN GOVERNMENT scenario around in your head for a while. Nobody's gonna be able to watch all of it, but you never know who might be watching any one something.

As usual, when we/they look back at this period, the dominating factors will have been consequences unintended or unforseen at the time. Fist tap Arnach.


arnach said...

Glasses equipped with camera create transparency for SLCPD

open government said...

Thanks for sharing your post. It is really nice giving an interesting information. Thanks for making such a cool post.
open government

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