Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Digital Government? Eh.

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 1 2010

Okay, okay. People are doing a good job of proving me wrong about the, well, utter lameness of April Fool's day with some fairly clever gags this year. To wit...

Credit: SunlightLabs.com

Sunlight Labs has finally given up all that talk about the importance of searchability and interoperability in open government, and embraced the elegant simplicity of the scanned-in PDF document.* There really just is something reassuring, on a civic level, about stray copy machine marks, no? This is what government should look like. When's the last time you saw a spy movie where a dude in a trench coast sidled up to a contact on a park bench and slipped him an XML feed? Ffffffff. It's ink, copy paper, and a manila envelope, kissed by the sweet smell of Xerox. As it should be.

(Background on Sunlight's war on PDFs here.)

*Note: Our Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry are senior advisors to the Sunlight Foundation.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

In China, Local Governments Play Whac-a-Mole With Taxi Apps

It seems these days that car-hailing apps exist only to give cities grief. In New York, car sharing start-ups like Lyft ignore labor, safety insurance laws and in China, the situation is no different except in one regard: taxi hailing apps in China are proliferating at a faster rate than in the U.S. In China, however, the taxi system is very much in its infancy and local Chinese governments are struggling to control the proliferation of new apps that flout the law. GO

thursday >

The Uncertain Future of India's Plan to Biometrically Identify Everyone

Since its launch in 2010, people in India have raised a number of questions and concerns about the Aadhaar card —formally known as Unique Identification (UID)— citing its effects on privacy rights, potential security flaws, and failures in functionality. GO

More