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 thursday >

First POST: Creeping

Senator Al Franken's tough questions for Uber's CEO; how the NSA could make its phone metadata program permanent; global privacy groups launch a personal spyware catcher called Detekt; and much, much more. GO

Recreation.gov and other Govt Projects Move Toward Embracing New Digital Approach

A draft request for proposals for the revamping of Recreation.gov will include a requirement that reservation availability data be publicly accessible and that all proposals detail how they will enable third-party sales, as two members of the United States Digital Services have joined the government team overseeing the RFP, meeting some key demands of civic technologists and consumer oriented technology companies. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Ubermenschens

Surge-pricing in effect for Uber privacy violations; why "privacy" policies should be called "data usage" policies; pols silent on Uber mess; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Uber Falles

Uber exposed for plan to dig up dirt on journalist critics; sneaking a SOPA provision into the USA Freedom Act; high-speed free WiFi coming to NYC; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Differences

How to use Twitter to circumvent campaign coordination rules; the net neutrality debate keeps getting hotter; charting the gender balance at dataviz conference using dataviz; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Security Insecurity

New data on Americans attitudes toward government and private surveillance; how artists are responding to the surveillance state; redesigning New York state's official web presence; and much, much more. GO

More