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Open Government: "Free" as in Someone-Still-Needs-to-Appropriate-Funds-for-It

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 28 2011

Open government advocates are freaking out about what the continuing budget resolutions being considered in the House and Senate would do to federal transparency projects like Data.gov, USASpending.gov, and online collaborations, which is to defund them, or to cut their funding to the bone; under the measures being considered on the Hill, the appropriation for the E-Government Fund for the remainder of the year would be cut to 1/17th of what it was in FY 2010, from $34 million down to two. OpenCongress's Donny Shaw puts the numbers in perspective: "The value of data openness in government cannot be overestimated, and for the cost of just one-third of one day of missile attacks in Libya, we can keep these initiatives alive and developing for another year." The fund was created in 2002 under the E-Government Act; here's your background CRS reading on the initiative. (via Gavin Baker)

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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