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[News] Lawsuit Seeks Censorship Over Public Officials' Misconduct

  • Subject: [News] Lawsuit Seeks Censorship Over Public Officials' Misconduct
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 21 Dec 2009 17:23:53 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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Public Officials Sue for Right to Be Secret

,----[ Quote ]
| I make no bones about my ferocity in support 
| of open government. I believe religiously in 
| the time-honored words spoken in 1933 by 
| Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 
| "Sunlight is the greatest disinfectant." I 
| write about open meetings and public records 
| issues at my Media Law blog and lobby around 
| them on behalf of my state's newspaper 
| association.
| [...]
| Thus, it should surprise no one that I 
| consider it outrageous that a coalition of 
| Texas municipalities and elected officials 
| have filed a federal lawsuit claiming they 
| have a First Amendment right to conduct the 
| public's business in secret. The lawsuit, 
| filed Monday in federal court in Pecos, by 
| four Texas cities and 15 elected officials, 
| alleges that the Texas Open Meetings Act 
| violates officials' free speech rights by 
| preventing them from speaking in private on 
| issues facing the public. No, I'm not making 
| this up.



Senior civil servants fight off transparency, lobbying industry score huge victory

,----[ Quote ]
| A good day for the establishment, a bad day
| for transparency.
| The Cabinet Office has comprehensively
| squashed any attempt to better regulate
| lobbying and lobbyists.


Goldman Lobbies Senate, Says Full Transparency Sucks

,----[ Quote ]
| Instead, the bank argues that an over-the-
| counter market in which big traders like
| Goldman get to do deals in the shadows in
| âdark poolsâ without the retail investor
| having any knowledge of what the hell is
| going on is somehow better for everybody,
| that this somehow produces better prices. Of
| course the reality is that the two-tiered
| system creates one pool of fools whose every
| movement is visible to every animal on the
| Serengeti, and another pool of giant
| bloodthirsty carnivores who get to walk
| around invisible, picking off the dik-diks
| one by one.


AIG Only Wanted to Give Goldman Sachs 40 60 Cents on the Dollar, Then Geithner Stepped In

,----[ Quote ]
| Thanks to Bloomberg News, we now have a good
| idea how much of that $13 billion pass-
| through bailout Goldman Sachs got from AIG
| last year was pure taxpayer-financed gravy:
| $5.2 billion, courtesy Tim Geithner.
| AIG collapsed last year in part because it
| had written insurance policies on billions
| of dollars in stupid bets made by Goldman,
| Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others.
| Since it was functionally bankrupt, last
| September AIG thought it would be able to
| convince those banks to accept significantly
| less than face value on the credit default
| swaps it had sold them. How much less?


Transparency against malpractic

,----[ Quote ]
| As a result of my new enthusiasm to 'get out more' I found myself listening
| to a detailed and balanced 'non-advocacy' presentation from a respected OSS
| Watch staffer.
| He explained patiently how open source licencing worked and how it differed
| from proprietary licences. But what he did say whilst looking for an everyday
| resonance to make his points accessible to a non-geek audience, and which
| really sharpened every-one's attention, was that proprietary software was
| built on secret code whereas open source software had transparent code.
| Proprietary software IS composed of secret code. You can't read it, you don't
| know what it does (other than what you can see it do), you don't know how it
| does it and you can't change it.


Of Open Source and Open Government

,----[ Quote ]
| One of the key figures in the open government
| in Australia - and indeed globally, given the
| paucity of such people - is Kate Lundy. She's
| been speaking at the Free and Open Source
| Software for Geospatial Conference 2009.
| Understandably, her talk was mostly about
| geospatial data, but there was also this nice
| section:
|     FOSS is like a living blueprint â a map if
|     you will â for trust, sustainability and
|     interoperability in the implementation of
|     Gov 2.0 principles.

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