Here's a way to spend an enjoyable lunchtime: watch Carl Malamud give his Keynote address "10 Rules for Radicals" to the WWW2010 Conference in Raleigh, NC on April 30, 2010 -- and if you've got more time, you can also watch all of the law.gov workshops over on Carl's Internet governance space at the Internet Archive! Certainly some great rules to live by!!
- Call everything "an experiment."
- When the authorities finally fire the starting gun, run as fast as you can.
- Eyeballs rule.
- When you achieve your objective, don't be afraid to turn on a dime and be nice.
- Keep asking, keep rephrasing the question until they *can* say yes.
- When you get the microphone, make sure you make your point clearly and succinctly.
- Get standing. one can criticize all one wants, but if you can document malfeasance and wrongdoing, they have to talk to you.
- Try to get the bureaucrats to threaten you (related to rule 7).
- Look for over-reaching.
- Don't be afraid to fail
Tomorrow (August 28) is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's famous I Have a Dream speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was a defining and high-water moment for the civil rights movement and one of the greatest speeches in American history. Please take a few minutes to watch (and/or read) King's famous speech. It's a great reminder of the better angels in each of us.
For those of us who spend our lunchtimes wandering around the internet, TED Talks are an excellent and often-inspiring diversion. In a February 2010 talk, David Cameron discussed the relationship between politics and behavioral economics, arguing that the technology-driven empowerment of citizens ultimately increases their well-being.
Whether or not you agree with Cameron's political perspective, and whether or not you agree with his assessment of human nature, his description of the relationship between "people power," and transparency, choice, and accountability is an interesting one. He points to the Missouri Accountability Portal as an excellent example of public access to technology resulting in public empowerment.
Incidentally, Cameron promised a site that would track all government spending over £25,000, and all government contracts. Public spending data is now available in the Combined Online Information System (COINS) database. The UK government portal, direct.gov.uk, links to some guidance on using COINS, which indicates that the pledge about publicizing spending should be fulfilled by November 2010. It also indicates that user-friendly access options for some data subsets will be in place by August 2010.
You can watch the video here, or view the video with subtitles and an interactive transcript on the TED Talks site.
- David Cameron: The next age of government. Filmed February 2010.
Wow that was fast! The Gov2.0 Expo in Washington DC just wrapped up 2 days of speakers, panels, discussions etc and already the video from the Expo is up online (youtube and blip.tv channels). Here's just 2 of the many interesting talks that I've only begun to absorb. Enjoy!
Tim Berners-Lee, "Open, Linked Data for a Global Community"
Carl Malamud, "Law.Gov: America's Operating System, Open Source"
Anil Dash leads a nonprofit, non-partisan project called Expert Labs, which has a goal of being an incubator to fund technologies that bring citizens and the government closer together.
Watch his twelve minute, stirring presentation at Fast Company's sold-out Innovation Uncensored conference from April 21. He talks about how networks allow governments to listen as well as talk. He gives an example of how, using Twitter and Facebook, the White House got 2000 responses in three days to a question about the big challenges of science. Compare that to the usual 200 responses in four months.
- Government in the Digital Age: How Anil Dash's Expert Labs Is Speeding Democracy, Noah Robischon, Fast Company (May 5, 2010)
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a proposed international trade agreement for establishing international standards on intellectual-property-rights enforcement throughout the participating countries. Many copyright activists are extremely worried about ACTA because it will have wide ranging impact on digital rights, is being negotiated in secret meetings with no transparency and will most likely include substantive provisions such as three strikes, anti-circumvention rules, and statutory damages.
Dr. Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, has been a leading voice on education about and advocacy vs ACTA. Geist gave a very interesting talk on ACTA entitled "The Truth About ACTA" at the PublicACTA conference in Wellington, New Zealand (the Wellington Declaration is a must-read and a must-sign!!). You can also follow his ongoing advocacy on his twitter account (@MichaelGeist).
Vivek Kundra, Federal Chief Information Officer of the United States, spoke at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs in Seattle last week and outlined some of the current problems of government Information Technology and some of the approaches he is taking to address those problems.
- Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra speaks about Government 2.0. [streaming video] ustream.tv [about 30 minutes, plus 30+ minutes of questions and answers]
- Federal CIO Describes Problems, Changes in IT, by Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service (Mar 4, 2010).
It takes the Veteran's Administration 160 days to process benefits for veterans, he said. "That's because the Veteran's Administration is processing paperwork by passing manila folders from one desk to another"
Another example of an outdated and inefficient agency is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which takes three years to process a patent, he said. "One reason is because the U.S. PTO receives these applications online, prints them out, and then someone manually rekeys the information into an antiquated system," he said.
- Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra - Making Government Work: Closing the IT Gap to Deliver for the American People [Event Announcement] University of Washington's Evans School of Public Affairs in Seattle, March 4, 2010.
I found this NPR story this morning very interesting. The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments today in a case that pits an individual's right of free speech and association against USAPA. The case is being brought by the nonprofit Humanitarian Law Project. Too bad the briefs for this case aren't publicly available yet (at least not on FindLaw :-( ). This would be a slam dunk for the Humanitarian Law Project if their name was followed by "LLC."
Please check out the spring 2009 plenary at Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) by David Rosenthal, chief scientist of the LOCKSS program. He presents a "contrarian view" of digital preservation. The issues he raises are definitely important to think about for those of us working to preserve digital govt information/documents for the long term.
We posted about Carl Malamud's address to the Gov2.0 Summit in september, but BoingBoing reminded us that there is now video of his address (below). Carl's speech is quite rousing and reminds all of us what we can and should be doing to facilitate access to government information. You can also get his pamphlet online to read along with the address.
And don't forget to read Appendix A: "29 things government could do today." One thing I would add to that list is that every witness statement inserted into the official record in the course of public Congressional hearings should be considered in the public domain regardless of its original copyright status (some witnesses submit published articles, book chapters and the like as part of their written statements which means that the Google Book Project *still* treats post-1923 scanned government publications as if they were in copyright and only shows snippets instead of full-text.)
“Government as platform” means exposing the core information that makes government function, information that is of tremendous economic value to society. Government information—patents, corporate filings, agriculture research, maps, weather, medical research—is the raw material of innovation, creating a wealth of business opportunities that drive our economy forward. Government information is a form of infrastructure, no less important to our modern life than our roads, electrical grid, or water systems. (p.21)
[Thanks for the reminder BoingBoing!]