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Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age

If you have access to EBSCOhost databases, you can read a review of the book “Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age,” by Alasdair Roberts in:

Issues in Science & Technology; Winter2007, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p92-95, 3p

Although the review isn’t a 100% favorable, it looks like the book is worth a look. Particularly how it lays out a US-driven drive for secrecy across the world, according to the reviewer:

Roberts goes on to explain the three trends he sees as threatening the march toward greater transparency, and here he is perhaps most compelling. The first trend is the development of what he calls “opaque networks.” Although the 9/11 Commission and the 2004 reform of the U.S. intelligence system made information-sharing a major priority in the fight against terrorism, much less appreciated has been the way in which information-sharing undermines the efforts to promote open government. Robert writes: “Transparency within the network is matched by opacity without.” For instance, cities and states that work with the federal government on homeland security face strict new limits on what they can disclose under their own FOI laws. At the international level, Roberts reports that many of the new democracies of Eastern Europe specifically passed national security and other limits on transparency at the insistence of the United States. To participate in new information-sharing networks, these countries had to promise not to disclose any secrets exchanged, even if their own antisecrecy laws said otherwise.

People not blessed by with EBSCOhost subscriptions can read a review by UMD author Daniel Hoffman.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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