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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Top 25 censored stories of 2009/2010

I can’t believe Project Censored has been doing what they do for 34 years! That is, the media research program has been teaching Sonoma State University students and the public about censorship, the [w:First Amendment to the United States Constitution] and the importance of a free press in the US by researching important national news stories that are underreported, ignored, misrepresented, or censored by the US corporate media. I hope everyone reading this will purchase or donate a copy of Top Censored Stories of 2009/2010 to their local library. And also please consider donating some $$ to this worthy cause.

Note: FGI has no connection to or affiliation with Project Censored. We just love their work!

Top Censored Stories of 2009/2010

Not Your Father’s Censorship

Not Your Father’s Censorship, Quasi-monopolies and wary governments curb Web freedoms, by HARRY LEWIS, The Chronicle of Higher Education: “The Chronicle Review”, Volume 55, Issue 19, Page B9. [subscription required, but freely available here for a short time]

Now, with almost everything digitized, new communication technologies have led to a global proliferation of censorship agents, methods, and rationales….

Should we feel comfortable relying almost exclusively on private companies to help us find the truth, when we cannot know what version of the truth they are showing us?…

Storing information and making it available are now service businesses, and therein lies another censorship opportunity….

U.S. copyright law is such a heavy club that it can abet censorship by parties that simply object to what people are saying about them….

Harry Lewis is a professor of computer science at Harvard University and a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He is a co-author of Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion (Addison-Wesley, 2008).

Why are Docs From the Bailout Being Redacted?

Why are Docs From the Bailout Being Redacted?, by Ben Protess , ProPublica – October 22, 2008.

Thanks, and a tip of the hat to Secrecy News!

Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering

A new book is out entitled, “Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering” edited by Ronald Deibert, John Palfrey, Rafal Rohozinski, and Jonathan Zittrain from the Berkman Center’s OpenNet Initiative. This is a must-have for libraries — many of whom deal with filtering at the personal computer level — in order to inform the public on the more insidious filtering of internet traffic that happens at the country or backbone level. “Access Denied provides the definitive analysis of government justifications for denying their own people access to some information and also documents global Internet filtering practices on a country-by-country basis. (Jonathan Aronson, Annenberg School for Communication, USC)”

The site includes country profiles for those countries “in which it was believed that there was the most to learn about the extent and processes of Internet filtering.” Read the BBC review and the Review in Nature.

Bush Hits the Delete Button

Bush Hits the Delete Button: Public information the administration doesn’t want you to see, by Paul Kiel, Utne Reader, March-April 2008.

Since 2006 … the investigative website TPMmuckraker.com [has] been keeping a running tally of the diminishing access to government information. Reporter Steve Benen got the list started over at his own blog, the Carpetbagger Report. Then his fellow Muckrakers joined in by trawling the news and–as is the website’s custom–tapping the collective wisdom of their readers to cobble together a dossier on an administration that has, as deputy editor Paul Kiel writes, “discontinued annual reports, classified normally public data, de-funded studies, quieted underlings, and generally done whatever was necessary to keep bad information under wraps.”

Here, Utne Reader presents an excerpted (but not redacted) version of the list Kiel continues to compile. [Bush Admin: What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt Us, 2007 Version By Paul Kiel – November 23, 2007.]