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Transparency Advocate Campaigns To Lead GPO 35

Posted by kdawson
from the for-some-values-of-printing dept.
BigTimOBrien writes "In this interview with O'Reilly Broadcast, Carl Malamud discusses his grassroots effort to build support for his appointment as Public Printer of the United States, running the Government Printing Office — an agency that opened its doors the day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. Malamud has published his plans and platform on yeswescan.org: 'For over 20 years, Carl Malamud has been publishing government information on the Internet. In 2008, Public.Resource.Org published over 32.4 million pages of primary legal materials, as well as thousands of hours of video and thousands of photographs. In the 1990s, Malamud fought to place the databases of the United States on the Internet. In the 1980s, Malamud fought to make the standards that govern our global Internet open standards available to all. Malamud would continue to work to preserve and extend our public domain, and would place special attention to our relationship with our customers, especially the United States Congress.'"
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Transparency Advocate Campaigns To Lead GPO

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  • Yes please... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:09AM (#26980807)
    ...I'm tired of having to search in hundreds of different locations for little scraps of information that should be freely available from one portal.
  • 4. Security. GPO produces passports and other secure documents. The current design for passports uses an RFID chip, which means that an American can be picked out of a crowd merely by having a passport in their pocket. If nominated and confirmed, I would ask security expert Bruce Schneier to form a Blue-Ribbon Commission to reexamine the design of passports and other secure documents so we can better protect the privacy and security of all Americans.

    And we know what Schneier's stance is on those RFID chips: he has long opposed them [schneier.com]. So does this mean that we will see a reversal of the policy on RFID tags in passports? Gods, I hope so.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The current design for passports uses an RFID chip, which means that an American can be picked out of a crowd merely by having a passport in their pocket.

      Is this still trivially defeated with a mylar ziploc? Or is there some magical tech I don't know about? (I do think the RFID chip is unnecessary and thus wasteful and thus stupid.)

      • I wouldn't be surprised if you could be held under suspicion for keeping your passport in a mylar ziploc. Much like people are concerned about encrypting their hard drives putting them under suspicion. It's very scary that just the act of protecting one's reasonable privacy could label them as a terrorist.
    • You can disable the chip without damaging your passport (excepting possibly some scuff marks) with a hammer.

  • I run several websites.

    I would never claim to be qualified to run a whole government agency.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If that government agency happens to be the government's printing/information dissemination agency then yes, it just might.
      • by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Considering that, this would basically be a library gig, wouldn't it? Archive all o' this here data and put it online as efficiently as possible.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Pretty much. I don't think that the actual printing part is quite ready to go; but the (very) near future of this position is pretty much one of online archivist. Not yet time to sack the people in the department who understand printing; but an advocate of transparency, with a strong understanding of online archival work, is an obviously good policy-level pick.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      Speak for yourself. I'm ready, willing, and able to be the countries first "Web Czar." You hear that Mr. President? Call me.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Speak for yourself. I'm ready, willing, and able to be the countries first "Web Czar." You hear that Mr. President? Call me.

        With grammar like that, you'd better aim lower. Try "slashdot editor".

    • by Redbaran (918344)

      I run several websites.

      I would never claim to be qualified to run a whole government agency.

      Nor should having a silver spoon, or lots of money, or famous parents, or a successful Hollywood career, yet those pass as qualifications all the time.

      I think you are underestimating his accomplishments as well as underestimating what it takes to run a government agency.

      • Nor should having a silver spoon, or lots of money, or famous parents, or a successful Hollywood career, yet those pass as qualifications all the time.

        You forgot "really excellent hair". Very important qualification. All the Founding Fathers and most rock stars. Except for Peter Garret of course. And Steve Ballmer.

        Oh, wait...

    • In his particular case, his website was fighting against states and municipalities that were trying to claim copyright on their laws and restrict their distribution, and he had previously had done similar work with data from both the SEC and US Patent Office:

      Tech activist takes on governments over 'copyrighted' laws [cnet.com]
      Patent office slammed for not posting data [cnet.com]

      So yes, I'm guessing that his website might give him some suitable experience for this position.

      • by langelgjm (860756)

        Yeah, public.resource.org is incredibly useful; I use bulk.resource.org [resource.org] to read appellate and Supreme court opinions all the time.

        It's something we /.ers ought to be making more use of - instead of just opining on the law, we can actually link to and read opinions.

    • by rs79 (71822)

      You might want to read Carls books and study what he's done. Lots of people in DC already have and did so years ago. He's institutionally famous and is a shoe in. There really is no better candidate for this.

      Start with "Exploring the Internet" (a free download today) and understand that the General Counsel for the ITU then also set up the first White Hosue webserver after that position, and that was ages ago.

    • I must point out, that this fellow claims to have been publishing on the internet for over 20 years. That means before 1989. How many people here published anything on the internet before 1989? He obviously has a passion for freedom of information, which is a large measure of our protection from the Government (any free people's protection from their Government, actually).
    • by ivan256 (17499)

      You don't campaign for a political appointment based on your qualifications and experience. You buy it. (Money and Time are both accepted currencies).

      In other words, no.

  • by tcopeland (32225) <tom&thomasleecopeland,com> on Wednesday February 25, 2009 @09:43AM (#26981019) Homepage

    ...Exploring the Internet: A Technical Travelogue [amazon.com]. He relates a couple of funny episodes dealing with various ISO bureaucrats... good stuff.

  • a decade or longer before it was fashionable to decry the lack of transparency in government databases, carl was out there creating technology and deploying content to prove that what should be done also *could* be done. as a brass knuckled visionary carl could give us the kind of open government that everybody likes to talk about these days but few know how to build. carl also has the executive, financial, political, and administrative experience to pull this off. like the sign says "if you don't like t

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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