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Government United States Science

Object Lesson in Non-Transparency At 111

Posted by timothy
from the but-it's-a-dry-heat-death dept.
Harperdog writes "Dawn Stover recounts her attempts to access information at, the U.S. Energy Department's 'cutting-edge, interactive information platform,' which apparently isn't any of those things. Especially frustrating were her attempts to locate important documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. An interesting read for anyone interested in true government transparency."
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Object Lesson in Non-Transparency At

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  • by jasnw (1913892) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:36PM (#38832295)
    After working with a variety of US Government agencies over my 40+ year career I learned many lessons about how these agencies work. A major one was how mandated actions or behaviors were handled. It wasn't important that you actually did what the mandate called for, it just needed to APPEAR that you did. This website experience from TFA sounds very much like this behavior.
  • by acwnh (749367) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:58PM (#38832561)
    You couldn't have read the article too closely since the author's first name, Dawn, is usually a woman's first name.
    The article goes into a fair amount of detail regarding information that used to be available prior to the new-and-improved-and-consolidated website Based on the contents of the article, I personally would conclude that the author's complaints are valid.
  • by Squidlips (1206004) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:00PM (#38832579)
    I hardly blame them for not releasing information on Yucca Mountain to a potential muck-raking reporter. I know everyone hates the idea of Yucca Mountain, but do they realize the alternative? Nuclear waste is currently being stored on-site all over the country and piling up. The potential for disaster is growing unless that waste can be disposed of, and I am not aware of any better alternative than Yucca Mountain.
  • by dthx1138 (833363) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @06:15PM (#38834081)
    Right after I went to and searched for Yucca Mountain, I got the same 22 results. However, on that results page was a link right at the top entitled "search all of" which then yielded 108 results. It doesn't seem like the author was very thorough here, herself.

    Considering that these are generally PDFs containing large quantities of information (not endless blog re-posts like you'd get with Google hits), it's pretty hard to believe that there's a deliberate attempt to obscure information.

    Is their search system as intuitive and comprehensive as Google? No. Then again, nobody's is- if it was easy, everybody would be doing it, and Google wouldn't be Google.

Real programmers don't write in BASIC. Actually, no programmers write in BASIC after reaching puberty.