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Obama Announces Open Data Policy With Executive Order 94

Posted by timothy
from the except-you-guys-in-the-atf dept.
In an overdue but welcome move, President Obama today issued an executive order mandating "open and machine-readable data" for government-published information. Also, kodiaktau writes "In a move to make data more readily available, the United States of America has announced the Project Open Data and has chosen GitHub to host the content." Ars has a great article on the announced policy, but as you might expect, it comes with caveats, exceptions, sub-goals and committees; don't expect too much change per day, or assume you have a right to open data, exactly, in the eyes of the government, but — "subject to appropriations" — it sounds good on paper. (I'd like the next step to be requiring that all file formats used by the government be open source.)
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Obama Announces Open Data Policy With Executive Order

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  • by ModernGeek (601932) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @06:15PM (#43680617) Homepage
    This is the first time that I've seen someone talk about President Obama and Executive Orders in a way that makes sense. It is my understanding that Executive Orders have to do with the internal operations of the government, not as a mechanism of usurping congress when it comes to laws that have an effect on the American public.
  • O RLY? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @06:20PM (#43680663)

    In an overdue but welcome move, President Obama today issued an executive order mandating "open and machine-readable data" for government-published information.

    Yes, and after so much money and effort spent creating the databases and websites, they'll contain no data because it was all marked classified for national security reasons. /snark

  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @06:33PM (#43680755)
    It's not just Obama. There's a rich history of Presidents using EOs to try and get out of their duty to execute the law. It's been a bipartisan dereliction of duty (and illegitimate power grab).

    But yes, you're right in that this sounds like a legitimate use - ordering an execution of the law which makes it more accessible.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @06:37PM (#43680789)

    It is my understanding that Executive Orders have to do with the internal operations of the government, not as a mechanism of usurping congress when it comes to laws that have an effect on the American public.

    People seem to forget Executive Order 9066, which led to the creation of internment camps for "Japanese-americans" (or as I call them, citizens) during WWII. There's a great many more examples of executive orders going far beyond "internal operations of the government." And yes, Obama, like every other president has penned some questionable executive orders.

    Of course, even snarking [slashdot.org] the President on slashdot is a hanging offense, so god help me for suggesting this; But it's clear that every administration. Every. Administration. Has used executive orders to expand the power of the executive branch, or as you put it "usurping congress". Whether this is a problem or not depends largely on your personal political preferences and which party controls the white house at the moment... but historically, they have a long tradition of going far beyond "internal operations of the government"... at least as I suspect you're thinking of it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @06:40PM (#43680817)

    People seem to forget Executive Order 9066, which led to the creation of internment camps for "Japanese-americans" (or as I call them, citizens) during WWII. There's a great many more examples of executive orders going far beyond "internal operations of the government." And yes, Obama, like every other president has penned some questionable executive orders.

    Forget? I have not forgotten; I think that's just as bad (actually, much, much worse) than whatever it is Obama has done. The fact that executive orders were abused in the past doesn't make abusing them okay, though.

  • by ttucker (2884057) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @07:10PM (#43680975)
    Every branch, and each political faction, constantly, and steadily usurps power from the american people. Democrat vs Republican ballots merely ask, which powers do you want to lose today? Whichever you pick, the other party waits, because they will take away the other freedom soon enough. There is not an option that says, "I want more freedom", or "I want the government to have less control of my life."
  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @08:21PM (#43681401)
    It constantly amazes me - the two parties have focused the electorate against each other, while they collude in common cause - building and maintaining power.
  • by slick7 (1703596) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:00PM (#43681573)

    This is the first time that I've seen someone talk about President Obama and Executive Orders in a way that makes sense.

    If you think it makes sense, then you have it wrong. Executive orders will be the downfall of this Republic.
    ...to better serve the American people... To whom are we being served? Self-serving traitors serving the people? How laughable is that? It seems to me that if a machine reads what is in front of it, then a human is not necessary, especially if people are to be enslaved. And, if machines can read then it is possible for them to write as well. What will these machines write and for whom, the NSA, CIA, DHS ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @09:54PM (#43681785)

    Ummm, perhaps you are unaware of the hearings the House of Representatives are holding with regard to the actions of Obama, Hiliary, the State Department and White House over the events in Benghazi eight months ago. The refusal to come to the aid of an Ambassador and SEALs for eight hours, with a real-time Predator drone overhead (so the US could see what was going on in real time), and then a cover up (lying) for weeks, then no impartial investigation for eight months is simply *criminal*. It is far far worse than internment camps (as bad as they were).

    The message for the World is, the US will not come to your aid, no matter whether you are a US Ambassador, SEAL, ally (Mubarak), or country (Israel). America is no longer the greatest country on the Earth for promoting and defending Western values. That was Obama's intention.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:26PM (#43681887)

    America is no longer the greatest country on the Earth for promoting and defending Western values. That was Obama's intention.

    Sad part is, America probably is still the greatest country on the Earth for promoting and defending Western values. It is no longer that high a bar.

  • by Ksevio (865461) on Friday May 10, 2013 @09:41AM (#43684855) Homepage
    Right...a confusing and hostile situation (which the President and staff clearly botched) that happened over an evening is comparable to a planned out and very public taking of American's rights?

    It might be fun to jump on the whole government conspiracy bandwagon, but the two situations are in no way comparable. There are a lot of questions about Benghazi and some answers may seem obvious now in retrospect, but the Japanese Interment was clearly wrong.

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