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Object Lesson in Non-Transparency At Energy.gov 111

Harperdog writes "Dawn Stover recounts her attempts to access information at energy.gov, 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 Energy.gov

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  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:20PM (#38832093)

    One wonders if accessing information about Coal or Natural gas production would be easier than information about Nuclear waste storage.
    It might be she stepped into a Homeland Security issue, and managed to get herself on a watch list. All these documents were supposedly transferred in 2010. That would put it squarely in the Obama administration's Open Government time frame, but it was also during the height of the irrational security theater phase of locking up information about everything from Atomic weapons to Water supplies.

    Google would have been more fruitful, as the article states.

  • Also missing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by uigrad_2000 ( 398500 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:44PM (#38832411) Homepage Journal

    Wow, there's a lot of trolls today.

    Back on topic:
    I couldn't find anything at Energy.gov [energy.gov] that indicates what portion of my tax burden is due to supporting non-competitive forms of "green" energy.

    I don't care where you come down on these issues, but anyone who views this site has to agree, that it is pure marketing. I run my monitor at 1920x1080, and I had to press 'PageDn' three times to get to the content!

  • by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @03:46PM (#38832431) Homepage
    I have tired using data.gov to try to get the GIS data for the trails in national parks, I also tried the national parks service without any luck. So it isn't just sensitive info that is impossible to get.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:21PM (#38832865)

    That's exactly why I no longer log in at all. Slashdot is all too frequently moderated by a combination of moderation tyrants and ignorant me-too'ers than people who actually know what they are talking about. I commonly see completely false and factually incorrect information moderated up to +5 and factually valid and correct answers moderated down to 1 to -1. Slashdot is broken. The moderators are generally worthless shells of humanity. And the general slashdot population is generally ignorant mee-too'ers who have no fucking clue about anything.

    The only reason I made it this far into the comments is because, shockingly, most of the first comments are not dumb, incorrect, and trolling. In fact, to my surprise, the first many comments are uncharacteristically sane, rational, and reasonable.

    Slashdot is dead.

  • by slimjim8094 ( 941042 ) <slashdot3@just[ ... t ['con' in gap]> on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:39PM (#38833079)

    I wasn't concerned with the author's name. I will admit I skimmed some of the non-relevant portions, since I was short on time, but I believe I got the substance of the post.

    As for the old website, sites tend to grow organically. The content on the old website was put there one-at-a-time, as it came to exist. The new website would've required a bulk import, and those are pretty slow. I'd rather they have the new site up earlier than delaying until everything is copied over. Should it have been done better? Probably. But this wasn't an article about "it should have been done better", this was an article about nontransparency and deliberate obfuscation, with the implication that it's for political reasons. I don't think the evidence supports such a bold accusation.

  • by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @04:45PM (#38833141)

    Ever heard the phrase "one catches more flies with honey that with vinager". Instead of accusing the site of being "not transparent" maybe she could have stated that search engin needs fixing and suggesting exactly how to do it.

    Another issue is that she is looking for a ten-year old document from an Office that was closed and all documents transferred to Legacy Management. If the documents were transferred in electronic form, as they should be, it is up to LM to put them up in searchable format. The OP's issue should be with LM and not Energy.gov.

    By the way, just because one can not instantly download any document created in the last ten years does not mean the government is not transparent. It just means that they have not dealt with the millions of legacy documents.

  • by Score Whore ( 32328 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @05:28PM (#38833591)

    Holy shit! Been a long time since this was first posted [slashdot.org] and managed to receive several hundred mods. Followed up by a temper tantrum from the slashdot management team banning anyone who moderated it from ever moderating again.

  • by quacking duck ( 607555 ) on Thursday January 26, 2012 @06:33PM (#38834289)

    Government-run healthcare is not awesome, but it is arguably necessary.

    However, that's a moot point because that's not what the US is going to get. The US had a right-wing party yelling "socialists! Death panels!" at a less-right-wing party which put up self-imposed roadblocks to appease them, even though the latter controlled Congress, Senate and White House (until late 2010), until you got mandatory health insurance.

    It is a giant clusterfuck that Republicans are secretly overjoyed to get, because when it collapses they will tout it as an example of why public health systems don't work, even though it's nothing like the public health or mixed public/private systems in other countries that DO work (though again, not awesomely).

    They (and much of the American public) also ignore the fact that even before Obamacare, even during the Bush Jr. era, the US was already spending more tax dollars on healthcare per capita than all the other industrialized nations. If they'd only spend those *existing* health care tax dollars properly, the standard of care that the poor and lower-middle class would be AT LEAST as good as Canada's (which has plenty of flaws, don't get me wrong, but it's very unlikely to force people into bankruptcy or taking out a second mortgage), and the wealthier could still pay for better health services.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"