CCIA Praises Open Government Launch, Hopes It Brings More Transparency To ACTA Negotiations

December 8, 2009

Washington – Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra and Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra announced the launch of administration’s Open Government Plan in a live webcast today.

The Internet provides unprecedented tools for openness and transparency in a democracy and the Computer & Communications Industry Association applauds President Obama’s commitment to provide citizens with more information on their government. CCIA also appreciates being included in meetings seeking input on what this openness plan should include.

The following statement can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“This initiative means people will have more information about their government in a timely, searchable format that can be accessed anywhere they have an Internet connection. This plan can bring more democracy to the democratic process and represents hope of a new era between the government and those it governs.

“The old adage in Washington is information is power. This launch promises to deliver power to more people outside Washington, and we fully expect that this policy will be prospectively applied as advertised.

“However, it is troubling that the spirit behind it has yet to have more than a minimal impact on holdover matters from the last administration such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

“Our most serious concerns are about the substance of ACTA. However, the accelerated process combined with the lack of transparency has contributed to the sense that “big content” has hijacked this draft agreement, and is trying to ram it through before the flaws are fully understood. This is an example of the type of government decision-making dominated by big players in the backrooms that a true openness policy is intended to prevent.

“It would seem that negotiations begun in excessive secrecy by the Bush administration, pushed and developed by the Chamber, and other special interests, would be an exceptionally appropriate target to apply the new openness policy without restraint.

“The substance of the agreement, just like the policy surrounding the secrecy, has not had a total new look by this administration. If ACTA provisions are really fair and valuable, they can withstand the scrutiny and debate that transparency and openness brings. We’re hopeful the transparency policy launched today means others may soon get to see what only special interest have seen so far.”

“We fully support the administration in its push for openness and believe it will overcome those trying to curb its efforts.”


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