The recent FOIA debacle at the Office of the US Trade Representative is a text-book example of "transparency theater," a luscious term coined by John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation to describe the comedy of anti-openness and transparency missteps in the first weeks of the Obama Administration.
USTR's recent denial of an FOIA request
for documents regarding a highly anticipated trade negotiation on "national security grounds" raised hackles in BlogNation and launched 10,000 (give or take a thousand) tweets.
It appears, however, that someone inside the White House--if not the President, himself--is jacked in to the strum und drang
of the electronic Metaclass because there's been a "come to Jesus" meeting at USTR that has resulted in a thorough review of its polices regarding transparency.
The folks at Knowledge Ecology International chronicle this abrupt--but welcome--turn around in their blog
, Knowledge Ecology Notes:
On Thursday, President Obama's trade officials met with several civil society groups and promised a thorough review of the USTR policies regarding transparency. The review is expected to be completed within a few months. The process will include a meeting within a month to discuss initial specific proposals for openness and transparency. Citizens and NGOs are encouraged to think about the specific areas where openness and transparency can be enhanced and how. Among the specific proposals that will be evaluated are the following at the request of KEI:
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