Information awareness for the people

information awareness logoWhat’s the most annyoing thing about Total Information Awareness™? Loss of personal liberties? Complete destruction of privacy? A research budget in the hundreds of millions that could be spent on social programs?

No. It’s the hypocrisy.

Why should our government have the best technology for surveillance and tracking, and not be subjected to its own scrutiny? A new Media Lab project by the Computing Culture group is testing that principle, namely shifting the focus to those individuals who put this system in place, namely our government. OpenGov is a website that tracks the movements of politicians in an effort they are labelling “Government Information Awareness.” Their model is a simple adaptation of the one developed by DARPA for civilian monitoring. The OpenGov mission is simple:

To empower citizens by providing a single, comprehensive, easy to use repository of information on individuals, organizations, and corporations related to the government of the United States of America.
To allow citizens to submit intelligence about government related issues, while maintaining their anonymity. To allow members of the government a chance to participate in the process.

With political tension on the rise, I have a feeling that OpenGov will be a big success at least in aggregating information around politicial leaders. Let’s just say I’m glad I’m not under its scrutiny.

The site will become fully operational on July 4th.

MIT Media Laboratory: OpenGov Goverment Information Awareness Project

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