America’s CIO Details Plans for Future

Tue, 06/16/2009 - 6:29am
Eliot Van Buskirk

Editor's Note: We certainly need some central regulation and guidance, what do you think of this plan? At teh very least, this wouold require very robust encryption and user managment.

( - Bureaucratic inefficiency and secrecy around government data have been hallmarks of our federal government since politicians wore powdered wigs. The country’s new chief information officer hopes to mutate governmental DNA in the direction of openness by releasing a massive amount of data about everything from swine flu to train schedules to the public, in a machine-readable, mashable way.

Vivek Kundra, the USA’s first ever CIO, detailed the government’s upcoming service in a conversation with Wired’s Nicholas Thompson at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference in Manhattan on Monday. When the site launches at month’s end, it will give American citizens an unprecedented level of information about our country.

“The premise behind behind goes to the philosophy around transparency and open government that the president has been talking about. What we want to do is democratize data and democratize information and put it in the public square,” said Kundra. “The default setting of the United States should not be that everything should be secret and closed.”

Care will be taken not to divulge granular information that could compromise the privacy of US citizens, continued Kundra, but every other data feed the government produces will be available on, where it can be mashed against other feeds, analyzed, and rated by the public. To prevent government departments from warping data, all of this data will be gathered as close to the source as possible.

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