U.S. to post massive amount of government data to the Internet

The Obama administration announced today that the United States government will be posting a large amount of Cabinet-level department data to the Internet, with topics ranging from Medicare to Transportation, according to a report from the Associated Press.

The newly available information comes a year after President Obama promised that the United States government would be more open and transparent.

Under a December 8th directive from the White House, each department must post at least three collections of data classified as “high-value”, which have never previously been disclosed to the public.

For example, the Transportation Department will post ratings for 2,400 lines of tires for consumer safety based on tire tread wear, traction performance and temperature resistance. The Labor Department will be required to release almost 80,000 names of workplaces where injuries and illnesses have occurred over the past 10 years.

This move also means that resources which were available for a fee (such as the country’s Medicare database, available for $100 on CD-ROM) will be available to for download free from the Internet.

"We're democratizing data," said Vivek Kundra, Chief Information Officer for the White House in an interview on Thursday.

Under the new initiative, the following departments will be required to release information: State, Treasury, Defence, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, the offices of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the Council of Economic Advisers will also be required to release new data.

All of the information will be made available on the government’s web site, http://www.data.gov.

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31 Comments

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I personally think he is doing a much better job then Bush ever did. Nixon was much better president then Bush ever was.

I think Obama is right doing nothing is way easier then trying to take on the special interests and offending people. In American any kind of substantial change is almost impossible unless it is done through the market. For instance, The US is one of two countries that still uses English system instead of the metric system. Imagine if US politician stood up and said we are going to change all are speed signs to metric.

I whole heartedly agree about the Bush comment. He has to be the worst president this country ever saw. I honestly never could see what people like about him. He smirks when talking about dead soldiers and can't speak to save his life. But who knows what would've happened without him. I suppose the Republican party has him to thank for being set back 10 years (for the record - I'm independent, not Dem or Repub). People wouldn't have been so "pro-change" if they weren't so disgusted with the Republican white house at that time.

I don't see why people are complaining, he is doing what he said he would for the most part. I'm not a huge democrat, hell, I'm a registered Republican... (I voted for Obama though) and I haven't really been disappointed. He got us out of Iraq, yes more are going to Afghanistan, but we apparently need it since it's worse there than Iraq. I should know, I was in the Army.

But, I also have to stop and think how no matter who is in Office, people are going to complain, and that is the American way. Freedom of Speech. One of the few freedoms we do have left is abused against the guy we voted in; well the majority of us did ;)

Oh well, this is a great thing for America, despite what some of you might think. I'm looking forward to read a lot of them. I wonder how many are you going to blast me for being so pro-Obama. lol.

Dr. Albert Spamstein said,
I don't really see how releasing classified information is a good thing..... There's USUALLY a good reason WHY it's classified...
Did you not READ the article? Seriously?

One of the items released is a CDROM of Medicare info that used to cost $100 to get. Now free online.


EDIT: I think I see the reason for confusion. It is the word "classified" in the article. It does not state the documents are classified as "CLASSIFIED". Just classified as "high-value" (presumably items that the public might want to have access to.

Edited by markjensen, Jan 22 2010, 1:32pm :

Dr. Albert Spamstein said,
I don't really see how releasing classified information is a good thing..... There's USUALLY a good reason WHY it's classified...

The history says otherwise

Solid Knight said,

Examples?

Vietnam and the amount of causalities.
In the same basis, currently it is not possible to obtain the real number of causalities in the current Desert Storm war, and most people think that they are winning the war.

Magallanes said,
In the same basis, currently it is not possible to obtain the real number of causalities in the current Desert Storm war, and most people think that they are winning the war.

Desert Storm ended in 1991... so please explain to me how a war that ended almost 20 years ago is "current".

And yet they continue to hold closed-door meetings on legislation that would affect every American. So much for campaign promises.

John S. said,
And yet they continue to hold closed-door meetings on legislation that would affect every American. So much for campaign promises.
I've heard of "glass full / glass empty" kind of people.

You seem to be a "I don't like the glass" kind of person. :P

Governments always have closed meetings on various items. This President promised "more" openness. Not "abolition of all closed meetings". Seems that he is doing that, a tiny bit, anyhow. And the far right complains. Shocker.

John S. said,
And yet they continue to hold closed-door meetings on legislation that would affect every American. So much for campaign promises.

Exactly, all this is is data that would be released anyway, just making a big deal of it for Political reasons, and of course it distracts everyone from what's really going on

z0phi3l said,

Exactly, all this is is data that would be released anyway, just making a big deal of it for Political reasons, and of course it distracts everyone from what's really going on

Exactly. There are several instances on YouTube of Obama stating the Health Care negotiations would be on C-Span, yet many of the crucial meetings were denied public access.

Meanwhile, LOOK, here's Tire Tread Ratings!! Open Government!!

It's nothing more than a carnival trick attempt to appease the masses.

markjensen said,
I've heard of "glass full / glass empty" kind of people.

You seem to be a "I don't like the glass" kind of person. :P

Governments always have closed meetings on various items. This President promised "more" openness. Not "abolition of all closed meetings". Seems that he is doing that, a tiny bit, anyhow. And the far right complains. Shocker.

I didn't expect abolition of all meetings, I had Hoped for a bit of Change when he made those campaign promises that swept him into office.

Edited by John S., Jan 22 2010, 3:06pm :

John S. said,
And yet they continue to hold closed-door meetings on legislation that would affect every American. So much for campaign promises.

I pretty much understood that the closed door meetings on healthcare everyone was fussing about was to stop all the soapboxing that politicians do when the cameras are on. There's simply no denying that politicians tip toe and pander when they're 'on the record'. If removing the audience gets them to stop playing theatre for a few freakin' minutes, I'm all for it.

Besides, whatever they discuss will be written into law eventually, and that's always publically accessible for voters to absorb and use in the future when deciding whether they want to re-elect their participant.

-Himanshu- said,

And don't forget Area 51!

Area 51 is old news. They got much more secret bases elsewhere.
And they don't even call it Area 51 anymore. More like Groom lake.

Edited by 2xSilverKnight, Jan 22 2010, 2:37pm :

2xSilverKnight said,

Area 51 is old news. They got much more secret bases elsewhere.
And they don't even call it Area 51 anymore. More like Groom lake.

Don't forget the X-Mansion.

Anarkii said,
That can only be a good thing for the US, it's about time the governments of the world shared its secrets

The data they are sharing is insignificant. Let's see the WoT data.