Open government

Paper FCC Record: Why in the World?

The practice of printing hard-copies of the “FCC Record” should be eliminated. To be crystal clear, I am not suggesting that we keep its contents or information from the public.  On the contrary, I suggest that it makes little sense to continue to publish paper copies when other mechanisms are more consumer friendly, cost-efficient, and easier to access.  Instead, the Commission should make its documents centrally located and easier to find for interested parties electronically, making paper copies of the Record unnecessary on a going forward basis.  If Encyclopedia Britannica coul

The White House promised to restore a petitions site that was critical of President Trump. It hasn’t.

The White House took down the popular “We The People” petitions website, started by Barack Obama’s administration, in December, with the promise that the site would be restored by “late January.” As of 3 p.m. on Jan. 31, the site, which allows citizens to post petitions that require a White House response when they meet a certain number of signatures, is still down.

Net neutrality debate exposes weaknesses of public comment system

As citizens increasingly use digital tools to engage with government, federal agencies should weed out fake comments to create a more robust public comment system. If agencies are required to solicit public input, it should take on a form that the agency can easy incorporate into new rules. The Administrative Procedures Act could not have anticipated the digital communications tools available to citizens seven decades later. An updated method of collecting feedback would require commenters to verify their identity, or at least verify they are human.

Trump’s argument in record-keeping case: ‘Courts cannot review the president’s compliance with the Presidential Records Act’

Can a federal court decide whether the White House is breaking presidential record-keeping laws, such as by using encrypted apps that automatically erase messages once they’re read or issuing executive orders to avoid creating a paper trail accessible to the public? Government attorneys told a federal judge in Washington that the answer is a sweeping “no,” in a case that could help determine whether open-government laws are keeping pace with frontiers in communications technology.


Center for Data Innovation

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation


Tue, 02/27/2018 - 09:00 to 10:30

The federal government has made significant strides toward making vast amounts of government data freely available to the public, and businesses, researchers, civil society groups, journalists, and many others have put open data to good use. But recent events suggest that some open government data may be at risk.

Repairing the Must Vote Timing

While I previously proposed fixes to improve the circulation process by making the documents public and addressing what amounts to stale items and those converted to Open Meeting items, we also need to update and improve the process for voting circulation items.  Unlike items disposed of at the Commission’s monthly Open Meetings, items circulated to Commissioners for consideration outside of the meetings (those on the Circulation List) have no voting deadline until they enter “must vote” status.

Smart Cities are Changing

[Commentary]  Bill Gates is setting aside $80 million and over 24,000 acres to build one. Over in India, they’re planning to construct over 100 of them. They’re smart cities (SC), and they’ve been in development longer than you might think. This landscape of the future is gaining momentum as it enters the third stage of its evolution: the “city as a service.” The United Nations predicts a world population of 9.7 billion by 2050, leading to an urban population boom of 63%.

Net Neutrality and Transparency in the Regulatory Process

[Commentary] Releasing the network neutrality draft order early had some unintended consequences. It created a flurry of activity when everybody with an opinion felt they had to re-litigate their arguments. Far too many chose it as an opportunity to hurl invectives at those with differing opinions, contributing to the downfall of productive debate. Despite the increasing vitriol during the weeks before the vote, releasing the draft order prior to the Federal Communications Commission’s vote is one key to making the FCC regulatory process more transparent.

Candidate for Congress Will Let His Constituents Decide How He Votes

Michael Allman is running for Congress as a Republican. But if his constituents lean left of him on a particular issue before Congress, that’s how Allman will vote. That’s because Allman is running on a direct democracy platform: For every issue, voters in his district will be able to use a blockchain-enabled website to securely log their opinions, and Allman will follow the will of the people.

Chairman Pai Announces New Dashboard and Transparency Upgrades to

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the launch of an online dashboard to provide the public with more information on the agency’s work. Available immediately on the agency’s website,, this resource will help consumers access reports and graphics on FCC workloads, pending actions, and other accountability matrices, and more easily access Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) materials.