20 May 2009

Opening Up in the Netherlands

It's really heartening to see this openness/transparency meme blooming everywhere. But the forces of ignorance are fighting a rearguard action. Here's news from Sun's Simon Phipps of the Dutch journalist Brenno de Winter, who is battling for the truth in the Netherlands:

Brenno has been trying to get details of local government procurement published on the web, so that the resulting transparency can drive better decisions. Since most local authorities haven't wanted to do that, he's been filing bulk Freedom of Information requests (the Dutch abbreviation is apparently WOB) to get the data.


I got a note from him yesterday telling me a new problem has come up. Despite the fact that the local authorities - like all in Europe - have a legal duty to provide the information, they have started sending Brenno big bills for the administrative work involved, in a kind of denial-of-service attack on his campaign.

He's pretty sure that if he takes all the claims to court he can get them struck down, but to do that he needs a fighting fund. There's an event in Amsterdam on June 11th where Scriptum Libre will be raising funds for him, and you can contribute by visiting their payment page and designating Brenno as the beneficiary of your donation. Worth supporting - pass it on.

Indeed: please pass on if you can.

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