There is no open government without a clear directive from the executive (backed by congress) in support of a free and open internet and the prosecution of officials that have hidden their criminal activity behind the veil of national security.
1. There is no amount of government transparency that will erase years of torture, illegal wiretapping, warrantless surveillance, the suspension of habeus corpus, the targeting of certain ethnic groups as "terrorists", eavesdropping on Americans, and the monitoring of American's internet traffic by the NSA. The last 8 years have all but ruined the freedom our American soldiers have fought and died to protect.
Action must be taken to prevent subsequent administrations from trampling on the rights of Americans as they have for the last 8 years. Legislation must be passed to prevent the executive branch from protecting their "boys" and refusing to release information about state-sponsored crime in the interest of national security.
2. In the internet age, there is really NOTHING that a state can do that hasn't been imagined and planned for in any number of online subversive forums, readily open to anyone with the ability to google. Information, in and of itself, does not lead terrorists to commit their atrocities, nor does secrecy prevent these atrocities in the absence of an imminent threat.
I doubt that the release of the ACTA treaty, which the Obama administration recently refused to release as a state secret, would have given rise to an "imminent threat" of attack against Americans. The treaty does, however, pose an imminent threat to Corporate Media Conglomerates and their profits, who also happen to have a seat at the negotiating table. In the meantime, the American people, having been left out of the conversation, can barely tell you what ACTA is, let alone that widespread censorship, mandatory internet filtering, and the confiscation of digital content are all ideas on the table during these negotiations.
Hiding behind the state secrets argument is not a method of maintaining our security, it is a method of maintaining CONTROL. Information is Power... 20 and more years ago, it was the power of spies to collect and analyze information about enemy states, as our enemies gathered intel on us. The revolution of the internet has taken any conceivable idea, no matter how benign or horrendous, and placed it squarely at our fingertips and those of our enemies.
The power of information in the 21st century is a power that belongs to the PEOPLE. Let US know what's going on in our government and we'll fight the war on terror for you. Let US know what treaties are in negotiation and we'll tell you how we feel about it. Keep OUR internet free and open so that our enemies that practice censorship will be at a disadvantage, and not the other way around. We have an awesome opportunity to reinvent freedom for the 21st century with America continuing as the champion of liberty around the globe. Don't even bother wasting that opportunity on half measures that maintain the appearance of freedom. The information age has arrived, and we will know better.
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