Policy and News Updates for November 4, 2008




In This Issue: [click on the link to go to the corresponding section]

News from Coalition Partners & Others

I. Be Sure to Vote!

II. Read and Endorse Recommendations from the 21st Century Right to Know Project




News from Coalition Partners & Others

EPIC, Common Cause Report on E-Deceptive Campaign Practices


In the run up to today’s election, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Common Cause released reports examining potential dirty tricks to disseminate false or misleading information over the Internet, designed to mislead or intimidate voters. EPIC’s “E-Deceptive Campaign Practices Technology” reviews the potential for abuse of Internet technology in an election context, and makes recommendations on steps that could be taken by Election Protection, Election Administrators, and voters to protect the integrity of the election. In “E-Deceptive Practices 2.0: Legal and Policy Response” Common Cause examines the state of existing state and federal laws that might be used to stop these scams.

POGO Provides Presidential Transition Teams Reform Priorities


On October 20th, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) released recommendations for the next administration to make the federal government more effective, accountable, open, and honest. Among the suggested reforms are steps the next President can take to improve whistleblower protections, increase government transparency, and strengthen contract oversight.

Sunlight Foundation Launches Open Senate Project


The Sunlight Foundation announced the launch of the Open Senate Project, an initiative modeled on the successful Open House Project. The project is a collaborative effort by government and legislative information experts, congressional staff, non-profit organizers and bloggers to study how the Senate currently integrates the Internet into its operations, and to suggest attainable reforms to promote public access to its work and members.

2008 EPIC FOIA Litigation Manual Available


The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has published an updated version of the orgaization’s Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws. The 2008 version includes new material regarding the substantial Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) amendments enacted on December 31, 2007.

I. Be Sure to Vote!

Our democracy is strengthened by informed participation, but sometimes you need more information to help you participate. Find out where to vote and what to bring (or to leave at home) at GoVote.org. Need more information about your rights as a voter, and what to do if your right to vote is denied? Visit OpenTheGovernment.org’s Election Resource Center.

II. Read and Endorse Recommendations from the 21st Century Right to Know Project

For several months OMB Watch, with assistance from OpenTheGovernment.org and several coalition partners, have worked to develop a series of recommendations to end the culture of secrecy in the government and make openness and transparency the government’s default position. In keeping with the transparent and trans-partisan way the initial recommendations were conceived, OMB Watch posted an early draft of the report online. OMB Watch has also launched an online process to collect endorsements, both organizational and individual, of the recommendations. We encourage all of our partners to participate in this project.

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