Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age

Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age

by Alasdair Roberts
     
 

In 1966, the U.S. Congress passed the landmark Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving the public the right to government documents. This "right to know" has been used over four decades to challenge overreaching Presidents and secretive government agencies. FOIA has also become a model for other nations, spawning similar laws in sixty other countries. Nonetheless,… See more details below

Overview

In 1966, the U.S. Congress passed the landmark Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving the public the right to government documents. This "right to know" has been used over four decades to challenge overreaching Presidents and secretive government agencies. FOIA has also become a model for other nations, spawning similar laws in sixty other countries. Nonetheless, the struggle for openness is far from over. This book describes the tactics that politicians and bureaucrats around the world have used to preserve government secrecy. It explains how profound changes in the structure of government - privatization of public services, the rise of powerful international organizations, the growth of tightly knit networks of security agencies - are complicating campaigns for openness. The complex effects of new information technologies - sometimes enhancing openness, sometimes creating new barriers to transparency - are also described. Blacked Out provides an invaluable overview of the challenges confronting the new global movement for open government.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521731546
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
07/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

1 The Glass Case 1

I Context

2 Secrecy and Security 27

3 Regime Change 51

4 Message Discipline 82

5 Soft States 107

II Structure

6 Opaque Networks 127

7 The Corporate Veil 150

8 Remote Control 171

III Technology

9 Liquid Paper 199

IV Conclusion

10 The End of the Story? 231

Notes 239

Index 303

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