2Day in #OpenGov 1/18/2012

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Policy Fellow Matt Rumsey wrote this post.

Here is a look at Wednesday’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.

News Roundup:

International
  • China is planning to be more open about the workings of its government and ruling Communist Party, although strict controls over the internet will remain in place. (AP/Yahoo)
  • OpenDataCZ, a new open data group in the Czech Republic, held a successful meetup in Prague last December. 14 open data enthusiasts came together to discuss their insights and plans for the future. (Open Knowledge Foundation)

Government

  • Prospects for SOPA and its Senate counterpart PIPA are diminishing. Major websites are blacked out today in opposition, the White House has expressed serious concerns, and some prominent members of congress have begun to come out against the legislation. (Politico)
  • The global online community is stepping up to protest the effect that SOPA and PIPA could have on internet users worldwide. (Global Voices)
  • Private groups spent almost $6 million to send members of Congress and their staff on trips last year, the most since restrictions on such spending were tightened in 2007. (Roll Call $)
Revolving Door
  • Former federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra is heading to the private sector after spending a semester in academia. He is joining Salesforce.com as executive vice president of emerging markets. (Federal Computer Week)
  • The next Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young has some experience with the revolving door. Mark Weinberger has previously worked as a congressional aide and and assistant Treasury secretary. (National Journal)
State and Local
  • A group in Washington, DC is proposing a ballot initiative to ban direct corporate donations to local political campaigns. Currently, business entities can donate directly to politicians and take advantage of loopholes that allow them to contribute in far greater amounts than individuals. (Washington Post)
  • An Arizona State Senator is trying to remove exceptions to current laws that allow lobbyists to give lawmakers gifts relating to entertainment and some sporting events. (Lobby Comply)

Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 1/18:

  • None.

Relevant bills introduced:

  • None.
Transparency events scheduled for 1/18:
  • Newsmakers on Technology. The New Republic. 8:00-11:30 am. George Washington University, The Grand Ballroom at the Marvin Center, 800 21st Street, NW Washington, DC 20052.

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