Today in #OpenGov 8/27/2013



  • The SEC is set to close a loophole that allowed certain employees through the revolving door and into the waiting arms of industry without much of a cooling off period. Staffers who made more than $155,440.50 a year will now have to wait one year before representing clients before the Commission. (POGO)
  • The ever energetic federal CTO Todd Park talks about how new government technology projects, like RFP-EZ, that unlock the power of data can help lower the costs of government in this video interview. (fedscoop)
  • Intellectual Ventures, the worlds largest patent-holding company, already spends around $1 million a year on lobbying, now they’re opening a dedicated Washington office. The move comes as “patent trolls,” companies that buy up patents and file, sometimes indiscriminate, lawsuits against companies that use similar technologies.  (ars technica)
  • Mexico appears poised to roll back access to information rules. Recent constitutional reforms would affect the autonomy of the Federal Institute for Access to Public Information, the body charged with overseeing the public’s right to government information. (Global Voices)
  • Three Philippine provinces are testing themselves to see if sharing government information online can impact local government systems. The three provinces have been local leaders, having won awards from the Department of Interior and Local Government. (Future Gov)
  • Rep. Chris Van Hollen isn’t the only one targeting the IRS with legal action related to it’s handling of exempt organizations. Tax Analysts, a nonprofit trade publisher, is suing the agency for it’s sloth like pace responding to a FOIA request for documents related to training of IRS personnel in the unit at the center of the ongoing scandal. (Government Executive)
  • Bitcoin, the virtual currency, is taking some very real meetings in Washington this week. The 21st century currency has been facing increased scrutiny and even the possibility of federal regulation that advocates fear could destroy it’s value in the US. Members of the Bitcoin Foundation are having “educational meetings” with policy makers, politicians, and law enforcement officials.  (The Verge)