Today in OpenGov: Madison 3.0, Lobbying the transition, Facebook censors Norway PM, Election databot and more


MADISON 3.0: The OpenGov Foundation launched the third version of its collaborative drafting software, which has come a long way since it hosted comments on legislation in the 2012 SOPA/PIPA debate in Congress. The Foundation shared release notes, a letter to civic technologists, a letter to elected officials and a tutorial video, embedded above.

ACCOUNTABILITY: While the Obama administration has made digital advances around data, the White House should lead by example on enterprise data inventory and use of Freedom of Information Act requests to drive its proactive disclosure of open data. Until the Department of Commerce releases the immigration data QZ sued for under FOIA as open data, their boasts rings hollow.

THIS ONE TIME, AT TRANSPARENCYCAMP. Registration is open for TransparencyCamp in Cleveland on October 14-15! Please submit a session, spread the word and come! [REGISTER]


  • ProPublica launched Electionland, a collaborative effort between the nonprofit news organization and a coalition of Google, WNYC, CUNY, First Draft, Univision and USA Today to cover voting this fall. We hope you’ll participate. [GET INVOLVED]
  • ProPublica also launched a new Election Databot that is intended for journalists, researchers and citizens to discover newsworthy information about the congressional and presidential campaigns. It’s awesome. [ProPublica]
  • Speaking of discovering newsworthy information, Politico reported that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is leading the transition effort for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, huddles with energy lobbyists and finance lobbyists this week. The standard Christie is setting for transparency in the transition isn’t good enough. [Politico]


  • Private equity interests are lobbying Congress to strip away some of the regulations in Dodd-Frank, encouraging passage of the Investment Advisers Modernization Act. As always, follow the money. [New York Times]
  • The Office of the Inspector General at the Commerce Department released a damning report about a senior official who traveled in luxury around the world, confirming, once again, the importance of inspectors general to accountability. [Washington Post]
  • By week’s end, a factually challenged column suggesting that government email should be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act spawned rebuttals at the National Security Archives, Reason, MuckRock, Shadowproof, the Cato Institute, and Rolling Stone. For our part, we hold that critics of transparency are wrong and hope that we move on next week.   [NSArchives]
  • Question: Do you view publishing a budget as open data or as “transformative?” It’s fair to say that many of the other open government reforms touted by the Open Government Partnership are valuable. [OGP]
  • Another question for the weekend: Is the GSA collaborating and “being open” about a new identity system for federal services? Please let us know what you think. Reminder: what they’re doing is not the strategy for online identity the President laid out and pursued over the past five years. [Federal Register]


  • The Office of the CTO in the District of Columbia is prioritizing security over transparency. “Gone is the provision stipulating that the District’s data should be ‘open by default,'” writes Alex Koma. This is the wrong direction for the District of Columbia to take, on multiple fronts. DC’s draft Data Policy will be up for at least 3 weeks for public comment. We strongly encourage DC residents to do so. [StateScoop]
  • NY1 and the New York Post are suing the deBlasio administration under the FOIL for emails between the mayor’s staff and outside parties. [WSJ]


  • On September 8th, the editor-in-chief of Norwegian daily newspaper Aftenposten wrote to Facebook regarding the social network’s requirement to remove a photograph from the Vietnam War from its page. As Espen Egil Hansen noted, the picture of a nude Vietnamese girl fleeing in pain after a napalm attack is iconic. The issue has now become of global significance, after Facebook deleted a post by Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, in which she also shared the photograph. As Facebook becomes host, distributor and editor of publishers, will journalists be able to cover wars on its Pages? Will the governments of open societies like Norway, which has some of the most robust press freedom and open governance on Earth, tolerate restrictions to the speech of their elected leaders and journalists? [Guardian]
  • Democracies will be more resilient to virus of post-factual politics. Autocracies, less so. [The Economist]
  • Tweetaganda: tweets by state-created & maintained sockpuppets amplifying tweets from traditional propaganda outlets. [The Economist]



Tired of your boss/friend/intern/uncle forwarding you this email every morning? You can sign up here and have it delivered direct to your inbox! You can follow the progress of relevant bills, court cases, and regulations using Scout.

We want to find and share the most important stories about open government around the world from the past 24 hours here. To do that, we’ll need YOUR help. Please send your tips and feedback at If you would like suggest an event, email us by 7 a.m. on the Monday prior to the event.