04 January 2007

Government Secrecy

I have a simple equation for good government. A good government is very transparent and allows individual citizens privacy. A bad government reveals very little about its decisions and operations and can peer into the lives of its citizenry at will. (Think USSR or Orwell's 1984.)

This graph suggests that our government is getting worse, not better.

[Yellow line is the number of classified government documents and the blue line is the number of documents being declassified.]


Dave said...

Interesting that you posted on this today. On the morning local news there was very short piece that reported that President Bush signed a bill having to do with the Postal Service to which he attached a "signing statement," a device he uses with frequency to create sort of a paper trail for him acting not in accordance with the law. This one said that the government has the right, "in an emergency," to open an American citizen's mail without a warrant. I haven't liked much of what Bush has done; and, I think he has done more than any president in history to attack privacy rights.

Kvatch said...

That's an outstanding metric, and it is interesting to note another disturbing trend: classification as a blanket defense against scrutiny of possibly illegal activities. I blogged about that here.

And...before I forget my manners, thanks for your recent comment on Blognonymous.