Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

A new way to track Web censorship under Trump: Gov404

Sunlight Foundation Web Integrity Project: “Today, WIP is launching Gov404: The Web Integrity Project’s Censorship Tracker, a new tool to track unjustified removals of online resources and reductions in access to content across the federal government. Why are we aggregating these unjustified removals? As the government itself states in its Office of Management and Budget’s memorandum on how federal agencies should manage digital content:

“Federal Agency public websites and digital services are the primary means by which the public receives information from and interacts with the Federal Government. These websites and services help the public apply for benefits, search for jobs, comply with Federal rules, obtain authoritative information, and much more. Federal websites and digital services should always meet and maintain high standards of effectiveness and usability and provide quality information that is readily accessible to all.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, but theory and practice are not always the same. To us, having “high standards of effectiveness and usability” means that agencies build trust with the public by proactively communicating about significant changes, justifying extensive removals, and establishing robust public archives. Unfortunately, the Trump administration has failed on many of these counts, undermining public information and the institutions that have been in place to make information publicly available. It’s now more important than ever to understand how censorship of website content has brought us so far from OMB’s stated framework…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.