QuickLinks - e-Government
Issue no. 299 - 24 January 2004
- US - Survey: Blogs, Chats Key to Campaigns
Political candidates trying to use the Internet to win support from young, Web-wise voters should avoid pop-up and banner ads and instead use interactive media like Internet chats and "blogs," according to a study.
Issue no. 298 - 18 January 2004
- UK - Online party 'may break electoral law'
A new internet-only party, claiming to have no policies beyond what its readers agree on, could be in breach of electoral rules, according to academics from Nottingham University. Yourparty.org is hoping to launch next month, in time to fight the European elections in June, but experts have warned that having candidates contractually bound to vote according to supporters could contravene the law.
Issue no. 297 - 11 January 2004
- EU - Public sector information
Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 on the re-use of public sector information has been published. OJ L 345 31.12.2003 p. 90. The deadline for implementation by Member States is 1 July 2005.
Issue no. 296 - 4 January 2004
Among the many claims made about the internet in its early days was the idea that it would transform politics. It boldly promised to defeat despots, free people from their slavish reliance on official sources of information and to ultimately deliver power back to the people. So far it hasn't happened. So will the 'net ever become a powerful political force?
- E-governance to e-democracy: examining the evolution
(Commonwealth Centre for e-Governance)
This is the Final paper in a series of five reports assessing international developments in the policies and public administration issues now driving e-government, e-governance and e-democracy. As e-government principles and practices have been applied in the past few years it has been clear that fundamental governance issues determine the workability of the application of e-services delivery and e-programs. This fifth report addresses the evolution of e-governance to e-democracy in our growing global information society. see CCEG Research Papers.
Issue no. 295 - 21 December 2003
- EU - Ombudsman suggests that the Commission clarify its rules on openness
The European Ombudsman has invited the European Commission to consider clarifying its rules on access to documents. This follows a complaint from an Irish citizen whose request for access to documents was refused. While the Ombudsman found that this refusal was justified, his investigation revealed a problem with the Commission's rules implementing Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents.
- UK - New chief for online government
The UK is to create a new head of e-government to take over the current e-envoy's duties in April 2004. Andrew Pinder, whose role has been to get people and services online by 2005, steps down after four years. The Cabinet Office's Douglas Alexander said the head 'will play a pivotal role in supporting the prime minister's vision for public service reform'. See also UK Online annual report 2003.
Issue no. 293 - 7 December 2003
Issue no. 291 - 15 November 2003
- UK - A portal for the people?
A new BBC site hopes to transform politically apathetic members of the public into single-issue activists. But will it just be a magnet for net heads and moaning nimbys?
- UK - Website perils of ancestor worship
Worldwide interest in tracing ancestors is becoming so popular that no website releasing new census information can possibly cope with the demand from millions of people without crashing, the National Audit Office concludes.
Issue no. 290 - 9 November 2003
- The New Civic Virtue of the Net
Who should the law-makers of cyberspace be? Who should be setting the rules that apply to conduct in the new global medium of cyberspace? What polity or polities should we look to as a source of legitimate and welfare-enhancing rules for conduct on the net?
Issue no. 289 - 26 October 2003
- BBC e-democracy site Beta Launch
by Steven Clift. The BBC just launched their greatly anticipated iCan service in beta mode. After spending a few hours with the site, I've composed my detailed reactions below. The BBC's iCan is one of the most significant e-democracy contributions to date. Congratulations. Making it work, despite the excellent framework and technology, will be both hell and essential civic work. So fight the good fight for citizen involvement and democracy in the information-age. see also Democracies Online Newswire.
Issue no. 288 - 19 October 2003
- US - Citizens strike back in intelligence war
A new website will allow people to post information about the activities of government organisations, officials and the judiciary. The website, called Government Information Awareness (GIA), is designed to collect snippets of information to build a database that can later be searched to reveal patterns of suspicious behaviour. The two MIT researchers behind the project face one serious problem: how to protect themselves against legal action should any of the postings prove false. The answer, they say, is to borrow a technique from the underground music-swapping community. Instead of storing the data in one place, they plan to distribute it around the internet in a similar way to the notorious Napster software that got music file-sharing under way.
- US - The New Road to the White House, How grassroots blogs are transforming presidential politics
by Lawrence Lessig. When they write the account of the 2004 campaign, it will include at least one word that has never appeared in any presidential history: blog. Whether or not it elects the next president, the blog may be the first innovation from the Internet to make a real difference in election politics. But to see just why requires a bit of careful attention.
Issue no. 286 - 3 October 2003
Issue no. 285 - 28 September 2003
- 25 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics
PoliticsOnline announced the results of its second world wide survey recognizing the top 25 individuals, organizations and companies that are having the greatest impact on the way the Internet is changing politics. In recent years, the Internet and burgeoning information technologies have inexorably altered our body politic, fundamentally changing the way we do democracy. At the 4th Annual Worldwide Forum on Electronic Democracy in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, PoliticsOnline recognized the best of the best - the innovators and pioneers who blaze the e-political trails. Commissioner Erkki Liikanen is no. 12.
- EU - Public sector information - Parliament firms up directive
(EP Daily Notebook)
The European Parliament adopted a series of compromise amendments at the second reading of a directive on the re-use and commercial exploitation of public sector information. This should avoid the need for conciliation. [Ed: i.e. the Council is expected to vote the same amendments, in which case the Directive will be adopted]. see also EP amendments, Report A5-0284/2003 (W.G. van Velzen) and Legislative history.
Issue no. 284 - 21 September 2003
- EU - Parliament sees progress on EU access to documents policy
A new EP report on public access to documents shows that real progress has been made by the EU institutions, but there are a number of shortcomings as regards transparency. The report A5-0298/2003 prepared by MEP Michael Cashman (PES, UK) and adopted by the Citizens' Rights Committee on 9 September, analyses the first year of full application of Regulation 1049/2001 on public access to documents. It states that the Council has a document access rate of 89.1 per cent, the Commission 68 per cent and Parliament 98.7 per cent. However, the report also concludes that the situation is still unsatisfactory in many ways and urges the Council and Commission to give direct access to documents more often. Rapporteur's draft - check Legislative Observatory for report as adopted by Committee.
- UK - Government emails to be kept on record
Government departments and civil servants are to be warned to think twice before pressing the send button in the wake of the explosive email evidence that emerged at the Hutton inquiry. Embarrassing emails such as those sent by a Downing Street press officer branding the row with the BBC as a 'game of chicken' will be stored at the Public Record Office at Kew from next year.
Issue no. 283 - 14 September 2003
- AU - Offensive sites banned under FOI
Child pornography, bestiality and violent websites banned by the Australian Broadcasting Authority cannot be accessed under freedom of information laws passed by the Senate. Amendments to the Communications Legislation Bill ensure highly offensive online content and website addresses containing illegal material can no longer be reached through the use of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act. see Communications Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2002 and Minister's speech in Senate on second reading (ParlInfoWeb / Hansard).
- E-Democracy, E-Governance, and Public Net-Work
by Steven Clift. As our one-way broadcast world becomes increasingly two-way, will the governance process gain the ability to listen and respond more effectively? The information-age, led by Internet content, software, technology, and connectivity, is changing society and the way we can best meet public challenges. E-democracy, e-governance, and public net-work are three interrelated concepts that will help us map out our opportunity to more effectively participate, govern, and do public work.
Issue no. 281 - 31 August 2003
- 2003-09-04 Cancún: On-line Chat with Pascal Lamy
The Cancún Ministerial Conference, 10-14 September, represents the half way point in our work on the Doha Development Agenda, and is a key staging post towards completion of this multilateral trade round by the end of 2004. Cancún has to be a success. If all countries are to benefit fully from global trade, we need improved market access for agricultural products, industrial goods and services. Trade must expand not just between the developed and developing world but also between developing countries ("south-south trade"). We all know the task set before us in Cancún. We must now make sure that we deliver: let's make trade work for all! Tell us what YOU think about these important issues. Join EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy in an on-line chat September 4 2003 from 18H00 to 20H00. Your views are important to us. Questions may be sent in all 11 languages in advance to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions should be as short as possible, 256 characters maximum.
Issue no. 279 - 17 August 2003
- UK - Government consultation on smart cards
A consultation document Smart Cards: Enabling e-Government has been published by the office of the e-envoy in Britain. The consultation finds four barriers to smartcard services taking off: A lack of open standards; proving the case for cards carrying more than one application; worries about data protection; ensuring that the person presenting the card really is the card-holder. The e-envoy's solution is to standardise technology. This would involve commercial schemes adopting the e-government interoperability framework (e-Gif), a set of rules for systems to interoperate. The consultation will close on 29 October 2003.
- UK- Cash hurdles for official websites
The UK Government has released detailed specifications spelling out what official webmasters must do to make net sites usable by everyone. Quality Framework for the UK Government Website Design lays out just how webmasters should design and test sites so they are easy to use and cater for people with physical disabilities. But the cost of making the changes could mean that few sites become more usable. see also Civil servants' families could test government websites (eGov monitor Weekly)
Issue no. 277 - 30 July 2003
Issue no. 276 - 23 June 2003
- UK - Magazines under threat from government ad plan
Magazines serving the public sector, including Nursing Times, the British Medical Journal, the New Scientist and Nature, are facing a financial crisis after the government revealed a proposal to put recruitment advertising online. The government says it wants to start placing adverts for health care, education and environmental workers on public sector websites from 2005
Issue no. 273 - 1 June 2003
- US - Pennsylvania Stonewalls on Content Blocking Scheme
The Pennsylvania Attorney General has denied an administrative appeal that CDT filed challenging the AG's refusal to disclose the Internet web sites that he has blocked under a controversial state law. Since mid-2002, the Attorney General has issued over 300 secret censorship orders, with no judicial oversight or public review whatsoever. The orders require ISPs to block web sites that perhaps contain child pornography, but the orders also have resulted in the blocking of hundreds or thousands of legitimate web sites that share the same "IP address" as the illegal sites.
Issue no. 272 - 24 May 2003
- ES - La Guardia Civil activa un servicio de denuncias destinado a los turistas
El Instituto Armado ha puesto en marcha un servicio de denuncias por Internet destinado a los turistas alojados en hoteles de Baleares. Es la primera Comunidad en que se implanta, ya que ellos son las víctimas de más de la mitad de los delitos en zonas turísticas.
- UK - Privacy laws 'hamper e-government'
UK data protection laws are hindering the progress of online government projects, a study has found. Many public sector organisations are finding it hard to juggle twin demands from existing laws and targets for online services, said a survey by the E-Government Bulletin, a newsletter which specialises in electronic government. Simon Davies, head of lobby group Privacy International, has little sympathy. "The public service, like its private sector counterparts, has traditionally been antipathetic toward both data protection and freedom of information. They often instinctively blame the law in those areas for their own management shortcomings," he said.
Issue no. 270 - 11 May 2003
- UK - Web Antidote for Political Apathy
In October, the BBC plans to flick the switch on an ambitious website designed to help Britons organize and run grassroots political campaigns. The site, dubbed iCan, is designed to help citizens investigate issues that concern them, find others who share those concerns and provide advice and tools for organizing and engaging in the political process. [ed: in this story for "gas" read petrol]
Issue no. 268 - 28 April 2003
Issue no. 267 - 21 April 2003
- FR - Quelle politique de diffusion des données publiques?
(Forum des droits sur l'internet)
Cette recommandation cherche à définir les conditions de développement d´une industrie de l´information avec l´ensemble des acteurs, publics et privés ainsi que l´articulation à mettre en uvre entre ceux-ci. Elle souhaite trouver un équilibre entre, d´une part, la nécessité d´informer les citoyens et, d´autre part, la volonté d´encourager le développement des produits du secteur privé réalisés à partir des données publiques.
- Hard work ahead for online rulers
The fourth annual survey of e-government by consulting firm Accenture reveals the increasingly sophisticated use many national authorities are making of the net. The 22 governments monitored in the survey are all putting more services online and fine-tuning existing ones to meet the needs of citizens. The report ranks the 22 governments according to the extent and complexity of their web use. Those on the top rung allow citizens to go online and carry out complete transactions, such as calculate and pay tax bills, and are using the experience of putting services online to transform work methods in government departments. Only one country, Canada, is ranked as reaching this level of complexity, and, for the third year running, it is seen as having the most sophisticated e-government. The study recommends that governments abandon targets that measure success based on giving everything they do a website. Instead, they should do more to work out if what they are doing is actually useful. see also Press Release
- US - "Democracy in the Digital Age" Conference Report
by James Grimmelmann. A highly impressionistic, highly opinionated, and entirely unoffcial set of observations from one attendee of the Yale Information Society Project conference.
- US - e-government Act comes into effect
The E-Government Act of 2002 has come into effect, creating an Office of Information within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The e-government project is designed to use the Internet and computer systems to deliver information to agency workers and the general public more efficiently. However, funding could prove a challenge to the plan. The Bush administration requested $45 million for the project this year, but Congress trimmed that number to $5 million.
- US - Survey Finds Americans Split on 'E-Government'
A new survey on Americans' growing relationship with "e-government" - government services and information online - reflects their concerns about privacy and security. The report said that 49 percent of its general American population survey believe it is appropriate for the government to search its existing databases for information that could help it track down terrorists. But 42 percent disagreed, believing that "protecting privacy should be a top priority." The third annual survey on e-government was conducted by Hart/Teeter Research on behalf of the Council for Excellence in Government.
- US - White House Officials To Conduct Web Chats
Senior administration officials will begin a series of Web chats. These "online discussions," titled "Ask the White House," will allow visitors to the official Web site, www.whitehouse.gov, to quiz top Bush aides without the media serving as middleman. [Ed: European Commissioners have been doing this for some time, taking questions in all 11 official languages. The earliest in the archive took place on 18 June 1997, with European Parliament Vice-President Georgios Anastassopoulos and Commissioner Marcelino Oreja on the Amsterdam Treaty. Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy holds the record with 9 chats]
Issue no. 266 - 6 April 2003
Issue no. 265 - 29 March 2003
- EU - Council says access to documents on the rise
The Council has released figures according to which the request for access to meeting papers has doubled since the entry into force of the 'access to documents' Directive in 2001. 80 per cent of these demands have resulted in full disclosure.
- EU - e-Government and the European Union - Speech by Mr Liikanen
Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, The Internet and the City Conference "Local eGovernment in the Information Society", Barcelona, 21 March 2003
- FR - Guide pratique 'Téléprocédures et familles'
(Forum des droits sur l'internet)
Le Forum des droits sur l'internet a réalisé, en partenariat avec le secrétariat d'Etat à la réforme de l'Etat, le ministère délégué à la Famille, l'Union nationale des associations familiales et le Service d'information du Gouvernement, ce guide pratique relatif aux téléprocédures et à destination des familles et distribué dans les espaces publics numériques.
Issue no. 263 - 16 March 2003
- FR - Le Forum des droits sur l'internet lance DroitDuNet.fr
(Communiqué de presse)
Le Forum des droits sur l'internet annonce le lancement de www.DroitDuNet.fr. Ce site est conçu comme un service d'information et d'orientation à la disposition de tous et accessible gratuitement. Il a pour but d'apporter des réponses pratiques à l'ensemble des questions de nature juridique que peuvent se poser les internautes dans leur usage quotidien du réseau. Plus de 100 fiches pratiques, accessibles gratuitement, pour informer et orienter les internautes sur les questions de droit et d'usage de l'internet ; Un accès simple et personnalisé à l'information, pour répondre à toutes les questions des internautes Un service plébiscité par plus de 80% des internautes ; Protection de l'enfance (53%), sécurité des paiements en ligne (36%) et sécurité informatique (30%) arrivent en tête des préoccupations, selon un sondage Ipsos-SIG.
Issue no. 260 - 23 February 2003
- EU - Businesses reap rewards of e-government
Europe's citizens are still getting a raw deal when it comes to e-government - although businesses are now able to take advantage of anincreasingly sophisticated array of online services throughout the European Union (EU). Cap Gemini Ernst & Young released the latest results of its third survey on electronic Public Services in Europe, which is conducted on behalf of the European Commission (EC).
- EU - Council tells student that legal opinion on openness should stay secret
The European Ombudsman, Jacob Söderman, has called on the Council to give a researcher access to an opinion from its Legal Service. The opinion is on the legislative proposal from the Commission for rules on access to documents and was requested by a student for his post-graduate dissertation on public access to Council documents. In his special report to the European Parliament, the Ombudsman states "the refusal to give access is particularly surprising since it concerns an opinion about rules on access to documents". He asks the Parliament to support this call for the Council to reconsider the student's application.
Issue no. 259 - 9 February 2003
- FR - Développement de l’administration électronique
(Forum des droits sur l’internet)
Le Forum des droits sur l’internet a rendu public le 3 février sa recommandation relative au "développement de l’administration électronique". S’inscrivant dans un contexte de mobilisation politique forte en faveur de la e-administration, cette recommandation a pour objet d’accompagner les travaux que mène actuellement le secrétariat d'Etat à la réforme de l'Etat sur ce sujet en portant à sa réflexion un plan d'action pour le développement de l’administration sur l’internet. Il offre des solutions concrètes à destination des praticiens pour mettre en oeuvre l’administration électronique dans une perspective de service au citoyen.
- US - Court backs vote-swapping Web site
A U.S. appeals court ruled in favor of a Web site that enabled Gore and Nader voters to swap their votes in the 2000 presidential elections. A discussion forum, Votexchange2000.com, and others allowed citizens to swap Gore votes in states where Bush was likely to win anyway for the Green party candidate Nader. A Nader supporter in a state with a closer contest would then pledge to vote for Gore in return.
Issue no. 257 - 26 January 2003
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