Here's a quote from the Obama Administration as found on the White House website regarding the issue of government transparency and openness:
"Transparency and Open Government
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public."
The memorandum, signed by President Barak Obama, was published in the Federal Register and expresses a wonderful sentiment.
Just in case that wan't enough for you, here is the President (among others) at the Open Government Partnership Event :
Unfortunately, reality transpired and this happened when the ACLU got curious about the use of warrantless government snooping on text messages sent by the sweaty, American voting masses:
This goes on for 15 pages so I didn't bother to bore you with screen captures of all fifteen identically and completely redacted pages.
As background, the ACLU observed that various FBI and U.S. Attorneys' Office documents suggested that the government is surveilling our emails and other electronic communications without the use of a warrant even though a federal appeals court ruling ruled that such actions were in violation of the Fourth Amendment which states the following:
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
When the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Justice about the issue, the heavily redacted document above was the response that they apparently received.
And that's what passes for America's new open government?