Democracy 2.0

This is your money. You have a right to know where it’s going and how it’s being spent. Learn what steps we’re taking to conduct oversight of funds distributed under this law in order to prevent fraud, waste and abuse.

So reads the mission statement (under “Accountability and Transparency”) of the U.S. government’s online economic stimulus tracker,

NPR recently ran a two-part series featuring this new website as part of their review of what is sometimes called Government 2.0. 


The first segment includes interviews with Macon Phillips, White House director of new media, along with Andrew Rasiej, founder of the Personal Democracy Forum, and discusses the impetus for the first incarnation of, along with expectations for the future of truly transparent dispersal of information.

The second segment focuses on so-called government watchdogs, and the work of the Sunlight Foundation specifically. 

The Foundation’s recent project, Apps for America, was a contest for best new Web application and raised the profile of such interesting new websites as Filibusted, Legistalker, and Know Thy Congressman.

It’s fascinating to click through and appreciate the depth of information available to the average citizen on these sites, and others, with a little inspiration from web-savvy and politically aware developers.

Rasiej’s got it right when he says that there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle.  Knowledge is power and a politically awake generation is thankfully going to ensure that it has as much possible of both in this democracy.

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~ by acm213 on April 26, 2009.

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