Friday, October 27, 2006

Spinning into danger

The executive editor of Computer Weekly was a runner-up in last week's Paul Foot awards for what judges called "relentless investigation" into the £12.4bn NHS IT programme in the face of "consistent obstruction and obfuscation from the Government".

Collins told Press Gazette "We're seeing Government spinning more, Government departments using the FoI (Freedom of Information) Act not to answer my questions. They're referring me to the FoI Act to get them answered, but we're still waiting for a judgement for the request we put in in 2005, 18 months later. It's very useful for a press department to refer the journalist to the FoI Act because the chances are there won't be a decision on it for 18 months."

The danger the governement faces is that keeping the lid on stuff will end in tears. There is no doubt it will happen. The social media gene is out of the bottle instyle this time. last time (Usenet) it was more difficult to do, The Internet was not generally available and, above all, it was slow. No more.

Transparency has bigger advantages and is now really optional. In a week, month, year, Internet Porosity will let the cat out of the bag. It will then spread like this, morph (Internet Agency) and will become uncontrolable.