Obama Policy Watch

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Overview page.

Only concerns the 'open and free', participatory, and commons oriented aspects of the Obama administration policies, as well as tech policy as it related to peer to peer infrastructures.

See also the tag: http://del.icio.us/mbauwens/Obama-watch

April 2009 update via http://washingtonpolicyblog.typepad.com/washington_policy_center_/2009/03/update-on-obamas-open-government-directive.html



From the Open Knowledge Foundation:

"With the inauguration of US President-Elect Barack Obama - we thought we'd prepare a brief list of things he can do to promote openness in his new role.

 1. Open Government Data.
 2. Open Access to publicly funded research.
 3. Publish public information in way which makes it easy to re-use.
 4. Legal and licensing clarity.
 5. Make material open by default.

Further details are available on the blog, i.e. What Obama can do to promote openness: http://blog.okfn.org/2009/01/20/what-obama-can-do-to-promote-openness/ "


Jennifer Bell:

"Well before he was a presidential nominee, Obama was defining strategies for using the Internet to improve government openness and accountability. In 2006, Obama, along with senators Tom Coburn, Tom Carper and John McCain filed the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act which mandated the creation of a searchable website of all government spending by January 1, 2008. After his initial refusal, citing that the website would be too costly to build, President Bush signed the bill on September 26, 2006. The website, fedspending.org, was released ahead of schedule in December, 2007. Not only does the website provide an easily navigable interface, it provides an application programming interface (API) for external developers to access that information and build tools of their own. According to the US watchdog group OMBWatch (http://www.ombwatch.org/), 11 states have since created similar state-spending websites and 24 other states are working towards that goal.

Building on these themes of openness and accountability, Obama included the following in his Technology Platform under the heading Create a Transparent and Connected Democracy: "Obama will integrate citizens into the actual business of government by:

  • Making government data available online in universally accessible formats to allow citizens to make use of that data to comment, derive value, and take action in their own communities. Greater access to environmental data, for example, will help citizens learn about pollution in their communities, provide information about local conditions back to government and empower people to protect themselves.
  • Establishing pilot programs to open up government decision-making and involve the public in the work of agencies, not simply by soliciting opinions, but by tapping into the vast and distributed expertise of the American citizenry to help government make more informed decisions."

Making government data available online in accessible formats is a powerful idea. For this transformation to take place, however, governments have to be willing to accept feedback and analysis based on the information generated. Thus, the second point of a willingness to "tap into the vast and distributed expertise of citizenry" becomes vitally important." (http://www.osbr.ca/ojs/index.php/osbr/article/view/829/802)


  1. Dean Baker on Open Source Software Development Funding


  1. Obama Administration Memorandum on Open and Transparent Government
  2. Obama Administration Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act‎


How E-Government is Changing Society and Strengthen Democracy: 47 page collection of shorter articles by the U.S. General Services Administration [1]



URL = http://www.politifact.com

"The website PolitiFact has compiled as many as possible of the promises that Barack Obama made during his campaign (There are 510 of them!) and has created an ‘Obameter’ to track their progress. Obama’s numerous promises are categorized under Promise Kept, Promise Broken, Compromise, In the Works, Stalled, or No Action."


  1. The Obama Technology, Innovation and Government Transition Team

On the use of social media in the electoral campaign:

  1. Barak Obama on the Use of Social Media in his Electoral Campaign
  2. Clay Shirky on Social Networks and the Obama (331 bytes)
  3. Paul Selker on the Obama Works Experience
  4. Jascha Franklin-Hodge on How Obama Really Did It
  5. Joe Trippi on Obama as Internet President