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The 10 Least Corrupt Nations

Denmark, Finland, Sweden top the list

(Newser) - Scandinavian countries apparently know how to steer clear of corruption. Anti-corruption body Transparency International is out with its annual list of the least corrupt countries in the world, based on expert opinions, and Denmark, Norway, and Sweden all find a spot in the top 10. Denmark tops the list with... More »

Law Would Shield Cop IDs for 60 Days After Shooting

Critics of Arizona bill are calling it an attack on transparency

(Newser) - Darren Wilson went into hiding after shooting Michael Brown, and when a Phoenix cop killed an unarmed black man in December, police were afraid protesters would mob his home, NBC News reports. The latter never happened, but Arizona Rep. Steven Smith is sponsoring Senate Bill 1445, which would keep... More »

Jeb Bush Posts SS Numbers of 12K Floridians

Former governor made up to 330K emails public in the name of 'transparency'

(Newser) - It hasn't been a good week for the man who calls himself the "eGovernor." First former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush accepted the resignation of PAC CTO Ethan Czahor after a series of offensive tweets by Czahor were uncovered. Now he's under fire for revealing personal info—... More »

Hey, Sen. Udall: Here's Your Chance to Reveal CIA Secrets

Transparency advocate should take advantage of midterm loss: Conor Friedersdorf

(Newser) - Sen. Mark Udall has been one of the Hill's strongest voices against CIA and NSA secrecy, and now, he's got a chance to expose some of those secrets. A clause in the Constitution largely protects lawmakers from prosecution over their comments on the House or Senate floor, the... More »

Analysis: Obama's Transparency Push a Flop

Feds cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times

(Newser) - The Obama administration pledged to boost transparency in the White House from the get-go, but it hasn't exactly been a promise kept. In virtually every category, the government's efforts to be more open about its activities in 2013 were their worst since Barack Obama first took office, the... More »

Why You Should Be Outraged That Area 51 Is Real

Government is now controlling what's real, and we're OK with that: Joseph Lapin

(Newser) - Last month, the CIA acknowledged it : Area 51 is real, and it was used to test spy planes. But the news seems largely to have washed over Americans without any pushback, and that's a shame, writes Joseph Lapin at Salon . Not only did the government keep another secret from... More »

Politicians Privately Yearn for Smoke-Filled Backroom

Gov. Hickenlooper says transparency causes gridlock

(Newser) - How to unblock the least productive Congress in US history? Here's a counterintuitive notion: Reinstate pork-barrel spending and the smoke-filled backroom, where lawmakers can make legislative deals in private, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper tells Time . Surprisingly, other politicians agree—some off the record—that modern attempts at transparency and... More »

Facebook, Microsoft Unveil Thousands of User Data Requests

Just "a tiny fraction of 1% of our user accounts" targeted: social network

(Newser) - In the second half of last year, Facebook got between 9,000 and 10,000 requests from local, state, and federal officials for user data on 18,000 to 19,000 accounts, the company says. It complied with 79% of the requests, it says. Under fire, Facebook released the data... More »

New York: Sorry, Our Video Parodying Secrecy Is Secret

Andrew Cuomo denies Freedom of Information Act request

(Newser) - Isn't government secrecy funny? Andrew Cuomo thought so, so the New York governor—who campaigned on a promise of transparency—shot a video with his aides last year poking fun at the reputation for secrecy he's earned since. It was played during the Albany press corps' gala last... More »

Greenwald: I'm Not the One You Should Investigate

People who reveal government's secrets are heroes, he argues

(Newser) - Glenn Greenwald isn't worried about the prospect of a Justice Department investigation —and he thinks it's vile that the Obama administration is going after the people behind the NSA leaks in the first place. "The people who do this are heroes," he writes at the... More »

Obama Cabinet's Transparency Grade: F

Bloomberg: 19 of 20 departments don't comply with 'FOIA' rules

(Newser) - While the Obama administration assails Mitt Romney for keeping his tax returns quiet, it seems the White House has some transparency flaws of its own. Entering office, President Obama called for "a new era of open government." Bloomberg put this to the test by requesting documents from agencies... More »

Read the Tweets That Politicians Deleted

Politwoops keeps a stash of those hasty deletions

(Newser) - Note to tweeting politicians: Watch what you post, because Politwoops will remember it forever. The transparency-minded website is safeguarding politicians' deleted tweets, enabling the rest of us to giggle or ponder over them at our leisure, The Atlantic reports. The site's current 6-month stash includes a few doozey deletions,... More »

Fed Rule Writing Shrouded in Secrecy

Public meetings are rare, and dissent isn't disclosed

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve has been busily rewriting the rules of the financial system for years now, and it's been doing almost all of it behind closed doors. The Fed has held 47 votes on new regulations since Dodd-Frank was passed in July 2010, and only two of those were... More »

Gingrich: Sure, Release My Freddie Mac Records

Says it's up to his former firm

(Newser) - Mitt Romney is demanding that Newt Gingrich release records from his time at Freddie Mac—and Gingrich says that's no problem ... alas, it's out of his hands. He tells ABC News that it would be "very helpful" for his former firm to release his contract with Freddie... More »

Keep These Debt Talks Behind Closed Doors

Transparency would reward special-interest groups: Joshua Green

(Newser) - The "super committee" that will try to find $1.5 trillion in agreed-upon cuts is nearly in place , and there's a growing sentiment that their negotiations should be open to the public. "That's an absolutely terrible idea," writes Joshua Green at the Atlantic . Only special-interest... More »

Britain Hacks Queen's Budget

Bill also increases public audits to royal family's expenses

(Newser) - God might save the queen, but not from budget cuts and the government peeking at her checkbook, reports the Telegraph. The belt-tightening and increased transparency will ensure "value for money" for the royal institution, proponents say; others contend the changes will attack the dignity of monarchy. Under the Sovereign... More »

In Florida, Urgent Care Clinics Must Now Post Prices

But prices listed will only apply to cash customers

(Newser) - When you set out to purchase almost any good or service, you can expect to get a price upfront—but not at medical facilities. That's what Florida state Rep. Richard Corcoran discovered last year when his wife needed an MRI, and found out it could cost anywhere from $350... More »

Obama Looks to Crack Down on Secret Donations

Administration actions would replace law Congress fails to pass

(Newser) - The Obama administration has drafted an executive order that would force all companies seeking government contracts to disclose their donations to groups airing political ads, as part of a multi-pronged attack on the kind of anonymous campaign spending Republicans walloped Democrats with last year. The FEC is also moving to... More »

Facebook to Reveal One of Its Secrets

Social network will unveil details of its new server design

(Newser) - Facebook is ready to share one of its secrets: The company will unveil the details of its server design—something most big tech firms keep under wraps—in an effort to improve server technology and efficiency throughout the industry. The firm will publish the technical details of the building design,... More »

Obama 2012: From 'Yes We Can' to 'Whatever'

Maybe it has something to do with his failure to deliver on campaign promises?

(Newser) - President Obama is officially running for reelection , but somehow his campaign slogan has gone from "Yes We Can" to "You Know, Whatever," Jon Stewart complained last night on the Daily Show . Obama's first campaign video features supporters with a disturbing lack of enthusiasm, saying (and Stewart is,... More »

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