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Governmental Secrecy: Shield for Tyranny, Incompetence, and Corruption

http://www1.cs.columbia.edu

Governmental Secrecy: Shield for Tyranny, Incompetence, and Corruption

An essential pillar of democracy is openness. There is no way that people can meaningfully participate in government, even if only by voting for representatives, if they do not have access to accurate information related to government operations. This was well understood by the founders of the US and embedded in the Bill of Rights. Conversely, a salient characteristic of undemocratic systems of all types, such as Czarist Russia, the Soviet Union, and Nazi Germany is a high degree of governmental secrecy.

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