FOI activists are being inspired by the UK mySociety site that allows you to publicly request information http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/. According to their blog the site is now responsible for an impressive 14.6 % of all requests to departments of state in the UK and appears to have upset Michael Gove.
A number of group have clubbed together to develop a German equivalent called ‘Ask the State’. It will be interesting to see how this develops given the ‘slow start’ to German FOI compared to the UK. One interesting feature is a device to help ensure journalistic scoops are kept private:
‘A special feature of the web portal designed for NGOs and journalists is that requests will not be made public immediately while a story is being pursued in order to ensure exclusivity’
Just to prevent any EU officials or politicians a smile of schadenfreude, it’s their turn next as ‘Access Info Europe is working with mySociety on development of a European Union level web portal, “Ask the EU”, to be launched on 28 September 2011, International Right to Know Day’. This would join already existing sites and initiatives such as the ‘wobbing’ site that encourages the use of Access to Information legislation across the EU.