Total Information Awareness ju-jitsu

In a neat reversal of the government’s proposed Total Information Awareness scheme, MIT’s Media Lab has launched Open Government Information Awareness. As the FAQ notes:

The premise of GIA is that individual citizens have the right to know details about government, while government has the power to know details about citizens. Our goal is develop a technology which empowers citizens to form a sort of intelligence agency; gathering, sorting, and acting on information they gather about the government. Only by employing such technologies can we hope to have a government “by the people, and for the people.”

Anyone can submit information, and the system is designed to allow citizens to drill down into their specific areas of interest about government and see everything that’s going on about that particular level of government. Or at least it appears to be designed that way; the server has fallen over under heavy load right now. I look forward to seeing how it shapes up.