Trust, Transparency and the Gov 2.0 Triage

Republished from

Lately there has been lots of news about a breakdown in trust of those in Government. Bell, California is just the latest obnoxious example of gross malpractice and criminal activity in a Government. Trust is something we have always tried to demand from those running our Governments. It does not always work out that way though. One would think that with social media we would have become more aware. One would think that with “OpenGov” initiatives sprouting up like weeds the days of Government officials doing things in secret would be over. Don’t go to Vegas and bet on that.

    If anything, there is a dark side to Gov 2.0 – that it may conveniently offer up yet another bureaucratic layer if not implemented carefully.

I have been working on a political campaign this cycle. It’s blog was hacked recently, and attempts were made to hack the website too. In this case the hacker is known to the campaign, and is being dealt with appropriately. But it brought another side of the trust prism to light: through social media we let total strangers “into” our lives, both digitally and sometimes literally. Little things that seem innocuous suddenly loom huge. Strangers get to peek in, you get to in return. To what end? How does this flow to the people’s oversight of the Government?

Recently I wrote about the need for the “G” chip – my name for it. My point, and I am going to quote from what I wrote:

” * How do you know when you go from a commercial site to a government site? This will become a more complicated issue as governments start rolling out new sites with commercial elements on them.

* How do you know if the government site you are on is using persistent tracking cookies or other web information services to not only identify you but deliver appropriate services?

* How do you know if the government site you are on has partnerships with another company; say, Google? Whose terms of service are you under?

My anti-virus program uses red and green lights to indicate safety of my system and safety of websites I may be visiting. Perhaps we need a “G” chip dashboard with a similar layout. One that lets you know you are crossing into government owned e-space, and one that alerts you to different persistent tracking techniques, and one that alerts you to multiple Terms of Services on one site.”

This would go a long way towards addressing the the open wounds that failures in trust and transparency have created. A “Triage” if you will from Gov 2.0 and even You 2.0. But there is more to it than just knowing where you are and how you got there. Part of what the Gov 2.0 Revolution is inspiring beyond new companies and and ideas into a new way of Governing too.

Gov 2.0 will be meaningful in a very deep way when it transcends from a nifty way to do something to an embedded and permanent transparency window into how our Government officials serve us, the people.


One thought on “Trust, Transparency and the Gov 2.0 Triage

  1. Pingback: Trust, Transparency and the Gov 2.0 Triage (via Gov 2.0 and Gov 3.0 Thoughts) « IdeaGov

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