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[Draft] Freedom from Information

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Comfed
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Posts: 1634
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Psychotic Dictatorship

[Draft] Freedom from Information

Postby Comfed » Tue May 24, 2022 8:03 pm

The Issue:
After a reporter in your nation was recently told that @@HIS@@ request for government documents on the police response to large-scale protests surrounding the environmental impact of the @@CAPITAL@@ water treatment plant was told that they documents were classified and would take 500 years to be released, people have began to question the state of government transparency in @@NAME@@. While these sorts of things would generally be handled by the Department of Public Consultations, Red Tape, and Orthodontic Surgery, everyone seems to have disregarded this once again and crowded into your office.

(democratic nations only)

The Debate:
Option 1: "@@LEADER@@, this is patently ridiculous!" cries the journalist in question, @@RANDOMNAME@@, with @@HIS@@ pen in hand ready to scribble down your response. "Transparency is essential for maintaining @@DENONYMADJECTIVE@@ democracy, and this incident shows that it's seriously lacking around here. If a citizen requests government documents, the government should be required to hand them over - immediately. Otherwise, how else will we hold your government accountable?" @@HE@@ slinks off into the corner, muttering something about this all still being on the record.
Effect: other nations' spies rejoice upon discovering @@NAME@@'s "Ministry of Spilling the Beans"

Option 2: "Uh, hello, @@LEADER@@, ever heard of national security?" says your Intelligence Advisor @@RANDOMNAME@@, badge for "crustiest government official" firmly pinned to @@HIS@@ suit. "Military operations, nuclear threats, ugly hats, all of these things represent grave threats to everyone if made public. Frankly, the public can't be trusted with any government documents, and you should end these silly transparency efforts once and for all - loose lips sink ships after all, or whatever the kids say about national security issues nowadays. Oh, and for the record, we said 50 years, not 500." @@HE@@ places another report stamped TOP SECRET on your desk and slinks away into the shadows.
Effect: government spending is kept secret for "national security reasons"

Option 3: "Gee, @@LEADER@@, this 'freedom of information' seems awfully convenient for releasing... our version of the truth," mutters a mysterious cloaked stranger to your left. "In short, I think we should accept these requests, but respond with... special interpretations of the facts. 'Lies?' That's such a harsh word - and besides, nothing like a little false intelligence to disrupt our enemies, right?" The stranger suddenly disappears, but you notice that the top secret documents left by your Intelligence Officer have also mysteriously vanished.
Effect: it's hard to trust government of @@NAME@@'s new proclamation of the existence of the tooth fairy

The Issue:
After a reporter in your nation was recently told that @@HIS@@ request for government documents would take 170 years to process, people have began to question the state of government transparency in @@NAME@@. While these sorts of things would generally be handled by the Department of Public Consultations, Red Tape, and Orthodontic Surgery, everyone seems to have disregarded this once again and crowded into your office.

(democratic nations only)

The Debate:
Option 1: "@@LEADER@@, this is patently ridiculous!" cries journalist in question, @@RANDOMNAME@@, with @@HIS@@ pen in hand ready to scribble down your response. "Transparency is essential for maintaining @@DENONYMADJECTIVE@@ democracy, and this incident shows that it's seriously lacking around here. If a citizen requests government documents, the government should be required to hand them over - immediately. Otherwise, how else will we hold your government accountable?" @@HE@@ slinks off into the corner, muttering something about this all still being on the record.
Effect: other nations' spies rejoice upon discovering @@NAME@@'s "Ministry of Spilling the Beans"

Option 2: "Uh, hello, @@LEADER@@, ever heard of national security?" says your Intelligence Advisor @@RANDOMNAME@@, badge for "crustiest government official" firmly pinned to @@HIS@@ suit. "Military operations, nuclear threats, ugly hats, all of these things represent grave threats to everyone if made public. Frankly, the public can't be trusted with any government documents, and you should end these silly transparency efforts once and for all - loose lips sink ships after all, or whatever the kids say about national security issues nowadays." @@HE@@ places another report stamped TOP SECRET on your desk and slinks away into the shadows.
Effect: government spending is kept secret for "national security reasons"

Option 3: "Gee, @@LEADER@@, this 'freedom of information' seems awfully convenient for releasing... our version of the truth," mutters a mysterious cloaked stranger to your left. "In short, I think we should accept these requests, but respond with... special interpretations of the facts. 'Lies?' That's such a harsh word - and besides, nothing like a little false intelligence to disrupt our enemies, right?" The stranger suddenly disappears, but you notice that the top secret documents left by your Intelligence Officer have also mysteriously vanished.
Effect: it's hard to trust government of @@NAME@@'s new proclamation of the existence of the tooth fairy

The Issue:
After a reporter in your nation was recently told that @@HIS@@ request for government documents on the environmental impact of the @@CAPITAL@@ water treatment plant was told that it was classified and would take 500 years to be released, people have began to question the state of government transparency in @@NAME@@. While these sorts of things would generally be handled by the Department of Public Consultations, Red Tape, and Orthodontic Surgery, everyone seems to have disregarded this once again and crowded into your office.

(democratic nations only)

The Debate:
Option 1: "@@LEADER@@, this is patently ridiculous!" cries the journalist in question, @@RANDOMNAME@@, with @@HIS@@ pen in hand ready to scribble down your response. "Transparency is essential for maintaining @@DENONYMADJECTIVE@@ democracy, and this incident shows that it's seriously lacking around here. If a citizen requests government documents, the government should be required to hand them over - immediately. Otherwise, how else will we hold your government accountable?" @@HE@@ slinks off into the corner, muttering something about this all still being on the record.
Effect: other nations' spies rejoice upon discovering @@NAME@@'s "Ministry of Spilling the Beans"

Option 2: "Uh, hello, @@LEADER@@, ever heard of national security?" says your Intelligence Advisor @@RANDOMNAME@@, badge for "crustiest government official" firmly pinned to @@HIS@@ suit. "Military operations, nuclear threats, ugly hats, all of these things represent grave threats to everyone if made public. Frankly, the public can't be trusted with any government documents, and you should end these silly transparency efforts once and for all - loose lips sink ships after all, or whatever the kids say about national security issues nowadays. Oh, and for the record, we said 50 years, not 500." @@HE@@ places another report stamped TOP SECRET on your desk and slinks away into the shadows.
Effect: government spending is kept secret for "national security reasons"

Option 3: "Gee, @@LEADER@@, this 'freedom of information' seems awfully convenient for releasing... our version of the truth," mutters a mysterious cloaked stranger to your left. "In short, I think we should accept these requests, but respond with... special interpretations of the facts. 'Lies?' That's such a harsh word - and besides, nothing like a little false intelligence to disrupt our enemies, right?" The stranger suddenly disappears, but you notice that the top secret documents left by your Intelligence Officer have also mysteriously vanished.
Effect: it's hard to trust government of @@NAME@@'s new proclamation of the existence of the tooth fairy
Last edited by Comfed on Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Tinhampton
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Founded: Oct 05, 2016
Anarchy

Postby Tinhampton » Tue May 24, 2022 8:07 pm

There is no @@COMFED@@ macro.

How many documents did this reporter request? "Literally everything the government holds" would be much more fitting for a 170-year wait than "how much has X department spent on Y in limited-time period Z".

Why does this issue focus on whether FoI requests should exist or not, rather than what can be done to speed them up?

Why is the same government ministry that handles FoI requests also responsible for dentistry?
Last edited by Tinhampton on Tue May 24, 2022 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Trotterdam
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Posts: 9783
Founded: Jan 12, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Trotterdam » Wed May 25, 2022 3:14 am

There's a very big difference between the government refusing to share certain information because it's classified, and the government being extremely slow in sharing non-classified information due to being bogged down in bureaucratic inefficiency and incompetence. Which is this supposed to be about?

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Comfed
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Posts: 1634
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Comfed » Wed May 25, 2022 7:22 am

Tinhampton wrote:There is no @@COMFED@@ macro.

Whoops :oops:
Tinhampton wrote:Why is the same government ministry that handles FoI requests also responsible for dentistry?

It's supposed to be a joke, reflective of my extreme wit and comic genius, of course!

The rest of your and Trotterdam's feedback seems to hinge on the fact that the issue itself seems to be about bureaucratic delays but the options are about the merits of freedom of information in the first place. My intention was the latter when I wrote this, so I've updated the issue to reflect that.
TNP NPO
WA (Co-)Authorship: SC#390

10000 Islands Foreign Affairs wrote:~The population of 10000 Islands suffered a huge increase

Ankuran wrote:"Here's Form T-34 for issuing a bribe. Enter the recipient's name here, check reason for bribe here, enter amount here. Now we'll just swipe your card here. Would you like to join our Frequent Briber's Club? Get five percent cash back on your first bribe."

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, everybody dies.
Nation reflects RL beliefs, especially bad ones. All stats are canon.

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Elvatoes
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Posts: 68
Founded: Jul 13, 2021
New York Times Democracy

Postby Elvatoes » Wed May 25, 2022 7:27 am

cool issue, 8/10
kartakis go brach

"hey there little boys and girls (phuk u), today we're gonna learn how to poison squirrels" - Eminem

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Trotterdam
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 9783
Founded: Jan 12, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Trotterdam » Wed May 25, 2022 7:36 am

Comfed wrote:"Military operations, nuclear threats, ugly hats, all of these things represent grave threats to everyone if made public."
I note that "environmental impact of water treatment plants" is not on your list, Mr. Intelligence Advisor.

I think most people would agree that some things warrant being classified and some don't, so if there's a gray area under debate, people should be presenting arguments for and against that specific gray area being classified.

User avatar
Comfed
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1634
Founded: Apr 09, 2020
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Comfed » Wed Jun 01, 2022 3:52 pm

I have updated the classified documents to be about something a little more sensitive.
TNP NPO
WA (Co-)Authorship: SC#390

10000 Islands Foreign Affairs wrote:~The population of 10000 Islands suffered a huge increase

Ankuran wrote:"Here's Form T-34 for issuing a bribe. Enter the recipient's name here, check reason for bribe here, enter amount here. Now we'll just swipe your card here. Would you like to join our Frequent Briber's Club? Get five percent cash back on your first bribe."

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” - Douglas Adams
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, everybody dies.
Nation reflects RL beliefs, especially bad ones. All stats are canon.

User avatar
Trotterdam
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 9783
Founded: Jan 12, 2012
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Trotterdam » Wed Jun 01, 2022 4:08 pm

Comfed wrote:I have updated the classified documents to be about something a little more sensitive.
You apparently changed it from "the environmental impact of the @@CAPITAL@@ water treatment plant" to "the police response to large-scale protests surrounding the environmental impact of the @@CAPITAL@@ water treatment plant", which really accomplishes nothing except making a long run-on sentence that's harder to read.

It still doesn't justify why "police response to protests" is placed on the same level as "nuclear threats". You cannot justify why something needs to be kept classified by having the speaker rant about entirely different classified subjects. The speaker's attitude needs to change.

And ideally, the subject should be one where there can be plausible reasons for keeping it secret other than "yes, we really did misbehave, and we're hoping to prevent people from finding out".


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