National Security and Open Government

Georgetown Public Policy Review, Vol. 9.2, pp. 69-85, Spring 2004

18 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2009

See all articles by Alasdair S. Roberts

Alasdair S. Roberts

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy

Date Written: July 1, 2004

Abstract

There are circumstances in which governments can legitimately restrict openness in the name of national security. However, we can identify three common problems that arise when governments invoke national security concerns to restrict transparency. The first is the tendency to regard national security as an absolute trump over the right to information. The second is the failure to recognize how often security can actually be improved through openness. The third is the tendency to undercut transparency during states of emergency, at precisely the moment when it serves its most important role as a safeguard of basic rights.

Keywords: transparency, right to information, freedom of information, openness, national security

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Alasdair S., National Security and Open Government (July 1, 2004). Georgetown Public Policy Review, Vol. 9.2, pp. 69-85, Spring 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1438084

Alasdair S. Roberts (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts Amherst - School of Public Policy ( email )

Thompson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
United States
6175999029 (Phone)

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