Tech firms, advocates call for action on new open data bill

Nearly 50 businesses, industry groups, civil society organizations and transparency advocates are calling on oversight committees in the House and Senate to advance a bill ensuring government data is open to the public by default.

Businesses like Amazon Web Services, EMC and Splunk, along with organizations like the Center for Data Innovation, Consumer Technology Association and New America's Open Technology Institute signed a letter Friday, calling on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to act on the The Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary (OPEN) Government Data Act.

Introduced as HR 5051 by Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Blake Farenthold, R-Texas on the House side; and as S. 2582 Sens. Brian Schatz, D-HI, and Ben Sasse, R-Neb. on the Senate side, the bill would provide a legislative mandate for a number of open data initiatives already underway in the federal government under executive order. Continue…