Leaked WhatsApp messages showed why Julie Bishop performed so poorly in the first round of voting to replace Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the Liberal party.
There is a strong case to be made that WhatsApp messages are subject to the Freedom of Information Act in the same way as email and others forms of text messages.
Would the ABC’s publication of confidential cabinet documents would be in breach of a proposed government bill?
It's increasingly difficult for investigative journalists to hold governments to account – partly due to anti-terror and security laws making it harder for whistleblowers to act.
Open to all?
The actions of the Coalition government speak louder than words in its commitment to open government.
Governments directly and indirectly control who is allowed to tell the refugees’ stories of how they are treated in offshore detention.
Successive Australian governments have dehumanised refugees and kept Australians in the dark about what really goes on in the offshore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.
How do government agencies make decisions?
Flowchart diagram via shutterstock.com
Data-driven algorithms drive decision-making in ways that touch our economic, social and civic lives. But they contain inherent biases and assumptions that are too often invisible to the public.
ariadna de raadt
Whether they charge for FoI searches or not, it's still too hard to access government information.
Politicians hate secrecy when in opposition but grow to love it when in power.
Malcolm Turnbull is known to use secretive messaging apps such as Wickr.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The use of private messaging apps that bypass government IT raise troubling issues for oversight and freedom of information.
Information commissioner John McMillan (pictured right with then minister Brendan O'Connor) has not been replaced since resigning in June, nor has the FOI commissioner who left in January.
In a year and a half the Abbott government managed, in practice, to undo the painstaking reforms of the federal Freedom of Information (FOI) system.
‘The people of the United Kingdom’ felt the tobacco industry’s record of addicting children and then killing one in two of those who don’t escape their clutches did matter.
Cancer Council Victoria is contesting British American Tobacco's request for survey data about teenagers' smoking habits. Here's the story of a UK research group who faced a similar request.
British American Tobacco says it wants the information to ascertain whether it substantiates government claims about the impact of plain tobacco packaging laws.
Restricting entities such as tobacco companies' use of FOI laws is not the best legal response if it helps public bodies generally become more secretive.
And another thing about badgers …
Defenders claim Prince Charles was just trying to educate himself. But shouldn't he know better?
Notions of the ‘right to know’ forced Hillary Clinton to defend her use of a private email account as secretary of state - a far cry from the days when citizens didn’t even know how their representatives voted.
The idea of the right to know as the 'lifeblood of democracy' is a surprisingly modern development. And in an age when transparency is prized, privacy and secrecy can still be justified in many cases.
£275,000 for your thoughts?
The British public have come to expect impartiality from the monarchy under Elizabeth II.
10 years on from UK FoI laws, the keyhole looks to be getting smaller.
In the UK, thanks to the freedom of information (FoI) laws, the right to know has become routine. Ten years old this month, freedom of information laws have enabled us to inspect a public document, obtain…
There is tension between the need for governments to be trusted to govern and the public’s right to know.
The disclosure of the full business case for the East West road link in Melbourne confirmed what many had suspected – the project is a dud. The release also unequivocally shows that the Victorian Freedom…
“Who do you trust?” has become a common mantra in Australian politics. Our political leaders should do much more to stop the answer being “no one”.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
A fundamental lack of trust is at the heart of Australian politicians’ extremely poor reputation. It is the main reason why people’s opinions about their elected representatives have mutated from healthy…
Frivolous? Waste of time? Or vital information for the public?
A Freedom of Information request lodged on a quiet news day by a journalist has revealed that more than 800 police officers in England and Wales have been investigated for breaching social media guidelines…
Jolly good. Now, about that small matter…
Paul Rogers/PA Wire
A matter concerning Prince Charles, letters written to government ministers and a bid by the Guardian to make them public has been playing out in British courts and the media for the past few years. It…
Make the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns known and we’ll all be better off.
Privacy – in our bedrooms, at work, on the street and on the internet – is important to everyone. But every week brings another story demonstrating the ongoing shredding of privacy that undermines those…