Last January, the UK's Freedom of Information Act 2000 went into effect, and public agencies are struggling to meet its requirements. The Society of Information Technology Management has posted a guide for local authorities, saying: "This legislation is a fundamental challenge to the current common premise within public bodies that everything is secret unless stated otherwise. The working premise will now be that everything is public unless specifically exempted."

Specific exemptions are detailed in the UK's Data Protection Act of 1998.

Wayne Hanson  | 

Wayne E. Hanson served as a writer and editor with e.Republic from 1989 to 2013, having worked for several business units including Government Technology magazine, the Center for Digital Government, Governing, and Digital Communities. Hanson was a juror from 1999 to 2004 with the Stockholm Challenge and Global Junior Challenge competitions in information technology and education.