FOI Flooding: Using Freedom of Information platforms for political movement
Mass requests to public institutions
- 2016 December 8 11:00
- 15 min
- Pitch corner (Iéna)
Access to information
Learning about the following questions: - What is FOI Flooding? - When is it useful to mass request documents from institutions? - What are the risks in FOI mass campaigns? - How can FOI and Open Data movements be connected through campaigns?
What do you do if an authority would have to open up, but doesn't want to? You flood it with FOI requests. That's what the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany did with the German Parliament: When the highest German court decided that the parliament has to give out all thousands papers of its Research Section when individually requested via FOI, they used the FOI portal FragDenStaat.de to craft a campaign to ask for all reports. Out of a database of 5.000 titles, users could request individual research papers. After more than 3.000 users had requested papers, the Parliament was forced to change its position and decided to not give out each report individually, but to rather proactively publish all past and future reports. In a similar fashion, FragDenStaat users requested more than 800 documents from German Job Centres in mid-2016.
In our session, we want to explain, how we can use Freedom of Information and in particular Freedom of Information portals for campaigns and when FOI Flooding can be useful to force authorities to proactively publish their data.
Open Knowledge Foundation Germany (OKF)
Christopher Bohlens studied economcis and political science at the Leuphana University Luneburg in Germany. He works at the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany in the Project "FragDenStaat.de". He is also conntected as volunteer with Transparency International Germany and his topics are transparency at Higher Education Institutions and prevention of corruption in universities.