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Issue No. 02 - Mar.-Apr. (2014 vol. 18)
ISSN: 1089-7801
pp: 79-83
Kieron O'Hara , University of Southampton
The great sociologist Max Weber conceived government as a sort of giant information processor. Yet despite great strides and many successes in e-government and the application of IT to government, semantically enabled public administration has still not established itself. This column argues that there is still room for optimism, because open data and semantic technologies could revolutionize not just governments' information processing practices, but the purpose and scope of government itself. We have to come to terms with not only the machinery of administration, but also the wider question of the relationship between citizens and Leviathan. This is obviously not merely a technical question. Liberation is a theme in modern politics, from the Prague Spring to the Arab Spring. We are seeing the emergence of an Information Spring, which could set data and information free to serve the people -- if we understand its implications in the right way.
Montesquieu, open data, e-government, semantic government, linked data, freedom of information, pragmatics, digital era governance, general will, Rousseau, separation of powers

K. O'Hara, "The Information Spring," in IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 79-83, 2014.
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