Opinion Piece 

Access to information. Right and the arbitrary deprivation of the right to know.

Claims of the right to freedom of information are usually based on the idea that people are entitled to have access to information in the possession of the state that has an impact on them. This includes information that is specifically about the requester and, more generally, the information the state uses to make decisions affecting the requester and, more generally, the information the state uses to make decisions affecting the requester. Freedom of information is closely related to freedom of expression and the right to privacy. The second level on which freedom of information operates is political. In an authoritarian society. Power is exercised arbitrary, without reason or explanation.in an open and democratic society, by contrast, government should be accountable for its action and decisions, which should be informed by rational considerations that that are explicable to those to those affected by them: democracy is governed by explanation. Accountable government is impossible if the government has a monopoly over the information that informs its actions and decisions, When government refuses to speak its mind candidly or intelligibly or at all, freedom of information is the interest that citizens have in being able to find out what their government is up to.it is the claim that they should that they should have access to its records, to its meetings.to the occasions where policy is formulated and where decisions are taken about the use of public power. Public access to information is fundamental to encouraging transparency and accountability in the way government and public authorities operate.it is also an important weapon in the fight against corruption.at both levels, freedom of information combats governmental arbitrations and contributes to the ideal of an open and democratic society, in which power is exercised rationally and with due deliberation. IAIN CURRIE.EMERGING DEMOCRACIES AND FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS (1994)

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