Government, Twitter, Researcher discussed on Spark from CBC Radio
Access to information and privacy, freedom of information requests, tomato, tomato. If you're a researcher journalist or a curious citizen, you know what these expressions mean. Since nineteen eighty five Canadian government agencies have been required by law to provide information that citizens request through what we call access to information privacy or freedom of information requests. All you need is five dollars in the form of check and a request form with a detailed question, then you send it out to the appropriate government body and not. You've just made an access to information request. Agencies are then required to get back to you within thirty days stating that they've received your form, but the weight doesn't stop there. After submitting the request, you'll have to sit tight waiting to receive the information. And sometimes it comes with a hefty administrative fee and that's why a fairly new Twitter account that shares nothing but cryptic links to freedom of information requests is so popular. The point here is to have access to requests that others have already filed and received information about, but that the government has not publicly released its. An easy way to avoid doubling up on requesting information. The request posting, our records of already requested by other journalists or Reaser. So they've been gone FU. They're only been processed by the government of already been released. They just haven't been made public, and so it's a bit strating that that's not the case that the government's is simply not just posting these records online because there's no reason for them to do so because they've already been processed. So my makes it much easier for for journalists and research. Interesting in type of information to see plea gorge Twitter page, and then look up records might be interested in and then have access to them. That's best. Yeah, he's a Montreal journalist and developer, and he's the creator of the Twitter account at CDN ATI stands for Canadian access to information. There's no reason for the government not to be posting these requests. It would take minimal effort for them to just simply upload them. And so I do. Hope that my body would eventually become obsolete, that the government will just be simply doing this very basic thing. I see a very basic service just pose government records online without me having to build a kind of complicated to release that information to bubble public. But I sent about two hundred quests every two weeks. So I just had specified an agency and like does it. It goes the web page of the the government open candidates call what you can follow those requests. And it falls them automated writing my name, my address and then to exciter usually I get them for the mail, get you know about five records a day and do tend to pile up. And then once I have them a inserted them in my computer, and then I have a script rights out the tweets from me. And then I just simply post does tweets on my Twitter page, records different agencies. And so for instance, there was one that caught. My I was about issues with mold the headquarters of the Kenyan border, see and other. The another one I thought was interesting was about report from Afghanistan operation Vena about the decade. All basically detailing what happened about eighty seven. So the reach of records is pretty vast because I've asking records, I ask him for all those different agencies and because I'm asking records that have been asked by other people, they tend to be interesting because people who fall excess of information request usually journalists researcher. So they're looking for information. That's pretty interesting. Usually. Loam best is a journalist and developer based in Montreal. That's it for this around. The show was made by can't Josh Padam Killick ibn Abdel here and me nor young and by Ross.