Open Data coming to the Icelandic Constitution
DataMarket – and me personally – have been vocal advocates of Open Data here in Iceland. Therefore we feel proud – and partially responsible – that some of the core values of Open Data are now a part to a draft of a new constitution for Iceland. This draft was handed to Althingi (our parliament) by the Constitutional Council yesterday.
Here’s the chapter on Information Rights as it stands in the draft (the rough translation is taken from this Etherpad translation and is largely mine):
7. Information Rights
Everyone is free to gather and disseminate information.
Public administration shall be transparent and maintain data and documents such as meeting minutes, and register and record all inquiries, their the origin, process and the final result. Such documents may not be deleted unless required by law.
Publicly kept information and documents shall be available without delay and public access to any documents created, gathered or funded by the public sector shall be ensured by law. A list of all cases and documents held by the public sector, their origin and content, shall be accessible to all.
The gathering, dissemination, delivery and storage of data and documents may only be limited by law for democratic reasons such as privacy, national security and the defined tasks of surveillance institutions. Access to work documents may be limited by law, but only to the extent that ensures natural working conditions for the government.
For any documents which are lawfully bound by secrecy, an explanation of the reasons for the secrecy classification and a limit to the time of that classification shall be published.
P.S. You can read more about the process used to draft the new constitution in this article in The Guardian: Mob rule: Iceland crowdsources its next constitution.