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White House Rolls Out New Rules to Open Up Government Data

The White House on Thursday introduced new rules that seek to make government data more open and accessible to researchers and the public, through an executive order signed by President Obama and an open-data policy released by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. The president’s executive order says that the default state of government data must be open and machine readable, and that agencies must protect “privacy, confidentiality, and national security” when releasing information in such open formats.

In announcing the new rules, the White House also pledged to improve Data.gov, a central repository that houses government data, and to use open-source tools to make information more accessible. The White House’s move comes about three months after it announced a new policy seeking to improve access to federally financed research.

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