Craigslist creator tries to bring transparency initiative out of the shadows

Friday - 7/30/2010, 1:00pm EDT

The Obama administration's open government initiative is discussed regularly in some circles inside the Beltway, but travel just a few miles west and it's rarely, if ever, a topic of conversation, NextGov.com reports.

That's unfortunate, says Craig Newmark, creator of the online classifieds site Craigslist.org and a champion of transparency. That was his message earlier this month at the Aspen Institute's Ideas Festival, where experts in politics, science, arts, religion, economics and other fields came to discuss big trends.

On a panel with federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra addressing transparency, the Craigslist founder lamented that the White House's open government initiative hasn't received much attention. This is a strange outcome given the fact that "a lot of things are being made to work in Washington" because the Obama administration has pushed making more public data accessible, Newmark said.

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