National Freedom of Information Day
National freedom of information day is observed on 16th March to raise awareness that we have the right to be informed about the knowledge that the government holds.
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on March 16th:
Why National Freedom of Information Day?
Freedom of information is necessary to ensure that the common public is well aware of all the information that the government has. This can manifest itself in numerous ways. The pieces of information that the government can hold on to may include the decisions I make, the facts it discovers, and in worst cases, private information on people for surveillance purposes.
Freedom of information is a legal process through which an individual can extract the information he/she wants by requesting it. This information should be provided free of cost or with a minimal fee. There are exceptions to this, however. Ordinary people can not extract highly classified information for the sake of national security purposes. Right to information was the fruit of the labor of several people who dedicated their entire lives working for it.
James madison is the hero behind the United States Constitution and is regarded as the author of the United States bill of Rights. Freedom of information day celebrates the idea of free information, of given more power and transparency to people, and hence it makes everything more democratic. Every person has an equal role in the governance of the nation. Therefore everyone’s vote is important.
The same fact applies to freedom of information as well. Every citizen deserves to know each and every fact there is in regards to the government, for the more he knows, the better will be his chances to succeed and take important decisions, these include. What law to support. What fund to donate to and to vote for which candidate.
How Can We Observe National Freedom Of Information Day:
- Since national freedom of information day is all about giving more power to people and helping them stay informed, you can start by informing yourself about everything. This can include your rights, current political scenario in your area. What was the latest bill passed by the government, how does it affect you and your community. Gather yourself with all the information you can get so that you can form informed opinions about the government, and is it working for you or against you?
- Keeping all this information to yourself is selfish. You can share this information by having get-togethers and spreading what you know, and this will also benefit you as usually, discussions are two-sided, and you are bound to learn more facts from others as well.
- Spreading awareness through social media. It is no secret that social media has brought the age of information with itself; this empowers the masses with information and knowledge. But to ignore the effects of fake information spread through social media would not be smart. It is important to get your online information only from reputed and trusted sources. You can spread information with the #nationalfreedomofinformationday.
Interesting Facts On National Freedom Of Information Day:
- There are many countries that still don’t have any freedom to information law.
- There are still some kinds of information that cannot be accessed by the common man. These types of information come under classified information.
- If you want information on yourself, you’ll have to provide an ID. This certification is required to protect your privacy and ensure that private information about you is not disclosed to anyone else. Whenever you ask for information about yourself, you will be expected to provide with either a notarized statement or a statement signed under penalty of perjury, saying that you are who you say you are.
- Every federal agency handles its own records in answer to requests. There are 100 agencies subject to the FOIA, with many hundred offices that deal with FOIA requests.
- Freedom of information laws have brought several issues to light that would otherwise have been disregarded and never thought about
History Of National Freedom Of Information Day:
- There is no clear information on when this day has been celebrated from. However, the observance is on the same as James Madison’s birthday, the fourth President of the US who was born on March 16, 1751. He’s honored as the “Father of the Constitution” to draft and promote the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Thus this Day is widely known as sanctification to that very concept, with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which was passed on July 4th, 1966 and coming into effect a year from that date. The date is precisely chosen as to James Madison, the freedom of data and individual rights were a big thing. Thus this Day is a yearly reminder of the significance of transparency within the American government and, therefore, the public’s right to information.