Sweden’s Transparent Government

there’s one country where official openness is not just a hypothetical way of governing. Sweden operates closer to an “Assangian” state of absolute transparency than any country in the world, and has long debated whether the policy has the potential to backfire. Swedish sunshine laws are the most far-reaching ever created. Almost every government document — including all mail to and from government offices — is available to the public, save for a small number relating to international relations or national security. At the same time, the country goes to great lengths to ensure whistleblowers are protected: should a secret be leaked to the media, for instance, government officials are legally prohibited from investigated the source of the material. …

Teresa Kuchler, who covers the European Union for the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, says that the Swedish delegation to the E.U. is known as “The Starbucks of Brussels” because they are so quick to provide documents to journalists, even those that other member states either classify or redact so heavily as to render them useless. But at the same time, Kuchler says, “If you cover [the Swedish press briefings] long enough you get the feeling that some of the real business is done in the corridors after the meeting where nothing is recorded.”

What if the WikiLeaks Dream of an Open Society Became Reality? – TIME

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