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January 11, 2012
Around the time he took office as the nation's 28th president in 1913, Woodrow Wilson wrote that "government ought to be all outside and no inside."
That simple binary made sense 99 years ago. At the time, the results of government studies, executive orders and meeting notes were either available to the public or they weren't. The so-called outside, where government information met the public, was limited to a few key places such as the Government Printing Office and the National Archives.
With the birth of the Internet, the "outside" became effectively limitless, which has resulted in a new set of challenges. While the government is publishing more information than ever through about 18,000 websites, it's become increasingly difficult for agency information to reach the public.