Information Wants To Be Free
The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.
If the President is in favor of freeing more information, it must be a good thing, right?
Information Is Power
However, information is power in many contexts. He (or she) who has the data has the ability to make more informed decisions and outmaneuver adversaries. In business, war, politics, and law this is an advantage that is not taken lightly. The famed strategist Sun Tzu knew this all too well:
Now the general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple ere the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat.
Who’s going to argue with Sun Tzu?
Would You Rather Share or Guard Your Information?
Would you rather guard your information or set it free? Does it depend on the circumstances? If you are involved in Search Engine Optimization, how did you learn the art and science behind it? Was it through the generosity of others, or did you re-invent the wheel and learn everything yourself?