Civic Tech and the Sad Story of Freedom of Information in Hungary


«Átlátszó,» the word means «transparent» in Hungarian, and it is the name of Hungary's first independent investigative journalism website. A watchdog non-government organisation (NGO) which has experimented with introducing Civic Tech solutions in order to facilitate the work of its team, and also to provide citizens with empowering tools. Since was launched in 2011, the Freedom of Information Act has received a lot of attention, and the legal way for questioning public bodies about spending, a «Freedom of Information request» has become the tool for many to reveal information about corruption. Marietta Le will showcase the use of the free software system Alaveteli, and the use of the Freedom of Information Act in Hungary. The law has been changed since 2011, and the latest news is about a threat that would make access to information much harder for Hungarian citizens. Meanwhile, and many others are trying to implement new Civic Tech solutions in Hungary to help people exercise their democratic rights. Marietta Le is an FOI advocate at Hungarian investigative journalism website. She also works with the K-Monitor anti-corruption NGO as a project coordinator to «Be Smart with Data», a program that facilitates NGOs in producing web apps and visualisations using open data. In 2015 the Hungarian Forbes magazine has featured her on their «30 under 30» list for starting «», a street fixing website in Hungary.

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