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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2008

University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

Science and Technology Law

Open source

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Open Code Governance, Danielle Keats Citron Jan 2008

Open Code Governance, Danielle Keats Citron

Faculty Scholarship

Automated information systems offer an opportunity to improve the democratic legitimacy of the administrative state. Today, agencies transfer crucial responsibilities to computer systems. Computers gather and interpret important information. For instance, electronic machines record and calculate votes. Automated systems execute policy and render decisions about important individual rights, such as a person’s eligibility for public benefits. Computer systems store sensitive personal information. These systems’ closed architecture, however, shields vital agency decisions from view. No one can see how a system operates without a software program’s source code. Closed code hides programming errors that disenfranchise voters, under-count communities for ...