Heather Brooke starts her talk by spinning a tale about inquisitive "children" who want to access the secret filing cabinets of the "parents" This may seem like a silly metaphor, but it is very poignant to the dynamic between the government and the people today.
Through her experience as an investigative journalist, Brooke has learned how important it is for people to have "a say in decisions that are made in their name, and with their money." This interest has sparked an "information enlightenment" which involves finding the truth based on evidence rather than "Because I said so's"
It is important for everyone to take advantage of new technologies to gain knowledge. One person alone is incapable of obtaining all of the information necessary to make good decisions about the complexities of our modern world. Brooke argues that the hierarchies found in our government systems simply cannot effectively use the information on their own.
To help fix this, there are many new data-bases being developed that take advantage of freedom of information laws to track down information about government spending and other actions. There are some things, however, that cannot be tracked so easily such as war. In these areas we still have to rely things like leaks.
These leaks allow us to see that those in power are just ordinary people like us. There is no special magic or anything about them, regardless of how perfect they wish to appear.
Like Brooke, I believe that the way to fix the corruption that our government can get away with using secrecy is to demand more rights in freedom of information. We as a public have a right to know about our governments dealings because they represent all of us as a whole. Their decisions become our decisions whether we like them or not. That is why we need to keep track of these dealings and hold those in power accountable for their actions. If they feel the need to spy on us, why can't we spy on them?