Right to Information: The Standard & Practice.
According to Oxford Student’s dictionary of English, the information is “knowledge or facts”. So, we can say that, anything that contains knowledge or facts is known as information. When someone discloses the information to the other person s/he expects that this person can keep the information secret because that disclose the information to him/her with full confidence, when that person leak out the information that is the act of traitor. That is the general scenario of information in person. On the other hand, when it comes to the organizations whether it is a public or private all the information is fallen under the information act.
All the information is fallen under the information act because the people got to know whether everything goes fine in out there or not. People pay their money to salary to the government officials they got the right to know if there is anything wrong. As we know that all power of the Republic belongs to the people. The Information Act 2009 is passed which ensures the free flow of information and people’s right to information. The right to information ensures the accountability and transparency to all public.
When the other things happen, in other words when governments does not disclose the necessary information to the public then many law breaker are born just to get the information. In that case, we can say the name recently popular websites Wikileaks, which discloses the classified but important information regarding the Iraq War. Julian Acshunz, the founder of this website is considered, the most wanted person in American history. He ran away from America and currently stays at Switzerland. He is not disclosing the information related to America. He said that, he would publish the secret documents between China and Russia, he also said he also publish the secret documents of Lebanon. Julian Acshunz known as the ‘James Bond of journalism’ because he discloses so many confidential information of America about Iraq and Afghan war, may be he would discloses the same amount or more information about Israel, Russia, China, Lebanon.
The creator of Julian Acshunz is America itself. The country does not disclose the information fully, that’s why person like Julian Acshunz came forward, risk everything for greater good, consider as criminals, and ran away from his own country because government officials chasing him like Bloodhound. If the country does not hide so much information it would not happen after all. Every should provide the information clearly, there is no room for lie and secrets and then people would rely the information providing by government.
Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declarations of Human Rights states that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” According to the Information Act-09 Bangladesh, Section-04 states that, “Every citizen has a right to information from the Authority and the Authority shall on demand from a citizen be bound to provide information.”
So, revising those laws w can say that gathering information is basic human rights in world. Even United Nations Universal Declarations of Human Rights focused with the person’s right to information. America’s information Act which is generally known as the ‘The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)’ which is enacted in 1966 sates that, any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information and federal agencies are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for the nine exemptions which are states in the law. Every year, many companies go bankrupt or face financial difficulty due to secret information. Due to keep the information secret which is unethical due to the current law enacted in U.S. Especially if the information related to public welfare than it is compulsory to disclose the information to protect the public interest. Keeping the information secrets which seem to be good for official’s turns out very bad for general public. For not disclosing the information properly, many companies go bankrupt and they are not just any company, they are the huge multinational company one of them is Enron which going to bankrupt in 2006.
Recently many persons know about the website name Wikileaks, which basically discloses the information of Iraq War, and American government accuse him to leak out the confidential information and the penalty is going to straight the electric chair in other word, ‘Death Sentence’. According to FOIA Wikileaks does not disclose any confidential information they disclose the true number dead soldier for the past few years. They show that, at what rate the American soldier and the Alliance soldier face death. FOIA exempts the information regarding to the classified national defense and foreign relations information, internal agency rules and practices, certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes. By observing the law carefully we can say that, Wikileaks does not disclose the confidential information but reveal the true information to the general people, and reveal the biggest scam of the country.
After the opposition party leader the most people beaten up by the police is journalist. Few years Bangladesh considers the riskful country for journalism. But The Information Act-09, clearly states that in section 4 that, “Every citizen has a right to information from the Authority and the Authority shall on demand from a citizen be bound to provide information.” But government does not disclose any information, they give the accusation of law that law made impossible to release the information. They does not remember that The Information Act-09 passed only for this reason. So, people can know the information easily, the government felt liable to the people and the government activities should be based on transparency.
Not only Bangladesh, the leading country to keep the information secret is America. They passed ‘The Freedom of Information Act’ in 1966 to maintain the order of people can know the necessary information regarding the federal agency record or activities. They also made the exemption clause so that national security cannot face in trouble in the name of gathering information. But they later passed the Privacy Act which is enacted 1974, that provides the secret service to access the information to the citizen of U.S. and the immigrant of that country who later became citizen. So, this law does not come to help to the general people but did a great help to the secret service and federal agency.
Many organization does not disclose the information clearly or keeping the information secret which lead to many organization to the bankruptcy. Recently many organizations face a huge fine because of keeping the information secret. Many employee can sue their organization due to keep the information secret. So, we have to say with regret though America pas the FOIA but it fails implement the law properly. If the government can implement the law properly then Enron should not go bankrupt along with million of shareholders. If America reveal the information properly there would be no website named Wikileaks. But that does not happen. Most of the country in this world has information act, but they do not implement it properly. If all country just implements the information act properly then government work become more transparent than now.
Information Act is right of the people and government owes it to the people. It also help the government to transparent its activity so no one can made a question about it. If any one made a question about anything that person can easily clarify those things. By implementing this law help society to transfer in to the new era of peace and prosperity. But those things cannot come easily, we have to made hard sacrifice and it will lead us to the corruption free society.
1. Oxford student’s dictionary of English, Oxford University Press, 2003
2. The Right to Information Act 2009, Bangladesh. Compiled by Sohini Paul.
3. Daily Amader Shomoy, 7th November,2010.
4. IPI-CILS conference, “The War on Words – Terrorism, Media and the Law”, held in Vienna, Austria, on 5-6 October 2009, online. Retrieve at 07 November,2010.
5. Your Right to Federal Records: Questions and Answers of the freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act. Published at 2009, November.
style=”text-align: justify;” size=”1″ />
 Oxford student’s dictionary of English, Oxford University Press, 2003
 The act makes provisions for ensuring free flow of information and people’s right to information.
The Right to Information Act 2009, Bangladesh. Compiled by Sohini Paul.
 Daily Amader Shomoy, 7th November,2010.
 IPI-CILS conference, “The War on Words – Terrorism, Media and the Law”, held in Vienna, Austria, on 5-6 October 2009, online. Retrieve at 07 November,2010.
 The Right to Information Act 2009, Bangladesh. Compiled by Sohini Paul.
 The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), enacted in 1966, generally provides that any person has right to request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies are required to disclose records upon receiving a written request for them, except for those records that are protected from disclosure by any of the nine exemptions. Your Right to Federal Records: Questions and Answers of the freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act. Published at 2009, November.
 The Right to Information Act 2009, Bangladesh. Compiled by Sohini Paul.
For: The Lawyers & Jurists
M.L.Hotel Tower Ltd,208,Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Sarani,
Bijoy Nagar, Dhaka-1000.
Country code+ Ph No.
Direct cell with country code:
Local Code :