House GOP Pushing for Exemption, Corporate Gift for Data Transparency Haters

The House GOP is pushing for an exemption that would allow big corporations to forgo publishing financial information – a huge setback for advocates of open data and transparency. The Data Transparency Coalition has the scoop:

Despite the opposition of the tech industry, Rep Robert Hurt's proposal to direct the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to stop collecting financial data from most public companies has been included as part of a new legislative package – a new bill introduced on Monday, Sept. 8, by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick and a number of other Republican members.

It's another step in the Republican House's attempt to build a concrete US plutocracy with corporations the guiding voice and infallible vision leading us to prosperity. With inequality at all-time highs, and corporate good-governance at all time lows, this proposal is at best misguided. At worst, subversive.

...H.R. 5405, if approved by the House, introduced and passed in the Senate, and signed into law by President Obama, will dramatically restrict the availability of searchable corporate financial data to investors – and to the tech companies building investment tools.

So it's short-term gain for the vast number of existing corporations, and a long-term loss for the tech and innovation companies that will really drive the US' future economy. But, we all know who pulls the GOP's strings – Wall Street executives and tycoons like the Koch brothers.

The companies themselves will benefit, too. Open, structured data delivers information more efficiently to the markets, which makes it easier for smaller companies to find eager investors and brings down their capital costs.

H.R. 5405 would cut off such progress by forcing the SEC to use documents, not open data, to collect corporate financial information.

It's these little things, snuck into mundane bills, that can create huge repercussions financially. And it's these little things that the open data community is so good at catching.


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