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 Friday, January 23, 2009
White House plans open government

Searching for data about the Obama administration should get easier as the Whitehouse.gov website gets overhauled.

Mr Obama's new media team is letting search engines index almost everything on the site. By contrast, after eight years of government the Bush administration was stopping huge swathes of data from being searchable. The move is part of President Obama'

Open rule

Many websites limit what search engines can index by use of what is known as a robots.txt file. The robots.txt file the Bush administration set up for Whitehouse.gov ran to almost 2377 lines and limited the way search engines could log the data found on the site. On the first day of the Barack administration the robots.txt file shrunk to two lines allowing, for the moment, search sites to index everything it contains. The new media team also created a Whitehouse.gov blog that will act as an informal record of events, speeches and decisions.s larger push to make the US government more open and transparent.

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