Authors: Brian Kahin
October 1, 1991
Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University

The development of an infrastructure of computer networks based on the present Internet is creating a versatile new environment for the dissemination of public information. At the same time, a new consensus on how information developed by the federal government should be disseminated suggests that government information, in its original form and as enhanced by the private sector, will be a driving force in expanding use of computer networks. These factors, along with the automation of agency information resources management, will blur the distinction between dissemination of information and access to information under the Freedom of Information Act. There is potential for closer communication between agencies and their public; however, intermediaries such as GPO and NTIS face an uncertain future.