The Right to Know
If knowledge is power, then the right to know is a crucial part of the balance between citizen and state. More and more countries are introducing freedom of information laws, which give citizens the right to see government-held information.
Over 70 states already have an FOI law of some kind. In another 50 or so, moves have begun to get one passed.
Freedom of information is well on the way to being seen as an essential prerequisite for a modern democracy. But there's almost always a backlash from politicians and officials. And throughout the world 'right to know' laws have become a subject of controversy and political conflict.
The first programme of two looks at the rapid spread of freedom of information and asks whether the many countries now introducing FOI laws are are really acting more in theory than in practice.
First broadcast on 8th August 2008