Open Data: Building a Database for Political Activism

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Open Data Building a Database for Political Activism“Open data must be for everyone—a right for all…must be the data people need

… and must be data people can easily use.”

From the World Wide Web Foundation

Open data refers to the idea that some data should be freely available for everyone to use and reuse, distribute and redistribute, and republish freely. That means, no controlling mechanism (e.g. copyright and patent laws).   

A key application of open data appears in a recent website managed by the U.S. government, The website serves as a database that  “aims to make government more open and accountable. Opening government data increases citizen participation in government, creates opportunities for economic development, and informs decision making in both the private and public sectors.” 

The Zero Theft Movement works to eradicate the rigged layer of the economy by empowering you, the American public. We must band together to conduct investigations into potential instances where crony capitalists have ripped us off. Open data allows us to all collaborate and build the strongest case of whether rigged economy theft is occurring in a specific area (e.g. government contracts, the Big Dig, drug prices) and the amount stolen. 

Megacorporations and their lobbyists could be heavily influencing legislation and regulation. Do your part and protect the U.S. economy by joining the Zero Theft Movement.

What is Open Data? A Quick Breakdown of its Principles


Open data refers to data that can be freely used, republished, adapted, etc. without any restrictions whatsoever. This does not mean that access to the data has to be free of charge, though.

For the most part, open data does not come with any conditions or restrictions, but the provider can require:

  • Credit from the user;
  • Indication of how the data has been changed;
  • Adherence to open data principles.

The Zero Theft Movement ensures original copies of your theft investigations (a.k.a. ‘proposals’) remain intact and immutable via blockchain technology, but other citizens can freely adapt or respond to your work without restrictions by creating their own proposal. 

Availability and access

A key element to keeping data open is the elimination of as accessibility barriers as possible. Everyone should have the ability to conveniently use the data for their purposes.

Open data can come with a fee, which amounts to no more than reasonable production costs. Even though access to open data is often free, ‘open’ does not mean ‘free.’ 

‘Open’ mainly refers to the freedom you have with the content after you have gained access. That being said, tacking on a hefty price tag for access to data would strongly conflict with the spirit of open data. 

Reuse and redistribution

The terms of the data must allow for reuse, redistribution, and combination with other data sets.

Universal Participation 

Open data cannot discriminate against a field of study, persons, or group. Restrictions barring commercial use, for example, disqualify the data from being open.

Facilitating Open Source Knowledge

Making data public alone does not make it useful. Open data needs some degree of focus, structure, and/or approach to aid interested parties. Data, when properly presented, can be more than just foundational; it can facilitate and speed up the learning process.

Usefulness is a major concern for those publishing data. Who knows who will find use in it? Why not help them in their efforts? According to the California Open Data Handbook, you have two major components to consider in order to publish data that’s both useful and open. 

Technically open 

In general, technically open refers to when data is available in a machine-readable standard format. Meaning, it can be retrieved and meaningfully processed by computer software. The intended audience should have easy access to the data in a format that best suits their needs. 

Developers and programmers likely want their data to be easily integrated with application programming interfaces (APIs). In the case where the general public is your intended audience, the publisher can, for example, make the data technically open by making it available without requiring any software purchases. 

Per the Commonwealth Fund, “the average U.S. resident paid $1,122 out-of-pocket for health care, which includes expenses like copayments for doctor’s visits and prescription drugs or health insurance deductibles.” Does the US healthcare system need to be so expensive?

Legally open

Legally open data must be free for all users in its potential uses. Again, not necessarily free cost-wise. This is an extension of the ‘universal participation’ concept. The use of open data cannot be restricted whatsoever. That means a company can incorporate the data in a product and freely make a profit off of it, without any legal consequences.  

It is important to realize that ‘shared data’ is different from open data. The former refers to when individuals’ private details get divulged to big companies, who then disseminate the information to other businesses. Open data, on the other, comes down to making public only what you want to be public. 


The hallmark of open data is the ability to combine diverse and myriad data sets. You can plug pieces together in order to build networks and large complex systems. Interoperation proves crucial, for one, in developing a democratic and powerful movement. 

By implementing an open data system, by being able to freely adapt, respond to, and build off of each other’s work, we can more quickly and effectively piece together the strongest cases arguing for or against theft in any given economic area.

Many believe that a lack of interoperability leads to a disjointed system whose components cannot properly communicate or function as one. An analogy is often made to the myth of the Tower of Babel, where God prevents humans from reaching heaven by making groups speak different languages. They were, therefore, unable to effectively communicate with one another, and the Tower could not be completed.  

Open data promotes the interconnectivity/interoperability from potentially disparate data sources, allowing users to create a network of information across disciplines and subject areas. Communication between our interpretive groups (a.k.a. holons) is key to gathering the best evidence possible to ultimately reach your conclusions and estimates of theft. 

Technologically Sophisticated Activism 

For the Zero Theft Movement, sharing data, information, and knowledge exists at the core of what we do. We can only get an accurate picture of where the rigged economy is specifically plaguing our economy together. That’s why we have opted to implement an open data approach in our movement. 

Too long have we been suppressed by crony capitalists and corrupt officials who have centralized the power and rigged the economy. We have established a technologically sophisticated and democratic movement, through empowering the public via voting and citizen investigations. We believe that this is the best way to create change in a secure, reliable, and effective manner. 

View how much is being stolen, according to the public

Eradicate the Rigged Layer with the Zero Theft Movement 

Crony capitalists and corrupt officials have created a rigged layer of the economy that enables them to unethically profit off of the everyday American. This corruption has led to the 50 years of wage suppression, 50 years of price fixing and anti-competitive markets, and 50 years of legislators and regulators who work to satisfy moneyed interests, not our interests. 

It’s about time we fought for what’s ours. We cannot do it without you. 

Investigate your areas of interest

All areas of our economy could be experiencing rigging by crony capitalists and corrupt officials. We need to systematically each instance in order to create an ethical economy. 

Find out if Big Pharma is price fixing with old antibiotics like Penicillin.

Learn about how big businesses might be practicing tax evasion

Alternatively, find an area that interests you most.

Serve your fellow citizens as a citizen investigator

The success of our movement rests in your hands, the leaders willing to dedicate time to conduct investigations into potentially rigged areas of the economy. With your valuable work, the movement has no solid ground to stand on, no foundations, no proof, to actually hold those corrupting our system accountable for their actions.

Heroism made easy

All it takes is twenty minutes every day for you to help eradicate the rigged layer of the economy. Just review a proposal and vote! Our reports will only gain legitimacy and power with your contributions.

Commitment to nonpartisanship

The rigged layer causes all of us to suffer, regardless of our political allegiances. If we are to eliminate rigged economy theft, we have to set aside our differences and band together against crony capitalists and corrupt officials. 

Free Educational Content

An educated public is an empowered public. 

We regularly publish informational articles on that teach you all about the rigged layer of the economy in short, digestible pieces. You can better protect yourself and others from the schemes of crony capitalists by reading our articles.

Standard Disclaimer

The Zero Theft Movement does not have any interest in partisan politics/competition or attacking/defending one side. We seek to eradicate theft from the U.S economy. In other words, how the wealthy and powerful rig the system to steal money from us, the everyday citizen. We need to collectively fight against crony capitalism in order for us to all profit from an ethical economy.   

Terms like ‘steal,’ ‘theft,’ and ‘crime’ will frequently appear throughout the article. Zero Theft will NOT adhere strictly to the legal definitions of these terms (since congress sells out). We have broadly and openly defined terms like ‘steal’ and ‘theft’ to refer to the rigged economy and other debated unethical acts that can cause citizens to lose out on money they deserve to keep.