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Civil right to know objective independent information on possible public strategies

The development of civic society is closely related to the right for independent objective information. This right being one of the principal civil rights traditionally supported by the democratic societies, is obtaining now an especially important role. Indeed, computer networks provide new enormous opportunities to misuse new computer tools like multimedia and virtual reality for manipulating of human state of mind and behavior. General problem of providing an objective independent information is quite broad, and so we restrict the discussion with a particular, but important topic of providing the information on possible economic and environmental strategies.

In economic and environmental problems, a very large (often infinite) number of feasible strategies do exist (for example, in regulating a national economy). As a rule, an ordinary person has to study one or, in the best case, several strategies selected by experts instead of considering all possible strategies. Say, one strategy may be proposed by the governmental experts, another one -- by experts from the opposition, the third one -- by environmentalists. The selected strategies inevitably reflect the persuasions and goals of the political powers experts represent. Any person exploring the selected strategies may have (and usually has) the persuasions and the goals that differ from those of political powers or expert groups. Nevertheless, he/she has to deal with and perhaps to choose among the strategies that do not express his/her opinion. Other strategies (one of which may answer his/her interests) are not revealed at all. Surely, we can not treat this situation as a full accomplishment of the right for objective independent information since the fundamental right for independent information is actually violated in the case of economic and environmental strategies.

Moreover, to make the public opinion to agree with a decision profitable for them, politicians may conceal strategies they do not like. Modern computer tools extend the ability of politicians to thrust their decision on people. Therefore, special means should be to taken to avert the danger related to the misusing the modern computer technologies. Fortunately, at the same time, these technologies may provide new opportunities to accomplish the civil rights in this field.

Along with the important political issues related to the accomplishment of the right for independent objective information on economic and environmental strategies, a question may arise whether the society is able to provide technical basis for the above civil right: is it possible to provide this information even under the best subjective intentions? Indeed, the objective information on possible strategies has important features that distinguish it from the information on particular events or on opinions related to these events. The violation of the civil right under discussion has been related for many years to the limited opportunities of information technologies. Say, information about possible economic and environmental strategies has been provided by newspapers and TV which can not describe more than several strategies.

Global computer network suggests new opportunities. Now millions of people receive information from the Internet independently. Important that they can receive information which was screened out earlier by news agencies, newspaper and TV channel. For example, a special Web server can be established that contains full objective information about a particular important economic or environmental problem. However, to accomplish the above civil right, an opportunity to receive the original information alone is not sufficient it does not solve the problem. Therefore, special methods for providing objective information on possible strategies must be supplemented. Since these methods are supposed to be used by ordinary people, they should be simple and may be implemented in the framework of wide-spread Web-based tools.

The computer tool considered in this Web pages, the FEASIBLE GOALS method implemented on the basis of the Animated Interactive Decision Maps, satisfies the above requirements. Illustrations of this idea are provided by the Experimental INTERNET Resource for Development of Independent Public Strategies and by the paper Development of a preferable efficient national budget via Internet

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