Is the enactment of the freedom of information law threat to national security
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Freedom of information law is vital to the development of any democratic society. People have the right to information that is held by public officials. It is only when citizens are informed, that there can truly be an accountable leadership. Freedom of information thereby promotes the basic principles of democracy, that is, accountable and transparent leadership. The fight against corruption cannot be won without freedom of information law. In as much as freedom of information is necessary in a democratic society, every government has a duty to ensure that the integrity and sovereignty of a nation is protected from outside forces. Every government owes it to its people to ensure that the security of their children, their property and themselves is a matter of unequalled priority. In protecting these interests, the State is left to itself to decide how best to achieve these ends in a way, best suited for a particular State. This is also dictated by the principles of sovereignty of State. In safeguarding the interests of the state, certain rights and freedoms may be circumscribed. However, derogations must be justifiable and must not be applied arbitrarily by government bodies simply to avoid embarrassment. In addressing issues of State Security and freedom of information, the State should strive to strike a balance between these two competing interests. Freedom of information and national security are not mutually exclusive, but are co-existent in a democratic society.
- Law