When rape is inevitable

For a society that is supposedly free, open, and democratic, it is interesting to note that what little public oversight of the powerful financial institutions that exists is being rapidly eliminated:

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.” Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

Why, it’s almost as if the executive and legislative branches of government believe that they have, or will have, something very important to hide from the public. The interesting question is if this new law was inspired by something that has happened already or something that is going to happen. On a tangential note, those who believe more regulation is going to solve anything would do well to keep the implications of this law in mind.