Parsing the OpenCorporations Story

You might be under the impression, from reading Local blogger eases immigrant investor searches, that I created OpenCorporations.org to, well, “ease immigrant investor searches.”

If you read my blog post about the service you would realize that this actually isn’t true: I created it in reaction to a specific personal need for information. Something that I told the CBC reporter yesterday during an interview, but that didn’t make it into the web story.

Yes, OpenCorporations.org does “ease immigrant investor searches,” and certainly, after creating the tool I became aware of that (it’s hard to ignore, as the participation in the program was pervasive). I don’t see the ability to search in that regard as being any different than the ability to identify any shareholder or director of any corporation, no matter their origin and reason for investing, so I’ve no issue with the site being used for this purpose. But it’s not why I created it.

Personally I have some strong moral quandaries about the notion of the Provincial Nominee Program, but my questions are grounded in broader issues about the appropriateness of recruiting new citizens based on ability to pay, not in the immigrants involved in the program, the companies they invested in, or the way the program was administered. There’s no question that the program has improved the economy of the province, and has increased the diversity of the Island population, both of which are laudable, and I think we should welcome our new investing neighbours into the Island family without reserve.

In the end, regardless of my feelings about the Nominee Program, I continue to think that, as citizens, we have a responsibility to understand the corporations we allow to exist in our midst, who controls them, and what their motivations and goals are.

Comments

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 2, 2008 - 19:06

Despite my misgivings about the way OpenCorporations got characterized in the CBC story, there’s no disputing that the CBC gets the word out: 25,082 searches today so far, currently coming in at 113/minute.

Fortunately I put some anticipatory effort into streamlining the front and back end of the site, so the load is currently being handled quite well: Apache is processing 4.46 requests/second and is responsible for only 1.2% of the CPU load.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 3, 2008 - 22:46

Can you tell where the requests are coming from and map that cross referencing the queries most popular in which region?

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