From The White House:
The Executive Order declares that information is a valuable resource and strategic asset for the Nation.
Under the terms of the Executive Order and a new Open Data Policy released today by the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget, all newly generated government data will be required to be made available in open, machine-readable formats, greatly enhancing their accessibility and usefulness, while ensuring privacy and security.
Under the President’s Open Data Executive Order, more data will be made available allowing these types of entrepreneurs and companies to take advantage of this information, fueling economic growth in communities across the Nation.
Much progress has been made. But many more government datasets are still hard to find or are locked-up in unusable formats. By requiring that government agencies provide newly generated government data in machine-readable formats like CSV, XML, and JSON and, when appropriate, expose data via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), the new Executive Order and Policy will further accelerate the liberation of government data.
Read the Complete Statement
Read the Full Text of the Executive Order