Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tracy e-mail case update

OK, not so much of an update, more of a reminder.

To recap: The city of Tracy is still trying to withold e-mails from the public based on the assumption that if they're sent from a private e-mail account they're private. Even if the content is about a public matter.

The news: I saw on Editor Cheri Matthews' blog yesterday (yes, I stole this quote and concept from her) that a court case similar to the Tracy case was recently resolved in Texas. It was ruled that even though a city official's communications were made via personal Blackberry, the records were open to public scrutiny:
"This is a really important decision," said Charles Davis, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition. "One of the arguments we're seeing emerge among public officials is that certain delivery platforms or technological devices should be, by their very nature, private, because they own them, or they keep them in their pocket. The delivery platform doesn't make any difference. It's what the content of the message is. If the content of the message is about governing, then it should be public."
Let's see if this precedent helps the case against Tracy.

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