Court: Buried 'Metadata' Part of the Public Record

OPEN GOVERNMENT — Are metadata—the subsurface but accessible traces as to the sources, dissemination, editing and other textual history of a Microsoft Word document—part of the public record that must be disclosed under the California Public Records Act?  A Deputy San Francisco City Attorney has been saying No—release Word documents only as inert pdfs. But now Arizona's Supreme Court, for what it's worth, has ruled to the contrary.

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AG Taping Should Cool Probe of ACORN Watchdogs

FREE PRESS — Today's disclosure that a press spokesman for Attorney General Jerry Brown routinely and secretly recorded phone discussions with journalists should disable Brown's Justice Department from prosecuting self-appointed investigators who secretly videotaped their bogus consultation with a San Bernardino ACORN office staffer about getting help setting up a prostitution enterprise.

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Four Profs Suspended after Budget Cuts Protest

FREE SPEECH — "On Thursday, several hundred students at Southwestern College, a community college outside of San Diego, held a peaceful protest
over budget cuts that are leading to the cancellation of more than 400
additional course sections next semester,"
reports Scott Jaschik in Inside Higher Ed. "On Friday, the students got a
sign that someone was paying attention to the protest, but they didn't
get the response they wanted: Four faculty members were immediately
suspended and barred from the campus for using the campus e-mail system."

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Comment: Time to Clarify Dangerous Old Spy Law

FREE SPEECH/FREE PRESS — "In May, federal prosecutors made the dramatic announcement that they
were abandoning their prosecution under the Espionage Act of two former
American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) lobbyists for
disclosing classified information," observe Washington, D.C. attorneys Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, defendants in the case, writing in the National Law Journal. They say their experience is a clear example of how dangerous the World War I era Espionage Act can be to the political speech of private citizens—or the work of journalists.

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