Katy bar the door: Today’s e-mail and open records story

(What “Katy bar the door” means.)

As local and state governments around the country struggle with the question of which if any–none if you live in Pennsylvania–e-mails generated on government computers should be part of the public record, a judge in Kentucky has issued a ruling that says that intensely private e-mails exchanged between two government employees are to be released in response to an open records request:

Man may see wife’s work e-mails.

Judges are going to be considering cases like this for years. How do I know? For one thing, another judge in the very same circuit (Franklin Circuit Court in Kentucky) ruled not long ago in “Gannett vs. Gov. Ernie Fletcher” that “conversational e-mails and non-policy fact based (e-mails) are not subject to public disclosure.”

The broadest possible position that a FOIA advocate could take on e-mail is that ALL e-mails written on government computers (including e-mails using private e-mail accounts) should be open to the public, no matter how personal or non-work-related they are.

What’s your position?


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