Tuesday open records link round-up

We’re celebrating Independence Day early by highlighting the independent-minded bloggers who are using their right as citizens to find out what’s goin’ on in government. As the new saying goes, “No taxation without information”.

Featured blog post of the week:

When Mike Easley, the Gov. of North Carolina sent his wife Mary on trips to France and Russa in the last fourteen months, no expense was spared. And when I say “no expense was spared”, I mean that $27,000 was spent in one trip on 24-hour-limousine service. The dark corners of government need light is how the Talk Politics blog in NC brings this issue to our attention.

Arkansas:

Social security numbers online?

California:

Christopher Dodd, It’s Time To Fess Up.

Florida:

Corruption, waste, fraud.

Miffed? I would be, too. $101,584 is a lot to charge for public records.

Georgia:

Some innovative thinking about what to ask for is featured in this blog post at Atlanta Urban Spice; a young man stopped for a traffic violation asks for the police vehicle’s dashboard camera’s video recording.

North Carolina:

The Soapbox Derby acknowledges a victory for principle and reason.

Pennsylvania:

Closed-door negotiations? The Clog objects.

Texas:

Not everyone will spend a rainy day doing this, but Sleepless in Midland made good use of the time to browse the Texas AG’s rulings on open records issues.

Only Taxpayer Money notes with concern a recent episode of a school board wanting to dim the lights by requiring that those who ask for records would have to explain how releasing the records would benefit the community.

Meanwhile, a Texas blog, the Ellis County Observer, makes it easy for readers to file a Texas Public Information Act request.

Happy reading, and thanks again to Maverick, for helping find these great links.

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2 responses to “Tuesday open records link round-up

  1. Kimo Crossman

    I have to ask, what verified evidence is there that SSN which have been in public records for years are being used for ID theft? I thought ID Theft was happening more from the following:

    1) Theft of or Knowledge of personal information from family or friend
    2) Theft (often by meth addicts) of credit card offers or new checks from the bank delivered or payments with checks sent which have account info on them awaiting pickup from the mail carrier.
    3) Social engineering on the phone or fooling people to fill out forms online or on paper with information that can be misused.
    4) Mass theft online of databases, backup tapes

    Lastly what is the tipping point in which damage is likely?

    SSN and Name only or do you need DOB and Address, or even more like Place of Work or Birth location or Account numbers of current accounts?

    Since SSN can be used to more uniquely identify people than name, would it be better to allow future research/analysis of related records if the name was redacted in records rather than SSN?

    I know reporters often need DOB or SSN with a name to identify the unique person (address helps too but that changes often).

    Is leaving SSN on records that have always had them on them now an unwarranted invasion of privacy at the same level as private medical information always has been?

  2. Hi there. Thanks for linking Sleepless in Midland.

    You’ve got a great site here, and I’ll definitely be coming back.

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