NFOIC FOI Friday for September 30 2011

A few items selected from many of interest recently.

Newly elected official among attendees at Sunshine Law forum in Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH — A seminar at Daytona State College may have set Orange City councilman-elect Michael G. Wright on the right path when it comes to Florida's Sunshine Law.

Wright, who will take office in November, was among nearly 80 interested citizens, including government officials and journalists, at a training seminar presented Thursday by Barbara Petersen, executive director of the First Amendment Foundation.

Visit Daytona News Journal for the rest.

Cell networks hold customer data 'for years' for law enforcement use

the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published the 2010 ‘data retention chart’ received from the U.S. Justice Department by taking out a freedom of information request.

The document shows which mobile networks in the U.S. hold customer data, in what quantity and for how long — ranging from the content of text messages, to recipients of phone calls, as well as Internet-browsing related activities.

Visit ZDNet for the rest.

E-mails deleted from Gov. Rick Scott’s iPad as more records requests go unfulfilled

TALLAHASSEE — — For a second time, e-mails to and from Florida Gov. Rick Scott have been deleted in possible violation of state law. Scott’s team acknowledged in August, months after a Times/Herald request for transition records, that dozens of e-mail accounts had been deleted from a private computer server where the documents were stored.

Visit Miami Herald for the rest.

Colorado Court of Appeals rules voted ballots should be public records

The Colorado Court of Appeals ruled [Thursday] that electronic images of voted ballots should be open for public inspection, provided the voter's identity cannot be discerned from the ballot. The ruling could have a major impact on Colorado election law.

Visit Denver Post for the rest.

Finally, a fix for our election system

Arizona's elections are rigged and the Democrats and Republicans have no interest in fixing them. Why should they? They rigged them. Most of us (by which I mean – me) do nothing about this sorry situation except complain. But a group of folks made up of moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans have decided to change things. They filed papers with the Secretary of State's Office to put what is called the "The Open Government Act" on the 2012 ballot.

Visit Arizona Republic for that opinion.

Vermont offers open-government training

MONTPELIER — The Vermont Transparency Tour, a 12-stop training effort designed to help educate local and state officials along with taxpayers, will kick off with sessions in Montpelier and Colchester next month, according to the Vermont Secretary of State's Office.

Visit Burlington Free Press for the rest.

Transparency Watch: A Closed Door

In July 2009, just months after President Obama took office promising to revolutionize government transparency, leaders of the Society of Environmental Journalists participated in an hour-long conference call with public-affairs staffers working for Lisa Jackson, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Jackson’s office wanted to hear what the reporters’ gripes were when it came to access, and Christy George, then the society’s president, and her colleagues obliged, outlining their most persistent problems … Jackson’s assistants asked for the benefit of the doubt. “We’re not the Bush administration,” George recalled them saying. “Those days are left behind.”

For a while it seemed that might be true.

Visit Columbia Journalism Review for the rest.