Virginian-Pilot editorial: Be a force for openness in government

It’s optimistic to believe that this (or really any) legislative session in Virginia will make a turn toward openness and away from punching holes in the law that ensures public access to documents and meetings.

But maybe, just maybe, this could be a session where lawmakers choose to hold the line on those principles and act with deference toward the people’s right to know.

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Critics see dangers lurking in framing of Clinton search warrant

Arguments the government offered behind closed doors when seeking a search warrant in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails are causing alarm among some transparency proponents and civil liberties advocates.

An affidavit unsealed Tuesday by a federal judge in New York shows that the FBI claimed there was probable cause to believe that a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, contained evidence of crimes involving illegal possession of classified information.

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Government Requests For Facebook User Data Up 27 Percent

The latest transparency report from Facebook, released on Wednesday, reveals a considerable uptick in requests from governments around the world during the first half of 2016.

According to figures from Facebook, government requests for user data from the social network jumped from 46,710 in the first half of 2015 to 59,229 in the first half of 2016, representing a 27 percent increase.

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New Indiana Supreme Court ruling hurting government transparency, attorneys say

An Indiana Supreme Court decision is already having a negative impact on government transparency and access to records, just days after it was handed down, according to several Indianapolis attorneys.

On April 19, the Indiana Supreme Court effectively ruled state lawmakers can continue to withhold their email communications from public disclosure, including emails with constituents and lobbyists.

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Editorial: Pennsylvania is moving backwards on government transparency

While news organizations, good government groups and – hopefully – public-minded citizens were commemorating right-to-know and open-meetings laws during Sunshine Week last month, clouds of obstruction were forming over the Pennsylvania State Capitol in the form of House Bill 1310.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Philadelphia, would prohibit release of so-called "identifying information" in 911 calls. That would include the name, telephone number, address and location associated with any call.

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Commentary: Arlington lacking in government transparency

The Arlington Advocate is to be commended for its Nov. 15 editorial advocating for reform of the state’s Public Records Law. But it completely missed the mark in suggesting that Arlington could serve as a strong example of transparency to state agencies.

Arlington officials do an excellent job of managing the local media, no doubt supplying all the information they wish to make public. But when it comes to responding to records requests from Arlington citizens, their performance is decidedly mixed.

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Transparency bill gets second life in Maine Legislature

A state senator from Cape Neddick is hoping her initiative aimed at improving government transparency will be revived this week.

Democrat Dawn Hill will have to convince at least one Republican leader to support her efforts to enhance the flow of information between state agencies and the Legislature. The legislative council rejected Hill's bill last month along party lines, but the sponsor says there are new developments that warrant a second look.

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