Tag Archives: Public Records

Live streaming project tests boundaries of public access to court proceedings

“A new Internet live streaming project in Massachusetts broadcast its first criminal trial this month, but it’s still grappling with who can opt to stay off screen and why. Boston NPR station WBUR developed OpenCourt with a $1 million Knight News Challenge grant from the Knight Foundation. Live streaming at Quincy District Court started in May 2011. At first, live streaming was limited to certain procedures, including arraignments, probation surrender hearings, substance abuse commitment hearings and summary process cases.”

via Law.com

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Overhaul of Federal Record-Keeping Ordered By NARA, Office of Management and Budget

“A major overhaul in the way federal departments and agencies manage and preserve their records was ordered today by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In a directive that carries out a presidential memorandum to reform records management for the 21st century, NARA and OMB said that all agencies must begin to manage their records, including emails, in electronic format by the end of the decade. The directive also requires each agency to designate a high-ranking agency official to oversee its records management programs and to ensure that all appropriate staff receive records management training.”

via National Archives

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Rutgers–Newark Law Library Releases Digital Transcripts and Final Report of Lilley Commission on 1967 NJ Civil Disorders

“Forty-five years ago this month, Governor Richard J. Hughes established the Governor’s Select Commission on Civil Disorder to examine the causes of the civil unrest that occurred in July 1967 in Newark and other New Jersey cities, including Plainfield, Jersey City, Englewood and New Brunswick, and to make recommendations for change. The 10-member commission was chaired by Robert D. Lilley, president of New Jersey Bell Telephone (later president of AT&T). via Rutgers–Newark Law Library

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N.Y. court administrators seek comment on e-filing proposal

Reuters – “New York state court administrators are seeking public comment on a handful of proposed rules, including a measure that would make certain types of electronically-filed court documents more accessible to the public. The proposal would remove a designation of “secure” from certain e-filed documents, including requests for judicial intervention, bills of costs and proofs of service. Currently, any document labeled “secure” is not made available to the public via the internet, though hard copies are available at county courthouses for cases that have not been sealed.”

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Fee-Based People Search Site Takes Heat

NYTimes – “Web sites that charge to provide you with personal information are not held in high esteem by many. A number of them are outright frauds, making money in exchange for information that can easily be found for free, or by taking your money and giving you no information in return.”

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Statistics for a changing world: Google Public Data Explorer in Labs

Google Blog – “Last year, we released a public data search feature that enables people to quickly find useful statistics in search. More recently, we expanded this service to include information from the World Bank, such as population data for every region in the world. More and more public agencies, non-profits and other organizations are looking for ways to open up their data and expand global access to this kind of information. We want to help keep that momentum going, so today we’re sharing a snapshot of some of the most popular public data search topics on Google. We’re also launching the Google Public Data Explorer, an experimental visualization tool in Google Labs.”

More here

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Court ruling guts state public record law, lawyer says

Fairbanks Daily News Miner – “If the state does not preserve a document, then it isn’t a public document, a recent court ruling suggests, which could give public employees the power to keep anything private by failing to preserve it. Veteran Alaska attorney Don Mitchell has appealed the ruling, saying that it “guts” the law requiring that government records be made public.”

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New Web site sheds light on state spending (TN)

Tennessean – “The Tennessee Center for Policy Research has just launched a Web site — OpenTennessee.org — that makes this information accessible at the click of a mouse. OpenTennessee.org is the state’s only searchable, comprehensive transparency Web site. Tennesseans now can access state employee payrolls, retiree pensions and every single payment made by state agencies to individuals and businesses. The site tracks billions of dollars, right down to the agency, person and penny.”

Direct to OpenTennessee

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Bill would limit access to online court records

Journal Sentinel – “Madison — Public access to online court records would be dramatically scaled back under a bill before the state Assembly. The bill by Rep. Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) would make court records available online only for those who are convicted of a crime, found liable in a civil case, evicted, or issued a restraining order or injunction by the court.” (via)

Read the bill.

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Nobel Prize-winning scientists support online access to federally funded research results to spur innovation

The Hill – “Last week, 41 Nobel-Prize winning scientists issued an open letter to Congress, calling on lawmakers to ensure that the results of scientific research conducted using taxpayer dollars be put online, and made accessible to and useable by the public. As extraordinary as it seems, at a time when you can get information on just about anything on the Internet, the results of our substantial national investment in science – over $60 billion per year – are not readily accessible to those who paid for it.”

Read the letter

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