A new disclosure policy is set to be approved in San Jose that would ensure that messages about public matters that elected leaders send or receive on personal devices be subject to disclosure, just like other official records.
It’s thought that smart phones and other similar technologies currently leave a gaping hole for elected officials to secretly discuss public business through private e-mail, cell phones and other devices, according to a San Jose Mercury News article.
Peter Scheer, executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, told the Mercury News that San Jose’s proposed policy “a big step forward.”
“I don’t think anybody has come this far yet,” Scheer told the newspaper. “The city has recognized that if you don’t take this step, the public’s right to electronic records is not really very meaningful, because it’s so easy to transfer important communications from official e-mail to a private e-mail account.”
According to the article: The policy would apply to the mayor, council members and their staffs. It does not require them to retain messages sent via a personal e-mail account or device for any length of time.
The report stated that the policy would apply to the mayor, council members and their staffs. It does not require them to retain messages sent via a personal e-mail account or device for any length of time.
The City Council’s Rules and Open Government Committee, chaired by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, voted unanimously for the proposal.
What’s your take? Should this proposal be the norm for all cities and counties in California? Or should a personal cell phone stay that way?
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