Access to Gov't Information

Open Government Data Presents New Journalism Opportunities and Legal Challenges

It’s been a long time since a printed newspaper delivered to your doorstep or purchased on your way to work was the only way to get your daily dose of news.

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What’s in the Box?! Piercing the Pointless Secrecy of ACTA

I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you. – Tom Cruise, Top Gun

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Massachusetts High Court Applies Fair Report Privilege to Anonymous Account of Closed Meeting

As both a journalist and a techie, I'm pretty keen on the free flow of information, and thus pretty keen in turn on the importance of protecting journalists, both professional and citizen, who are in the business of facilitating that flow. So it was reassuring to see that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled on the side of the angels this week in the case of Howell v. Enterprise, granting protection from libel claims to reporters who fairly and accurately report official government proceedings.

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The Online Odyssey: Internet Use in the Age of HADOPI's Scylla and Holder's Charybdis

Last week was a tough one for Internet users worldwide.

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Cybernetic Cain: In the Eyes of the Internet Law, You Are Your Brother’s Keeper

CainLet’s review the two basics of modern criminal law:

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Federal Courts OK Use of RECAP

We blogged last week about RECAP, a Firefox plugin that lets PACER users share federal court documents through a repository hosted by the Internet Arc

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Opening Up the Federal Court System, One Filing at a Time

Anyone who has spent even a few minutes looking for case documents in the federal courts knows what a crusty old system the federal government provides for searching and accessing filings in U.S.

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Blogger Wins $225,000 Settlement Over Public Records Delay

In a nice cautionary tale for government agents who refuse to take public records requests seriously, Washington state political blogger Stefan Sharkansky won a $225,000 settlement last week from a county government that took two years to comply with his request for information.  The settlement ended Sharkansky's lawsuit against King County over officials' improper delay in producing documents related to the state's 2004 gubernatorial election.

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