Search Results for: records software

Los Angeles plans to shift records from software to Google

The Los Angeles City Council will decide whether to shift e-mails and other public records from its antiquated records retention software to a Google service which experts say could improve public access. The police department is concerned that sensitive arrest records would not be secure in the event of the shift. -DB Los Angeles Times July 17, 2009 By David Zahniser and Phil Willon Frustrated by a slow and antiquated computer system, the city of Los

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Open transit data policies benefit public

Open transit data policies benefit public EFF Technology Manager Time Jones argue that making transit schedule data available to independent software developers does a lot more for the public good than treating the information as intellectual property. -DB http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/09/who-controls-data-about-public-transportation Electronic Frontier Foundation Commentary September 10, 2009 By Tim Jones How should city transit authorities treat independent software developers who make use of public schedule data? What approach results in the best experience for their passengers

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District of Columbia sets bar higher for revealing anonymity of Internet commentators

The District of Columbia high court established new strict guidelines for plaintiffs seeking the identify of online commentators. -DB Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press August 14, 2009 By Rory Eastburg The District of Columbia’s highest court Thursday announced a demanding new standard that plaintiffs must meet before they can obtain the names of anonymous Internet commenters. According to the decision (PDF download) in Solers, Inc. v. Doe, the case stems from a complaint submitted

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A&A: Agency won’t provide records in electronic format

Q: In response to our public records request for electronic data, public agencies have refused to release data in Excel format. They have instead given us pdfs or hard copies. Their reasons are vague, ranging from concerns we will manipulate the data to saying it’s not their policy to release data in that format. I recently received a raft of paper in the mail, clearly copies of spreadsheets. The county counsel said, “The District’s policy

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Marin news staff wins Freedom of Information award in CNPA contest

A team of journalists on the staff of Marin’s Independent Journal won first place for Freedom of Information reporting in the 2009 California Newsaper Publisher Association contest. The staff members won for their work in getting the county to release payroll details that shed light on budget problems. -db Marin Independent Journal April 20, 2010 By Brad Breithaupt WINNING FIRST PLACE for our “Freedom of Information” reporting was a great honor for the IJ. In

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Microsoft helping dissenting groups survive crackdowns by oppressive governments

Microsoft is providing software to advocacy groups, the media, and non-profits operating under oppressive governments to help them avoid allegations that they are installing pirated Microsoft software. -db The New York Times October 16, 2010 By Clifford J. Levy MOSCOW — Microsoft is vastly expanding its efforts to prevent governments from using software piracy inquiries as a pretext to suppress dissent. It plans to provide free software licenses to more than 500,000 advocacy groups, independent

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New rule allows public access to administrative records of California courts

The California Judicial Council approved a new Rule of Court this week giving the public a right of access to administrative records of Superior and Appellate courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts. The rule will be in effect January of next year and is modeled after the California Public Records Act. -DB Legislative Bulletin California Newspaper Publishers Association Commentary December 16, 2009 At its meeting in San Francisco yesterday, the California Judicial Council

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Free data visualization platform boon to journalists

Weave, a new open-source, web-based platform will allow journalists to see data visually in bringing stories to the public. Weave is not an app but provides software to “create infinitely interactive visualizations,” writes Andrew Phelps for the Nieman Journalism Lab. -db From a commentary for the Nieman Journalism Lab, January 31, 2012, by Andrew Phelps. Full story

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Congressional committee attempts censorship of professor’s criticism of Facebook

A chair of a Congressional committee cautioned a law professor about to speak to the committee  to refrain from personal attacks against any companies or company employees. -db Onlne Media Daily Commentary December 3, 2010 By Wendy Davis Columbia Law professor Eben Moglen seemed to have touched a nerve on Capitol Hill this week when he touted the social networking start-up Diaspora, which he advises, while simultaneously bashing Facebook, in his written testimony. Immediately before

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A&A: Can An Agency Charge Fees for Inspecting Public Records?

Q: I am inquiring whether agencies can charge you to inspect e-mails or get copies of e-mails based on Government Code section 6253.9(b)?  Are they allowed to use rule of cost to construct a record, and the cost of programming and computer services necessary to produce a copy of the record, for the charging of e-mails either to inspect them or get copies of them? A: Yes, fees may be charged for obtaining a copy an

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Major newspapers back CFAC/MAPlight lawsuit to expand public access to Legislative actions

The San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee have endorsed a lawsuit by the California First Amendment Coalition and MAPlight.org to open the state Legislature’s entire database of bills, votes and amendments to public view. The state currently allows the public to see only one bill at a time — in a form that makes it difficult if not impossible to analyze the information with computer techniques. In a signed column on Dec. 7, Chronicle Editorial

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Federal judge rules transit authority must accept ads for violent video games

A U.S. District Court judge found that the Chicago Transit Authority was operating under an overbroad ordinance in rejecting ads for violent video games. -DB Chicago Sun-Times January 9, 2010 By Mitch Dudek Video game companies can advertise mature- and adult-rated video games on CTA buses and trains — at least for now. U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer issued a preliminary injunction Thursday stating that the CTA, which had banned the advertising of

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Orange County court denies Sierra Club low cost access to parcel map system

An Orange County Superior Court judge ruled in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club  that the California Public Records Act (CPRA)  did not require the county to provide its Landbase parcel map system at little or no cost. In a ruling last year a state appeals court ruled in a First Amendment Coalition lawsuit that Santa Clara County had to release its parcel map system under the CPRA. -db The Orange County Register May

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Electronic Frontier Foundation joins media groups in filing amicus brief to uphold access to GIS maps

EFF is asking a California Court of Appeal to uphold the public’s right to electronic files created by local governments in the case Sierra Club v. Superior Court. -db Electronic Frontier Foundation Commentary By Mark Rumold Last week, EFF joined a coalition of public interest and media groups in filing an amicus brief (pdf) urging a California Court of Appeal to uphold the public’s right to access electronic files created and stored by local governments.

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New Labor Department procedures jeopardize timely reporting on jobs data

In what they say is a need for greater security, the U.S. Department of Labor has ordered the media to remove their computer software and other equipment at the department and to rely on government equipment, software and Internet connections to retrieve the news. The media is concerned that reporters will not gain access to data at the same time, a condition provided under the old procedures. -db From Bloomberg News, April 18, 2012, by

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Business publication rates top 10 Obama administration open government programs

ExectiveBiz has published a list of its top open government programs, including many of direct help to business. -db ExecutiveBiz April 12, 2010 By Jim Garrettson Top 10 Open Government Programs Open Government has been a major priority of the Obama administration since the campaign trail, and last week was the publication deadline of each agency’s open government plan. Below, we’ve listed (in no particular order) our ten favorite open government initiatives and why they’re

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California Supreme Court upholds right to access county mapping database

The California Supreme Court struck a blow today for public access to government records in reversing a lower court decision holding that Orange County did not have to provide the public its geographic information system (GIS) free of charge. The Sierra Club sued the county after it proposed a fee of $375,000 for the database. The GIS creates a map with parcels of land including geographic boundaries, assessor parcel numbers, street address and links to

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City government data released to public mined for useful information

Cities around the country are now releasing large amounts of data to programmers and the public. In Washington, D.C., a web site “Stumble Safely” uses public data to plot safe ways home for customers of bars and restaurants. -DB The New York Times December 7, 2009 By Claire Cain Miller SAN FRANCISCO — A big pile of city crime reports is not all that useful. But what if you could combine that data with information on

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Atlanta mayor blocks transparency with release of millions of paper documents

In a novel move to stymie inquiry, Atlanta Mayor Kassim Reed released 1.476 million documents related to FBI investigations into alleged bribes for city contracts. Reed and the city attorney claimed that the release was a boon to transparency. Reed said he produced the documents in paper form to expedite the release and said he planned to make the documents available in electronic form but did not say when. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 9, 2017,

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San Francisco mayor wants law requiring departments to put city data online

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is announcing legislation to make permanent an executive order to require city data to be published online. -db San Francisco Chronicle September 13, 2010 By  John Coté Parents looking for the nearest playground, diners seeking the cleanest restaurants and Muni riders waiting for the next bus won’t be the only ones benefiting from San Francisco’s efforts to make city data available to the public. At least that’s Mayor Gavin Newsom’s

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