Monthly Archives: February 2008

Bush Administration Changes Open Government Act

On January 22nd, this blog reported on President Bush’s signing of the Open Government Act. One of the features of this Act was to create a Office of Government Information Services within the National Archives and Records Administration to oversee government compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Senator Patrick Leahy and other government advocates are protesting President Bush’s budget proposal that repeals placing this office in the National Archives and instead places it ¬†under the control of ¬†the Justice Department. Critics say this is a conflict of interest in that the Justice Department would also be charged with defending … Read More

Free Crime Reports Mapping Service

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CrimeReports.com is a free website that obtains police report information and overlays it onto maps so that users may view arrests and police calls in in specific areas. This site relies mainly on police departments paying this site to have their information extracted and published online, although it also includes information from other police departments that post their own information. Many support this type of information being made available to not only provide transparency in police activities but to also provide information that fellow neighbors may use to protect themselves. Others dislike this information being so readily available – for … Read More

Internet Security and Domestic Violence

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There is a wealth of information and resources available online that are designed to assist survivors of domestic violence with a range of legal issues, including child custody, safety planning and immigration.

There is also a serious warning about internet security related to using the internet to find help for protection from abuse. If the person that you are afraid of has access to the computer used to look for help, several organizations suggest deleting your browser history and taking additional steps to increase the security and safety of using the internet.

WomensLaw.org offers a comprehensive explanation of … Read More

Oklahoma Land Records Go Online

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Oklahoma has recently published an online database of land records from county clerks in many counties. Some search features are offered without cost and additional search and viewing options are available for a fee. Free services may only be available for a limited time, as this resource is described as offering a “free trial” at the Kay County website.… Read More

Public Access vs. Personal Privacy

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While recent legislative developments have expanded public access to federal records, there is an unusual and extreme case developing in the state of Washington that may test the boundaries and principles of public access to official government records. From the Associated Press via TBO.com on February 1, 2008:

Allan Parmelee’s hundreds of requests under the state’s Public Records Act have become so numerous, and so creepy, that a prosecutor has taken the extraordinary step of asking a judge not only to let his office ignore Parmelee’s pending requests, but to bar him from filing any more.

Superior Court Judge

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