Ethics Panel: Mississippi Gov't and Public Official Text Messages are Public Record

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bradl, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #1
    Found this little gem while having mod points on Slashdot. Definitely worthy of discussion here and if other States follow.

    Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, via Slashdot

    This will definitely prevent the Anthony Weiners, John Edwards, and Mark Sanfords of the world from using government/taxpayer devices for personal use, plus allow for transparency. However on the other side of the coin, They ruled on this based on the person in the capacity of the office, not the actual office itself. In other words, this now comes to harm any communication, whether on a public or taxpayer phone, or private phone that the elected official has.

    In short, I see this as a victory for the people, but I can see where this flirts with privacy laws, because that could mean that a private conversation with family, even on a private, non-taxpayer funded phone, is public record. That does bring up the issue with privacy.

    BL.
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #2
    According to your source texts from a private phone are only public record if they deal with government business so you wouldn't have to worry about that.

    So if the messages are personal they don't have to be protected as public record.
     
  3. bradl thread starter macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #3
    True, but that would still mean that the device would fall under public scrutiny, public, private, or otherwise. There would be no real way to discern what device is public or private, so all devices become publicly 'accessible' (lack of a better word).

    Slippery slope there.

    BL.
     
  4. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2013
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #4
    1st reaction: I cant believe this hasn't happened already.

    2nd reaction: Isn't this like the 3rd thread this week on privacy?

    3rd reaction: texts replace both email and phone calls - which aren't auto recorded


    Yeah, mayors across the country will soon be getting 2nd phones...
     

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