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In Mississippi, Gov't Text Messages Are Officially Public Records 33

New submitter Chris Elkins (3620071) writes "Text messages [by public officials about government business] are now officially considered public records. An investigative reporter fought for access to what he believed were public records. He took his fight to the state and won. Mississippi open government and transparency advocates view this unanimous commission opinion as precedent-setting for all government bodies and public officials in the state."
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In Mississippi, Gov't Text Messages Are Officially Public Records

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  • Burners (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 17, 2014 @06:35PM (#46783559)

    In other news, sales of low-end prepaid phones in MS strangely doubled in recent days.

    The political class is adept [] at skirting [] these laws and going unpunished.

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Thursday April 17, 2014 @07:08PM (#46783811)
    At least, in this narrow instance. Elected (and appointed) government personnel are ostensibly held to a higher standard of accountability and transparency than other citizens. I am somewhat less certain about applying this to government employees (those hired for government jobs through civil hiring procedures), although there too I believe some higher standard should be held to apply, with said employees being notified in writing of the nature of that higher standard.

    The only viable alternative would be to explicitly require that government personnel use only government supplied mechanisms during performance of their appointed duties. If a government official is discussing government business, We The People have a right to know everything (unclassified) which is said by our government officials regarding the conduct of our government's business. Either use government supplied resources (neatly avoiding privacy issues) or get used to the fact that any public inquiry can reasonably be expected to expose more than public information to public scrutiny.

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