Law .com: Public Records Requests During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Law .com: Public Records Requests During the COVID-19 Pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused nations and organizations across the world to take emergency action to safeguard public health. Courts, public schools and colleges, municipalities, and other agencies throughout Florida, and across the nation, have temporarily closed office buildings, suspended or reduced operations, and instituted work from home policies. Federal, state, and local governments have requested that residents practice social distancing, and some states have even implemented ‘stay-at-home’ orders. Notwithstanding these unprecedented times, agencies continue to have an obligation to acknowledge and respond to public records requests. ”

CNN: Google requested a trove of documents from the Texas attorney general’s antitrust probe

CNN: Google requested a trove of documents from the Texas attorney general’s antitrust probe. “Google is calling on Texas’s attorney general to hand over a vast trove of internal documents and communications related to a multi-state antitrust probe of the tech giant, including any information supplied to regulators by Texas’s outside consultants and Google’s chief critics and rivals.”

Louisville Courier Journal: Zillow says Kentucky is overcharging for public real estate records. So it’s suing

Louisville Courier-Journal: Zillow says Kentucky is overcharging for public real estate records. So it’s suing. “In the lawsuit, Zillow is challenging the constitutionality of a Kentucky law that allows government agencies to charge ‘commercial’ parties such as Zillow much more for access to public records than other ‘noncommercial’ companies. “

Muckrock: Looking for a better way to teach public records? Read what we’ve learned in Make FOIA Work

Muckrock: Looking for a better way to teach public records? Read what we’ve learned in Make FOIA Work. “Last August, with support from the Online News Association, we partnered with the Engagement Lab at Emerson College and the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism to explore new ways of teaching public records to students and the broader community. Five workshops, four articles, and a hundred public records requests later, our partners at the Engagement Lab have put together a new website, Make FOIA Work, and downloadable guide on what we’ve learned, ideas to make Freedom of Information work more exciting and accessible, and a blueprint for others to build on.”

Genealogy’s Star: Reclaim the Records Wins Again: Index to millions of New York marriage records reclaimed!

Genealogy’s Star: Reclaim the Records Wins Again: Index to millions of New York marriage records reclaimed!. GS quoting the announcement: “Greetings from Reclaim The Records! We’re that scrappy little activist group of genealogists, historians, journalists, and open government advocates, fighting for better public access to government-held genealogical and historical documents. And today, we’re pleased to inform you that we just won our fourth lawsuit! We fought the New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) for the index to marriages performed in the state of New York post-1965, and after seven months, a judge has now ruled in our favor.”

MuckRock: MuckRock gives a state-by-state look at your public records law

MuckRock: MuckRock gives a state-by-state look at your public records law. “There are 50 state records laws (51 counting Washington D.C.) all with different statutes, exemptions, and limitations that dictate what you can get from your state and local agencies. With the rules of access differing across the board, MuckRock provides an easy way to keep track of them all through our interactive database showcasing the best, the worst, and the confusing parts of state records law.”

CityLab: Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?

CityLab: Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?. “In recent years, dozens of U.S. cities have released pools of public data. It’s an effort to improve transparency and drive innovation, and done well, it can succeed at both: Governments, nonprofits, and app developers alike have eagerly gobbled up that data, hoping to improve everything from road conditions to air quality to food delivery. But what often gets lost in the conversation is the idea of how public data should be collected, managed, and disseminated so that it serves everyone—rather than just a few residents—and so that people’s privacy and data rights are protected. That’s where librarians come in.”