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SXSW panel tackles electronic privacy in an evolving digital age

In simple terms, laws addressing electronic privacy are moving at a speed far slower than the Pony Express while businesses and law enforcement agencies grapple with who should have access to people’s data, according to experts on the South By Southwest panel “When Should My Data Become the Government’s Data?” Panelists clearly laid out the conundrums … Continue Reading

Texas open records advocates request help fortifying public information act, honor journalists at annual conference

Champions of open government lamented incremental, compounding wounds to the Texas Public Information Act and suggested at the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas’s annual conference Thursday that state legislators need to step in to stop the bleeding. Jay Root, a reporter for The Texas Tribune, stated it plainly, calling the act “broken and taking … Continue Reading

Texas attorneys graduate as presidential scholars

Two Texas attorneys, Grant Sparks and B.J. Goergen, just wrapped up their year as members of the Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2016. This six-month educational program is jointly sponsored by the U.S. presidential centers of Lyndon B. Johnson, George H.W. Bush, William J. Clinton, and George W. Bush. Of hundreds of applicants, only 61 … Continue Reading

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas receives bar foundation grant for open government guide

The Texas Bar Foundation recently awarded a $3,500 grant to the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas to create a guidebook on state open government laws. “We continually try to find ways to help Texans better understand open government laws so that they can fully participate in our democracy,” Freedom of Information Foundation Executive Director … Continue Reading

FOIFT, AG’s office bringing open government seminar to Rio Grande Valley

The nonprofit Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas is partnering with the Texas Attorney General’s Office to host an open government seminar designed for the public, journalists, attorneys, and government employees in the Rio Grande Valley. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 9 at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, … Continue Reading

When seeking public records, know your rights, responsibilities

If you’ve seen news reports on suspicious state contracts or chemical waste pits or officials’ text messages in the Waco biker shootout, you may notice a recurring theme: government records obtained through the Texas Public Information Act. Fortunately, our state’s public information law, created in the early 1970s, presumes that government records are open unless … Continue Reading
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