Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Sarah Palin's e-mails


A judge has ruled that the Alaska governor's office can use private e-mail accounts to conduct state business, as former Gov. Sarah Palin sometimes did.

Superior Court Judge Jack W. Smith said in his ruling Wednesday that there is no provision in Alaska state law that prohibits the use of private e-mail accounts when conducting state business.

State lawyers argued that McLeod misinterpreted current state law. And if the practice is to be changed, lawyers said it was up to Alaska lawmakers do it.

Somebody misinterpreted Andree McLeod's point.

McLeod contended such use of private e-mails denies citizens the right to inspect public records.

Either public records are public and open to inspection or they're not. FOIA is FOIA and Sarah Palin appears to have attempted to circumvent it.

Using private e-mail accounts muddies the waters somewhat...
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18 comments:

nswfm CA said...

So it sounds like Andree or others can do a FOIA on her private emails since she did state business. Who's Trig's real mom, anyone?

regina said...

People can do a FOIA, but would the Yahoo e-mails be preserved as the state e-mails would? These accounts can be deleted at any time, not quite public records as on an official state server.

The intent behind using such accounts is the real question...

sandra said...

How would these be different from phone conversations? Is it because they are recorded? Is that why the Nixon tapes were made public?

Anonymous said...

I think Yahoo as well as other major social networks, keep their records on file for a long time after accounts are closed just for legal reasons.

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

state business records generated on a personal cell
phone or PDA are public records subject to review and disclosure, unless the Public
Records Act permits them to be withheld. Personal records are likely protected
from public disclosure but are not protected from state official or court review to
the extent necessary to identify state business records....

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

any questions Ms. Frye?

sandra said...

sjk: I hope you are not implying I am a troll. I am really curious about why emails are different from phone conversations. The laws may be different, but I am trying to see the bigger picture.

EyeOnYou said...

I think the key here is the intent, and since Frank Bailey set up the Yahoo Network to include himself, Ivy Frye, Kris Perry, as well as both Todd & Sarah Palin to use those private emails, the intent is pretty obvious that this was not designed for everyone within the administration, nor was it open for review as we have heard that during the Troopergate investigation there were problems with getting those emails, so in my opinion this was done as a deliberate way to avoid disclosure at worst and at best it was done to ensure that disclosure would be exceptionally difficult.

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

sandra, Because AK law says all communication via e-mail must be available to the public. I dug up the laws on e-mail...You can dig up the phone rules if you'd like, but e-mails are the topic of this obvious breach of ethics and law. IMHO!

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

eye on you, if they mention A cat or e-smurf, they are f***ed.

happy dance!

LisanTX said...

OT, but Regina, have you seen the new website on the pregnancy hoax? It's funny!

http://www.ottoline.net/PalinHoax/mainN.shtml

trev said...

It doesn't matter where the emails are they are still subject to FOIA. If Palin deleted state business emails from her yahoo account she might be in trouble for destruction of state records.

EyeOnYou said...

I do have to wonder if anyone has requested (legally) that Yahoo preserve the email account information from those specific accounts.

Yahoo terms of service are pretty specific, and it does make me wonder if any of those emails have been retained considering that Palin immediately terminated the account after the hacking was done.

TERMINATION

You may terminate your Yahoo! account, any associated email address and access to the Yahoo! Services by submitting such termination request to Yahoo!.

You agree that Yahoo! may, without prior notice, immediately terminate, limit your access to or suspend your Yahoo! account, any associated email address, and access to the Yahoo! Services. Cause for such termination, limitation of access or suspension shall include, but not be limited to, (a) breaches or violations of the TOS or other incorporated agreements or guidelines, (b)requests by law enforcement or other government agencies, (c) discontinuance or material modification to the Yahoo! Services (or any part thereof), (d) unexpected technical or security issues or problems, (e) extended periods of inactivity, (f) engagement by you in fraudulent or illegal activities, and/or (g) nonpayment of any fees owed by you in connection with the Yahoo! Services. Further, you agree that all terminations, limitations of access and suspensions for cause shall be made in Yahoo!'s sole discretion and that Yahoo! shall not be liable to you or any third party for any termination of your account, any associated email address, or access to the Yahoo! Services.

Termination of your Yahoo! account includes any or all of the following: (a) removal of access to all or part of the offerings within the Yahoo! Services, (b) deletion of your password and all related information, files and content associated with or inside your account (or any part thereof), and (c) barring of further use of all or part of the Yahoo! Services.
___________________
GENERAL PRACTICES REGARDING USE AND STORAGE

You acknowledge that Yahoo! may establish general practices and limits concerning use of the Yahoo! Services, including without limitation the maximum number of days that email messages, message board postings or other uploaded Content will be retained by the Yahoo! Services, the maximum number of email messages that may be sent from or received by an account on the Yahoo! Services, the maximum size of any email message that may be sent from or received by an account on the Yahoo! Services, the maximum disk space that will be allotted on Yahoo!'s servers on your behalf, and the maximum number of times (and the maximum duration for which) you may access the Yahoo! Services in a given period of time. You agree that Yahoo! has no responsibility or liability for the deletion or failure to store any messages and other communications or other Content maintained or transmitted by the Yahoo! Services. You acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to log off accounts that are inactive for an extended period of time. You further acknowledge that Yahoo! reserves the right to modify these general practices and limits from time to time.

Yahoo! Messenger, including any web-based versions, will allow you and the people with whom you communicate to save your conversations in your Yahoo! accounts located on Yahoo! servers. This means you can access and search your message history from any computer with access to the internet. Whether or not you use this feature, other users may choose to use it to save conversations with you in their account on Yahoo! too. Your agreement to this TOS constitutes your consent to allow Yahoo! to store these communications on its servers.

ProChoiceGrandma said...

Here is a question that only Alaskans can answer for me:

I recently realized that Bristol's court date on 1/19/08 was a SATURDAY. This was her minor speeding ticket (4-9 mph over) she got on 8/6/07 which was continued several times until finally heard on 1/19/08.
Does the Alaskan juvenile court system hold hearings on Saturdays??? Or is that only for a privileged pregnant Governor’s daughter? Can someone please check on that and let me know?

ProChoiceGrandma said...

One more question I am putting out there if someone should happen to know, or suggest how I can find out:
Is it possible to get a copy of Todd's flight log for January and February 2008? Would the FAA have the flight logs from that far back? If he were to fly from Wasilla to Fairbanks, wouldn't he have to submit a flight plan? Or being First Dude, would that make him exempt?

basheert said...

PCG: Flight plans are VOLUNTARY - unless you are flying IFR. Yes it is a good idea, but it is not legally required.

If you are flying VFR (visual flight rules) you are not REQUIRED to file a flight plan.

By the way, IF the Legislature wants, they can fix the pesky phone log/email issue.

the problem child said...

The court had already made an interim order telling the state to preserve the yahoo e-mails.

So much depends on what the actual judgment/ order says. The issues in this case were not limited to the narrow outcome that the media reports suggest. But the AK courts are being slow to get this one posted.

Benjamin Wright said...

A principle of the Information Age: Government is wise to organize itself and its records (including email) so it can swiftly and efficiently respond to freedom-of-information-act requests. Resistance to such requests is wasteful and makes government look out-of-touch. --Ben