Skip to comments.EPA accused of using instant messages to avoid sunshine laws in lawsuit
Posted on 04/01/2013 8:42:31 AM PDT by jazusamo
Top Environmental Protection Agency officials used computer instant messages to try to circumvent open-records laws, according to a new lawsuit filed late last week by a researcher who has been demanding the agency comply with the law.
Christopher C. Horner, the researcher who earlier uncovered that EPA officials were using private email addresses to conduct official business, said that in going over some of those earlier records he discovered the agency was using instant messages, too. He now is suing to get a look at those records, which he said EPA has refused to release.
It seems we have uncovered yet another major transparency scandal in that either EPA is destroying instant messages against the law, or it is withholding them in defiance of its legal obligations to produce, Mr. Horner said.
The lawsuit says EPAhas never produced an instant message in response either to a request under [the Freedom of Information Act], or in response to a congressional oversight request, despite numerous requests from both for records or electronic records.
The complaint was filed late Thursday and was being served on EPA on Monday by Mr. Horner, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the American Tradition Institute's Environmental Law Center.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
They won't even turn over material after being ordered to by the courts.
Obamanation Counterculture File.
Technologically how easy is it to keep a record of IM’s?
Then again if you have fake employees like Richard Windsor, how could anything be pinned on any particular employee?
There are ways to toggle an option and have them automatically saved to your mailbox. I've done it before.
And I've worked at a lawfirm where everything was automatically archived (and searchable).
How about a new law- Any government official who takes action deliberately designed to thwart official disclosure rules is immediately discharged and loses pension and face possible jail time.
its very easy to keep IM’s, even if you dont purposely save them
There are records of IMs - it is just that the users may not know of it.
Not keeping records is much harder - that takes skill.
Unlike phone conversations, I believe instant messages are all backed up somewhere, even if the user deletes them from his phone/computer.
Absolutely...I would think that would go without saying but of course that would require mostly honest people in government.
Easy. We have IM at my (corporate) job and the default saves them into a file in Outlook.
Why do we even expect an unconstitutional government branch to follow the intent of the law? What good is suing criminal behavior in court before self made kings in black robes? The whole whole government has become ludicrous.
When you roll snake eyes a dozen times in a row it is either time to admit the table is fixed, or get a new set of dice.
The Most Transparent Administration In Human History Sure Likes To Plead the Fifth,
“The way to make government responsible is to hold it accountable. The way to make government accountable is to make it transparent, so the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made, how they’re being well made, and whether their interests are being well served...For a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city. The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over, starting today.”
Back in those early, heady days, Obama pledged that transparency would be a “touchstone” of his administration. Touchstone - noun - “a standard or criterion by which something is judged or recognized.” Three-and-a-half years later, it’s ignore, deny, scoff, then plead the fifth. Now if only we could get the Vice President to avail himself of his sacred right to remain silent... I’ll leave you with this juicy Politico quote on Obama’s track record on FOIA requests:
Obama is the sixth administration thats been in office since Ive been doing Freedom of Information Act work. Its kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. Theres just no question about it, said Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer whos been filing FOIA cases since 1978. This administration is raising one barrier after another. Its gotten to the point where Im stunned Im really stunned.
The compilation I plead the 5th video: