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FSU ADV 3352 - Final Exam Review

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ADV3352 Final Exam ReviewWeek 11Chapter 9- Gathering InformationPublic records laws- press’ ability to gather information; where they gathered info from and how they are able to do so from the government Three Sources of Law Concerning Access to Government Information• Common Law• Constitutional Law (First Amendment only)• Statutory Law (State & Federal laws)• Common Lawo Strict limitations o Person requesting document must have interest in the record; ex: party to a litigation who needs record to represent case o Only records required to be kept by government are subject to disclosure- problem: many documents held by government are not required to be kept, so under common law a person would not have access to such documents• Constitutional Law (First Amendment)o Not a huge sourceo First Amendment says “freedom of press” but it does not provide support in this arena because that was not its original intent o Original intent in adopting this amendment was to provide a means for the public to confront the government, NOT for press to report on government’s activities o Supreme Ct. has held in two cases in 1974 that press does NOT have special access to prisons beyond that of normal citizens o Supreme Ct. has held that First Amendment DOES give citizens, including the press, the right to attend criminal trials o Keep in mind that although there is no First Amendment right to access government documents, officials message (President) use the press a lot to get our their and will often freely give out information • Statutory Law (state and federal)o Where the real “crux” of press’ right to gather information iso 1950s- states passed statutes that guaranteed press & public access to records and other information held by government- FL was one of the firsto Every state pretty much has some sort of public records law now- known by different names; ex: Public Records Laws or Sunshine Laws- most of the time referring to state lawso Freedom of Information Act 1966 (FOIA) Federal law Broadness depends on how the government interprets it (depending on President) Rules:• Only applies to federal agencies (such as Environmental Protection Agency, Homeland Security)—not congress or federal courts• Document itself must be a record ; what constitutes a record= all written or electronic documents, films, tapes, photographs, even records held by private contractors; electronic records: both Pres. Bush senior & Clinton held that electronic info should be held differently than written documents, but in 1996 FOIA was amended and electronic records were treated the same  Exemptions:• 9 exemptions to FOIA (from textbook)1. National security measures2. Housekeeping materials3. Materials exempted by statute4. Trade secrets5. Working papers/lawyer-client privileged materials6. Personal privacy files7. Law enforcement records8. Financial institution materials 9. Geological data • Even though record meets both rules (above), nevertheless, such documents are not subject to disclosure—to protect citizens• Gives government leeway in not giving info to press Discussed pieces of this act when discussing government withholding documents/photographs during war Problems- broadness of how much press is able to access depends on how fed gov. wants to interpret law at any given time; Pres. Bush took a very narrow view of law  press was not given unfettered access to documents (because Bush feared risk of threat to national security) Individuals & large corporations have same rights to request info—if government denies request to info, written explanation explaining why it was denied must be provided o Homeland Security Act 2002  Had a provision that made any information that was voluntarily submitted to fed. Government (specifically Department of Homeland security) by private people & businesses was exempt from FOIA  Bush signed into law provision that precluded people or press from accessing documents that were voluntarily submitted by people that talked about the critical infrastructure of particular buildings (they would do this so that any kind of sensitive info about important buildings didn’t fall into the wrong hands/terrorists) Problem- people could hide all sorts of health/safety problems that they had in those buildings as long as it was voluntarily submitted & press would never know about health/safety problems; companies who own power plants, bridges, etc.• State Public Records Laws o Vary from state to state—most states have statuteso FL one of first- our right to public access comes from statute & constitution; we have a provision in our constitution that gives citizens/press right to access public record (gov. takes right very seriously)o Across states, statutes generally provide that certain records of gov. agencies are public and can be accessed by public & mediao General principles: Doesn’t matter why you want document or who you are • As long as it falls within definition, can be accessed by anyone• Ex: in FL, gov. salaries of employees is considered public record Applies to records kept by state agencies• Can include administrative agency, much like federal agencies that we talked about (Florida Dep. Of Trans., etc.)• Can apply to cities, counties, school boards• Wouldn’t apply to the legislature- judicial proceeding, court Applies to all emails of government employees at these agencies- broad rule• When teacher worked at FL Dept. of Environmental Protection, would get requests in pending litigation; technology department would create a search term and pull out every document/email that had that search term in it; many emails would come up and lawyer would have to go through each email and make sure it was relevant- many inappropriate emails come up that are unrelated to search term Various exemptions- classified information, trade secrets, department preliminary papers o Florida Public Record Laws FL is one of first states to enact law Source: FL constitution & FL statutes Major problem: once document is freely given to government, document becomes a public record  anyone can have access to it; parties/litigation are sensitive to give government document that has too much info in it; companies don’t want competitors to access information  Example: FSU and NCAAWeek 12Chapter 11- Gathering InformationFree Press & Fair Trial (Bill of Rights)• Free Press- First


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