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(CalAware Weekly comprises this plus the three previous posts)


Free Press

Public Defender Defends Subpoena to Newspaper     
Writing in the Santa Barbara Independent, County Public Defender Gregory C. Paraskou insists that his deputy’s subpoena to the Independent for unpublished photographs for possible use as defense evidence in a murder case should not have been compared in a column as akin to the Bush Administration’s incursion into rights protected by the First Amendment.

Open Government

E-mail Expert Calls for Special Prosecutor     
Zatz Publishing, producer of special-interest online magazines and books for technical consumers and information technology professionals, has announced the publication of its latest special report on the White House e-mail controversy: “It's Time for a Special Prosecutor.”  Authored by David Gewirtz, ZATZ editor-in-chief and the author of Where Have All The Emails Gone?,  this latest report spotlights what it calls “the increasingly apparent examples of massive negligence within the White House Office of the Chief Information Officer, this time resulting in evidence that the White House has irrevocably broken at least two key federal laws: the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act.” 

Public Information

Transparency Activist Challenges Fund Decision
The Daily Bulletin in Ontario reports that open-government advocate Richard McKee—president emeritus of Californians Aware—has requested public documents from Los Angeles County administrators, citing concern that a rule change excluding a Claremont project from affordable-housing funds was made improperly.

Student Wants to Know Bookstore’s Markups    
The Sacramento State Hornet reports that a senior government major wants to propose an amendment to the California Public Records Act making the textbook price markups applied by the campus bookstore operators available as public information and, not, as the university’s lawyer insists, privileged trade secrets.

Court Accused of Putting Private Data Online 
   
Computerworld magazine reports that privacy advocates claim that Social Security numbers, medical histories, tax records, bank account data and other sensitive personal data are freely available online via the website of the Superior Court in California's Riverside County.

Free Speech

Internet Archive Gets FBI to End Secret Demand     
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that in a rare if not unprecedented reversal, the proprietor of the nonprofit Internet Archive has caused the FBI to withdraw its secret demand for records of all communications with one of his patrons as part of an investigation of "international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."

Editorial: Teacher Loyalty Oath an Anachronism     
The Sacramento Bee says in an editorial that SB 1322 by state Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) would eliminate membership in the Communist Party as a reason for dismissing a public employee, noting that California is the only state that allows public employees to be dismissed for membership in a political party. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times reports that the Quaker teacher who lost her appointment as a Cal State Fullerton lecturer after she objected to the loyalty oath submitted a revised statement of her beliefs yesterday in a bid to win the job back.

Whistleblowers

FBI Raids Offices of Federal Whistleblower Guardian
The Los Angeles Times reports that Federal agents Tuesday swarmed the home and office of the Bush administration official responsible for protecting government whistle-blowers, part of an investigation into whether the official retaliated against his employees and obstructed justice.

Open Meetings

Editorial Criticizes Mayor’s Veto of Taping Proposal   
An editorial in the San Francisco Bay Guardian urges the Board of Supervisors to override Mayor Gavin Newsom’s veto of a proposal to audiotape or videotape any meeting of any public agency at City Hall and post the tape on the Internet within 72 hours—for the benefit of citizens whose day jobs don’t permit them to attend the meetings.