The FCC released the National Broadband Plan today, setting out ambitious goals for how the federal government conducts business in cyberspace. The Plan targets several concrete goals, including

  • 100 million homes with affordable access to 100 megabit per second internet access.
  • At least one institutional (e.g., hospital or university) connection at one gigabit per second in every community.

Closer to open local government’s home, the Plan’s “Civic Engagement” chapter may raise the bar for municipalities in providing access to records and officials. Although the Plan is directed to the federal government, citizens are likely to expect the same level of service from all government agencies, including their local city hall.


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The Kitsap Sun recently reported that on October 28, 2009, the Kitsap County Parks and Recreation Department’s blog (launched September 8, 2009 and hosted on a County intern’s Facebook site) was taken down. According to the article, the decision to take the blog down stemmed partially from the electronic records management advisory issued by the

The Washington State Archives recently published a records management advice sheet entitled “Electronic Records Management: Blogs, Wikis, Facebook, Twitter & Managing Public Records” that provides guidance to state and local government agencies regarding the retention of public records of posts to social networking websites such as blogs, wikis, Facebook, and Twitter. 

The advice

As I have previously noted, a little while back I asked Tim Ford, the AG’s Open Government Ombudsman, about some of the legal issues related to the use of blogs and Web 2.0 sites.

Here is his email response (my questions are in black, his responses in red).  Essentially, Ford states that the content is the public record, not the “look and feel” version that actually would appear on the Web 2.0 site.  This addresses my biggest concern.

And here is Russell Wood’s response to the retention issues.  Again, Wood states that it is the content that is subject to retention (this is an edited version of the email).


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