Friday, March 3, 2017


From time to time, we have pointed out that emails - particularly at a public university - should not be viewed as private. Apart from the fact that they wander around and may be seen by folks you didn't intend, public universities - as government entities - are subject to public documents requests.

Even if you use outside email services such as gmail, the California Supreme Court has now clarified that such messages are public documents when they contain "government business."

...The California Supreme Court says the public has the right to access emails and text messages about government business sent on California officials' private accounts.
The ruling by a unanimous court on Thursday clears up a murky area of law in the Golden State.
The use of private email accounts by public officials has faced scrutiny in recent years, with some using it as a way to avoid disclosure...
Full story at:

Indeed, you can be compelled to turn over private devices and their passwords - smartphones, laptops, etc. - containing messages that are "public business." See:

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