New Jersey government records council expands the meaning of public records

The redefinition of public records by courts and other government entities has resulted in the exclusion of formerly accessible records, but sometimes it leads to a more inclusive interpretation of public records. In this case, technology is the driving force. The New Jersey Government Records Council (GRC), which interprets that state’s public records act, has issued an opinion that government business conducted or maintained on personal computers is a public record, no matter where that computer is kept. First Amendment watchers have noted that this is a very strong decision by an agency that is more commonly seen as weak-kneed.

The GRC has a searchable database of its opinions.

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