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Articles on Public records

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Nixon resigned after tapes he had fought making public incriminated him in the Watergate coverup. Bettmann/Getty

Trump wants the National Archives to keep his papers away from investigators – post-Watergate laws and executive orders may not let him

Donald Trump’s lawsuit to stop the release to Congress of potentially embarrassing or incriminating documents puts the National Archives in the middle of an old legal conflict.
Police see some difficult scenes; body cameras can record those and make them public. Tony Webster via Flickr

Body cameras help monitor police but can invade people’s privacy

Police body cameras have the potential to make private details about people’s lives, including some of the most stressful experiences of their lives, public and easily accessible online
Canada lags behind some countries with preserving public digital records. (Flickr/BiblioArchives / LibraryArchives Canada)

2020 is a year for the history books, but not without digital archives

Policymakers should mandate Canada’s national library to archive the entire Canadian web domain so future reserachers can make sense of 2020 and ongoing responses to the pandemic.
Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen testifies in February at a public hearing at the Washington legislature against limiting legislative branch disclosure. AP/Ted S. Warren

Secrecy versus sunshine: Efforts to hide government records never stop

Government produces millions of pages of records every day: studies, reports, memos, emails, budgets and more. These reports belong to the public, but increasingly, lawmakers are trying to hide them.
Easy access to government documents is essential to a healthy democracy. As a federal election approaches, Canada needs to do better. (Shutterstock)

With election ahead, we need to make public records truly public

As a Canadian federal election year dawns, an alternative approach to freedom-of-information legislation is an urgent need.
Giving care leavers special access to their records might be one way to help them achieve justice, recognition and a firmer sense of belonging and community. AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Not just about abuse: records access is key to care leavers’ identity

“You have the records of our abuse.” So read the placards held by protesters outside hearings of the Royal Commission and the recent Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse. These protesters…

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