More commentary, this time from Douglas Lee, on O’Neill v. City of Shoreline, previously reported here. Here’s a snippet:
As it applies to Thwing’s e-mail, the decision in O’Neill is hardly breathtaking. If information in a public record — hidden or otherwise — discloses who prepared, sent and received that document, that information should be released. As it is written, however, the ruling in O’Neill is not limited to these types of information. Rather, it requires the disclosure of all metadata, from all public records stored in electronic form. We therefore should not be surprised if the ruling prompts a strong reaction from government officials.
Few officials, after all, wish the public to see their first drafts of letters or e-mails or comments or revisions made by supervisors or others collaborating on a document. Disclosing metadata, however, is akin to releasing these drafts.
Read more on First Amendment Center.