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Court deciding if private emails are public record

Posted: June 28, 2014 10:11 a.m.
Updated: June 28, 2014 10:11 a.m.
 

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court will decide if private emails and other electronic communications of government officials are public records open for inspection.

The high court announced Friday that it would step in and settle a long-simmering debate over access to public employees' private communications on personal devices discussing government issues.

Since the coming of email, activists and others in the state have been battling at all levels of government over whether public issues discussed on private devices with personal accounts are covered by the Public Records Act. Similar legal battles and political debates have sprung up across the country as well.

An appeals court ruled in April that electronic communications sent and received by public officials on their own devices are not public records regardless of the topic.

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