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How NY Gov. Cuomo Sidesteps Freedom of Information Requests With His Blackberry

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the we're-not-having-this-conversation dept.

Blackberry 306

New submitter wrekkuh writes "The Daily News is reporting that if aides of New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo cannot speak in person or by telephone with the Governor, they are told to use BlackBerry's PIN-to-PIN messaging system — a function that leaves no lasting trail because it bypasses data-saving email servers. Consequently, a Freedom of Information request for all e-mails to and from Governor Cuomo's office resulted in an empty reply from the Records Access Officer: 'Please be advised that the New York State Executive Chamber has conducted a diligent search, but does not possess records responsive to your request.'"

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306 comments

freedom of Rim (5, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#40676665)

Why do sysmgr geeks love RIM? Above is one of many reasons, along with enterprise integration, remote administration, custom device policies. For years nothing could compete.

Droids/iStuff can run apps, but none of them could do exactly what a BB does, although perhaps that gap is narrowing. Too bad RIM is so far behind on the game nowadays no one will buy their devices and market share is plunging. 10% of value 1 year ago? Madness.

Re:freedom of Rim (5, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | about 2 years ago | (#40676695)

Maybe if they ask real nice, the NSA can give the FOIA requestors their not-so-blank copy of the "blank" email archive.

Re:freedom of Rim (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about 2 years ago | (#40677213)

RIM probably has a record of all email the last 2-3 months. A judge could get them with a warrant.

I'm surprised the FOIA applies to state governments. They are independent governments from the U.S. government, and thus U.S. law only applies to U.S. government and interstate transaction. Not internal state government affairs.

Re:freedom of Rim (1)

Hadlock (143607) | about 2 years ago | (#40677289)

Since you're a constitutional scholar, can you tell us why the federal wiretap law wouldn't apply here?

Re:freedom of Rim (2)

hakey (1227664) | about 2 years ago | (#40677329)

I'm surprised the FOIA applies to state governments. They are independent governments from the U.S. government, and thus U.S. law only applies to U.S. government and interstate transaction. Not internal state government affairs.

The article doesn't specifically say FOIA, just "a freedom of information request". All states have enacted there own version of FOIA.

Re:freedom of Rim (1)

jjjhs (2009156) | about 2 years ago | (#40677437)

Perhaps some states have passed their own FOI laws. But RIM is a company, not part of the government.

Re:freedom of Rim (1, Interesting)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 2 years ago | (#40676897)

"Droids/iStuff can run apps, but none of them could do exactly what a BB does, although perhaps that gap is narrowing. Too bad RIM is so far behind on the game nowadays no one will buy their devices and market share is plunging. 10% of value 1 year ago? Madness." Never heard of a MDM server have you? Apple released MDM for iOS along with 10.7 server. We have no issues doing any of these things.

Re:freedom of Rim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676999)

But to be fair, you're *still* stuck with an old iPhone.

Re:freedom of Rim (4, Informative)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40676939)

RIM isn't increasing their share and is falling slightly in terms of sales, but it is not quite that bad.

2010 global sales: 49.6m
2011 global sales: 51.5m

You get the impression from the US market where RIM has gone (users not sales) from 21.9m Sep 2010 to 12.5m in May 2012. But that still does represent sales, the average life of a smart phone is 11.5 months. In the US Apple's share of the computer market is just about about getting to the level of RIM's share of the smartphone market, to help put it in perspective.

RIM is deeply troubled, they aren't dead by any means. They've had a rough few years but they haven't done anything truly tragic like follow LG and later Nokia's lead and go with Windows mobile.

Re:freedom of Rim (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677191)

Apple = lots of profit on their market share
RIM = lots of losses on their market share

Only one way is a good way to run a business. See the dotcom boom for lots of examples.

Re:freedom of Rim (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40677487)

RIM's margins on phones is 35.7%. The company has been writing down other assets, the last thing they need right now is to be paying taxes. But no they make money on phones. Tablets are a different story.

ni guh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676675)

politicians should be tagged like sex offenders

Democrats (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676679)

Do as they say, not as they do.

If this were a Republican Gov, Kieth, Rachel, and all the other left wing loudmouths would be engaged in a quasi-journalistic orgy of condemnation and gnashing of teeth.

Re:Democrats (-1, Troll)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 2 years ago | (#40677383)

Yeah because Bush NEVER did this.......

Executive Branch sidestepping Legislative Branch!? (3, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | about 2 years ago | (#40676683)

Next thing you know the Legislative Branch will start writing laws to sidestep the Judicial!!

Re:Executive Branch sidestepping Legislative Branc (3)

DesScorp (410532) | about 2 years ago | (#40677029)

Next thing you know the Legislative Branch will start writing laws to sidestep the Judicial!!

As long as the Judicial Branch doesn't start declaring that "Up" really means "Sideways" in the Constitution or just start making stuff up from the bench, we'll be OK. I mean, sheesh, will we ever be in trouble if that happens.

Re:Executive Branch sidestepping Legislative Branc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677097)

activist judge (noun, plural "activist judges"): a judge with whom I disagree.

Re:Executive Branch sidestepping Legislative Branc (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | about 2 years ago | (#40677099)

"Up" doesn't mean "Sideways", "Up" has been ruled to clearly mean "Interstate Commerce".

Re:Executive Branch sidestepping Legislative Branc (1)

swb (14022) | about 2 years ago | (#40677161)

You're behind the times. Up and Sideways are actually a tax now.

Re:Executive Branch sidestepping Legislative Branc (2)

sycodon (149926) | about 2 years ago | (#40677317)

All Cuomo really had to do was sign an executive order. Everybody knows those overrule legislation now.

Not a surprise (3, Insightful)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#40676701)

Do you think all his phone conversations have been recorded?
There will always be unrecorded means for government officials to communicate, unless it becomes illegal, and still even then.
They don't want Jefferson's informed populace. Go back to watching the Kardasians please.

Re:Not a surprise (5, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | about 2 years ago | (#40676753)

I really want to watch the Kardasians but DS9 ain't even in syndication anymore.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | about 2 years ago | (#40676909)

My kingdom for a mod point.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#40676971)

Try Netflix.

Re:Not a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676997)

You can watch all 200+ episodes if you just pony up for the netflix. Youre a geek, you know you can afford it.

Re:Not a surprise (1, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40677053)

Cardassians. Please spell it correctly. We wouldn't want someone thinking you were an honorless QuchHa' for your refusal to acknowledge your enemies properly.

Re:Not a surprise (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about 2 years ago | (#40677137)

*whoosh*

Re:Not a surprise (0, Offtopic)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#40677181)

I was "keeping up with" the reference just fine. I merely felt like playing the pedant.

Re:Not a surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677003)

Just call McNulty.

Re:Not a surprise (2)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#40677395)

When Google glasses get good enough, all public sector employees should have to wear them at all times and carry around a battery pack so that they work all day. Anyone can then tap into what they are saying, seeing, or hearing at any moment of any day. I don't even care about the bathroom, allowing them to disable it for periods of time will defeat the purpose. You will still have enough people to fill the positions.

Repost from 1896 (5, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | about 2 years ago | (#40676717)

"Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink." - Martin Michael Lomasney

Good. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676719)

Biased fringe liberal press outfits just use email to attack mainstream conservative politicians they hate. This kind of practice is what a modern, intelligent, proactive administration needs to do to make sure the government works. Who cares if it pisses off some useless MSNBC gasbags.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40676819)

This kind of practice is what a modern, intelligent, proactive administration needs to do to make sure the government works.

So, the only way for a government of the People, by the People, and for the People to work... is to keep the People from knowing what's going on?


You, sir or madam, are the ultimate jackass.

Re:Good. (-1, Troll)

falcon5768 (629591) | about 2 years ago | (#40676929)

He's a republican what did you expect? Least unlike a libertarian he is forthcoming with his jackassery.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40677015)

He's a career politician, what did you expect?

FTFY.

Only a blind fool would think there's any real difference between D and R, aside from their location in the seating chart.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677063)

troll

Re:Good. (2, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40677147)

Governor Cuomo is a Registered Democrat.

Re:Good. (2)

x6060 (672364) | about 2 years ago | (#40677261)

Didnt you hear? Any politician that does something the left doesnt like is automatically called a republican. Its like a reverse No True Scotsman.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677431)

Blue Dog Democrat. [wikipedia.org]

The USA has only one political leaning and that is right wing. Many republicans are VERY right wing, and many democrats are only slightly right wing, and there are tons of "moderates" in between. The only real exception to this is Bernie Sanders.

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676975)

This kind of practice is what a modern, intelligent, proactive administration needs to do to make sure the government works.

So, the only way for a government of the People, by the People, and for the People to work... is to keep the People from knowing what's going on?

You, sir or madam, are the ultimate jackass.

You have no idea how much time government offices (ones that arent as proactive as Mr Cuomos) spend complying with FOIA requests. The sad thing is that most FOIA requests are from opposition party operatives, trawling for fish through any quasi-sensitive material they can get their hands on. Is that government "of/by/for the people"? Or is that "two party bickering, on the taxpayer's dime"?

The one or two staffers that would have been doing NOTHING but responding to nonsense FOIA requests can instead focus on real work, thanks to this policy. Cuomo's model should be SOP for all offices.

And here come the downmods! Oh noes information wants to be free!

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

cfulton (543949) | about 2 years ago | (#40677245)

We still need transparency in government. If that means that we pay extra people to handle FOIA request so what. There are a lot of things the government needs to stop spending money on. IMHO these include wars, oil company tax breaks, running guns to Mexico and the drug war. It is possible your list is different. I happen to agree that I am sick and tired of the Republican / Democrat bickering. They have decided that government is a game they want to win instead of the activity of good governance. But, that does not mean that the answer is to hid the actions of and communication of public officials. That is the same as sticking you head in the ground when the bullets fly.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#40677173)

The problem is the the Public is really stupid.

They will take a public statement play it out of context, and they will think that guy is pure evil, or grossly out of touch. To run a government you need to work with your competition, and with groups who you are not a big fan of.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 2 years ago | (#40677457)

The problem is the the Public is really stupid.

No - the problem is that mentality right there. The pervasiveness of the idea that "the Public is stupid" and therefore undeserving of honest, open government, is exactly why we have the dishonest, corrupt, secretive government you see today.

Try giving people credit for once, instead of just instantly assuming that everyone [who doesn't share your particular point of view] is an abject moron - they will surprise you with their intelligence, given the opportunity to express it.


I'm always amazed at how smart individual hillbillies can be, once you get them to actually think for themselves and stop parroting FOX News talking points. I assume the same can be said for coastal elites, save the substitution of "MSNBC" in place of "FOX News"

Re:Good. (0)

emag (4640) | about 2 years ago | (#40676931)

When did Cuomo join the Republican Party? True, you can't actually tell them apart from the Democritic Party in terms of outcome...

Re:Good. (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 2 years ago | (#40676945)

bullshit. Back room secrets is NEVER good for democracy.

Our current lobbying system is example 0.

Re:Good. (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#40677353)

Lol. Republicans do it too. The current uproar over Fast and Furious (and the documents that the administration does not want to release) is over memos that occurred after the program had ended. The Republican Congress is just trying to prove when different members of the administration knew about it (after it happened) so that they can attack them for political gain. But I kinda doubt that you have been complaining about that.

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677467)

Lol. Republicans do it too. The current uproar over Fast and Furious (and the documents that the administration does not want to release) is over memos that occurred after the program had ended. The Republican Congress is just trying to prove when different members of the administration knew about it (after it happened) so that they can attack them for political gain. But I kinda doubt that you have been complaining about that.

Naaah, couldn't have one bit to do with the fact that the Obama administration decided to give guns to drug rings, and then lie about it under oath.

Nope, THAT was the Republican's fault, too.

Ummmm, sure.

You are a blind jackass.

Can't get information that doesn't exist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676737)

Not storing information is the oldest trick in the book. This is not news.

It makes me think of ISPs getting subpoenaed for information that simply doesn't exist.

A law? (1)

Stavr0 (35032) | about 2 years ago | (#40676759)

Isn't there a law that mandates all official government written communications should be recorded?

Re:A law? (3, Funny)

BitterOak (537666) | about 2 years ago | (#40676799)

These aren't written. They're texted.

Re:A law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676995)

So by that logic would you also say that a typed letter is not "written", or when someone sends an email that's not "written" either?

Re:A law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676963)

Isn't there a law that mandates all official government written communications should be recorded?

You thinking of the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_Records_Act ?

Re:A law? (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#40677255)

FTFA:
"Only members of Cuomo’s inner circle are told his PIN, sources say."

"Internal back-and-forth messages — whether on paper or by email or PIN-to-PIN messaging — are not by law available to the public, said Robert Freeman, of the state Committee on Open Government."

He broke no laws, and nothing he did reduced information available to the public. What's the problem?

What usually happens (4, Interesting)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40676779)

We have a classic problem with the freedom of information requests:

1) We want accurate historical records maintained of how decision were made, by whom and why.
2) We want a have an open press and legal system to have access to those records so our legal processes and our political processes are based on accurate information.
3) We want to have an open campaign system where all available information is discussed as part of the process of choosing leaders.

Pick any 2.

Re:What usually happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676883)

There is nothing inherently problematic about having all three of those. The problem comes in when people are afraid to say in public the actual reasons for their decisions. The two possible solutions for such rampant deception are: 1) abandon all shame and morality nationwide 2) restore shame and morality to politicians.
There is a strong push for option 1.

Re:What usually happens (1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#40676941)

and we have an issue where the news media collects 20 year old sound bites or opinions and wants to know why a certain politician changed his mind on an issue. it's OK for people to change their mind but if you're running for public office you are pandering and you are supposed to keep the same opinions on issues for decades no matter what the cultural and technological changes are

Re:What usually happens (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677115)

That's because politicians are granted their jobs based on promises and very little else. If they aren't seen to be constant and loyal to whatever they're saying, then why should anyone trust their promises? The real solution is have an electorate that feels like the whole charade matters, so they'd pay more attention to voting records and such, but most Americans regard the whole process as corrupt beyond redemption.

Re:What usually happens (1)

cfulton (543949) | about 2 years ago | (#40677325)

I agree but, the problem is not necessarily with the media. We listen to them and believe that since someone said or did something 20 years ago they cannot have changed. We need to simply ignore this kind of crap until the media stop doing it. Everyone complains about how bad tv is but no one seems to do the one thing that will change it: stop watching TV. Everyone complains about how Walmart is killing the small towns but, no one will stop shopping at Walmart. Everyone complains about crappy politicians and how they are ruining America but we continue to register as Republican or Democrat and vote for the vermin we hate the least. The inaction of the American people is more to blame than the institutions that pander to us.

Re:What usually happens (1)

gtbritishskull (1435843) | about 2 years ago | (#40677397)

Or, the politician needs to give a good reason why their views have changed other than "Because I am more likely to be elected".

Re:What usually happens (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40677273)

It has nothing to do with politicians being immoral though that certainly makes the problem worse. If you look at any idealogical breakdown of the voting population it is almost impossible to assemble coalitions of 50%+1 that agree on objectives and means across an array of issues. Politicians to get reelected need to be able to spin. The problem is not one of immorality, the problem is the diversity of the electorate.

Re:What usually happens (2)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#40677021)

We have a classic problem with the freedom of information requests:

1) We want accurate historical records maintained of how decision were made, by whom and why.
2) We want a have an open press and legal system to have access to those records so our legal processes and our political processes are based on accurate information.
3) We want to have an open campaign system where all available information is discussed as part of the process of choosing leaders.

Pick any 2.

The true problem is that instead of FOIA being used by journalists or investigators for specific issues, they are used by political firms who are trying to dig up dirt on the "other side" (and most of those FOIA requests are overly broad to boot). Throw away #3 and the FOIA process isn't a zoo anymore. Let reputable journalists investigate, not anonymous trolls who get paid to encourage the other side to waste time.

Re:What usually happens (2)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40677299)

That means a registered press where certain people have much greater FOIA rights than others. Essentially a group of journalists and/or organizations are registered for insider access and they get accurate information. You are tossing #2. That's essentially what we had in the first term of the Bush administration where access required obedience.

Re:What usually happens (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40677167)

The "pick any two" canard is for when there are actual constraints making all three impossible. There's no reason beyond corruption that we can't have all three of those.

Re:What usually happens (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40677319)

It has nothing to do with politicians being corrupt though that certainly makes the problem worse. If you look at any idealogical breakdown of the voting population it is almost impossible to assemble coalitions of 50%+1 that agree on objectives and means across an array of issues. Politicians to get reelected need to be able to spin. The problem is not one of immorality, the problem is the diversity of the electorate.

Re:What usually happens (1)

Eponymous Hero (2090636) | about 2 years ago | (#40677439)

and since there will always be corruption, the constraint is real. we can never have all 3. at least not with any consistency.

Re:What usually happens (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#40677309)

Well, the way I see it, the lawmakers are pushing to have everything we do me monitored and tracked for several years ... we should be starting with them.

Re:What usually happens (1)

jbolden (176878) | about 2 years ago | (#40677333)

And they don't like it anymore than you do. And just as you try and evade, they try and evade. Hence the story.

Employers do this too! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676783)

Had a former employer demand that I get an iPhone so he could text me the instructions on everything he wanted me to do, much of which was either illegal or leading me to suspect that he was basically building up an elaborate scam. But then of course he demanded emails that would show evidence that I was the one at fault for providing false information to him the whole time (me being the programmer). I cursed him out and quit for insulting my intelligence, and made sure the rest of the company employees got wind of it so they'd know better too. Younger less experienced employees might not have caught on to this, but I sure did....real fast.

Re:Employers do this too! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677293)

HP had this policy as well. Kind of. We were not allowed to communicate in a way that left a trail, unless it was absolutely necessary. We had to use an IM program that didn't even have the ability to record conversations, instead of email, whenever we needed to communicate with someone. This didn't account for time-shifting very well. I know that other companies have similar policies. Although, these are corporations, not government, so they are not expected to be held to the same level of openness.

Using personal email is an old dodge (5, Insightful)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 2 years ago | (#40676791)

Everything needs to be on record. It has to be a criminal offense to systematically use systems with no log. These people are public officials with enormous power. The ability to find out who knew what when is vital to the public trust.

What public officials are effectively saying is that we need to make this a felony for them to take it seriously. A felony conviction amongst other things would invalidate them from public service ever again. So indifferent to whether they actually served any jail time it would be the irrevocable end to their political career.

I don't see any reason to bother even sending them to jail for it. Just give them a felony conviction with a 1000 dollar fine for court fees.

Re:Using personal email is an old dodge (1)

realsilly (186931) | about 2 years ago | (#40677197)

You should not have been modded down for this in my opinion. It's a valid response.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676817)

It was an issue within the Canadian Federal Government a few years back. Many Departments were told (not warned) to stop and that was it.

It was a big issue here too (5, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 2 years ago | (#40677275)

The Bush administration was raked over the coalsby the press for Blackberry use, and Sarah Palin was nailed for occasionally using private email as governor. Currently the press is complaining about Romney deleting information when he left as governor.

Note the common denominator: They're all Republicans. I'll be surprised if the press inflates this to the scale of a national scandal since Cuomo is a Democrat.

The mainstream press didn't care much when the Clinton administration "lost" thousands of emails under subpoena, even with a Democrat operative threatening contractors who were knew about the loss, and the fact that person got promoted out of the mess. I hear the Obama administration has hired her for a sensitive post at Cyber Command, *chirp* *chirp*.

Not true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676821)

As a bes sysadmin, I can tell you all pin to pin is logged on the server. Unless they are running a really old version, this is bs.

Re:Not true (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677131)

All PIN to PIN can be logged at the server, if you know to turn it on.

Damn those evil ReTHUGlicans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676825)

Oh, wait.....

Nevermind. This didn't happen.

The same way people will fire their 9 mm? (1)

DerUberTroll (2676259) | about 2 years ago | (#40676943)

It seems to me that everywhere you look, people are getting or already have enough of "the system". I'm one of them. This shit has got to go and it has got to go now.

What a shock. (0, Troll)

Grimbleton (1034446) | about 2 years ago | (#40676951)

A scumbag in New York.

Re:What a shock. (1)

Drathos (1092) | about 2 years ago | (#40677435)

A scumbag politician.

FTFY

I think this is reasonable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40676987)

Given the media's interest in "gotcha" journalism and the messy process of getting to good legislative compromise, I'm glad there are some ways government officials can talk privately. How else can they sit down with their legislative friends and reach a compromise if they can't discuss things that the special interests or their own party would attack them for. If we want compromise, people need to be free to talk privately.

Re:I think this is reasonable (2)

magarity (164372) | about 2 years ago | (#40677089)

FOI requests take time and have to be for something specific. You can't ask for 'what's the governor up to today?' So only after the dealmaking has been done can you get at documentation about the process. By that time, it's a done deal and the parties involved can present a complete picture of what the compromise was and how it was reached. If a political leader is making deals that even after the fact are something that they should be attacked for, why would you want to hide it?

Re:I think this is reasonable (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40677231)

FOI requests take time and have to be for something specific.

Which is a serious problem. All official communications from any government office should be public, and available in real time. There should be no expectation of privacy, at any time, for any public official.

Re:I think this is reasonable (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#40677201)

How else can they sit down with their legislative friends and reach a compromise

You misspelled cronies and scam.

if they can't discuss things that the special interests or their own party would attack them for

They can. They just need the balls to explain why the public interest trumps the special interest.

If we want compromise, people need to be free to talk privately.

And if we want accountability, politicians must never talk privately.

You are aware that public shaming is a deterrant for some politicans to do the right thing. Can you understand that it is also a deterrent for politicans to do the wrong thing? Give them the power to keep secrets, and they will keep the wrong kinds of secrets. Sunlight, as always, is the best disinfectant.

Solution: Request PIn Records (1)

wizkid (13692) | about 2 years ago | (#40677035)

I'm sure they're logged somewhere.

Blair had it nailed (1)

The Askylist (2488908) | about 2 years ago | (#40677043)

Here in the UK, we learn that during the "cash for honours" scandal, a separate non-government computer was operating in No. 10 specifically for the purpose of doing business without oversight.

The arsehole also shredded all his expense data just before the storm over MPs claiming for duck ponds and tennis courts broke.

Labour, Democrat - it seems they are all in it together.

Re:Blair had it nailed (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#40677149)

Labour, Democrat - it seems they are all in it together.

Labour, Democrat, Labor, Tory, Republican, Liberal, National - it seems they are all in together.

Just a minor tweak.

Subpoena the Aide's phones (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#40677065)

Maybe they have a local history of chat logs.

Completely Reasonable (2)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#40677079)

Am I the only one who thinks this is completely reasonable and acceptable?

Re:Completely Reasonable (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 years ago | (#40677141)

He's obviously hiding something. Only crazy conspiracy theorists think every time something happens off the record they're hiding something; perceptive people notice when someone deliberately and intently shuffles things off the record.

Re:Completely Reasonable (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 2 years ago | (#40677287)

He's obviously hiding something.

If he has something to hide, he must be a terrorist or criminal, according to all the comments from people who want to take our privacy away from us on the basis that it should not matter if we don't have anything to hide!

Re:Completely Reasonable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677151)

No, Cuomo agrees with you fully.

There's also that guy posting over and over that this is just a response to FOI trolling (someone took the time to point out that he was absolutely wrong about how FOI actions occur, not sure if he's posted since).

And there was that guy who thought Cuomo was a Republican targetted by MSNBC for hit pieces because of his party.

So that means you are not alone, there are four of you.

Re:Completely Reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677177)

yes

No, you aren't alone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677239)

This is the media trying to score sensational revelations to make money. Also the executive trying to do a job where people can communicate honestly without fear that the sensationalist press will partially quote them the next day.

As someone who ordered something that would usually have been posted the next day concealed because it was the details of a negotiation position, I see some cases where secrecy is justified. And once the negotiations were concluded, the item was published. You can't negotiate when the other side can know every detail of your bottom line positions.

I guess what I'm saying is it isn't as simple as some would make it.

He's a Democrat, it's OK. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677203)

But but but ROMNEY and BAIN. And oh, BUUUUUUUUUSH.

Sunshine Law Violation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677221)

Laws that regulate government in the sunshine are not meant to be bypassed by an electronic device or system. They probably feel secure that he can't be charged as a criminal but a lovely civil suit or obscuring the transparency of government might work as a variation of a citizen's civil rights being violated.
              I am on a condo board with three members. In my state is is almost illegal for me to say hello to another board member as it is a meeting out of view of the membership. Could a mayor or governor be operating under less stringent laws than a condo board?

Ask for all emails to valdate this... (1)

realsilly (186931) | about 2 years ago | (#40677247)

I would simply ask for every email the Gov. has sent or received and then see if he's circumventing FOIA. If the only emails that come back are fluff crap or none at all then that would provide a pretty good indication of circumvention.

Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677307)

He's part of the 1% and plays by different rules than the rest of us.

Boston's Mayor Menino uses a similar system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40677379)

All non-routine city business (new development proposals, top-level hires, etc) gets routed through his top aide, Michael Kineavy, who regularly deletes correspondence from his old Windows laptop [boston.com] w/o mail server backup. The city's IT systems are deliberately kept ancient.

(I personally experience this every year - the database of car owners liable for the auto excise tax is completely separate from the database of residents to whom excise tax bills are sent. I've had a number of discussions in City Hall and they couldn't care less).

So much for "transparency."

BES Logging? (1)

alittle158 (695561) | about 2 years ago | (#40677423)

If the device is going through a BES (which I sure hope it is), then the admin needs to have logging turned on for all messaging. The messages may be encrypted, but they can still be logged through policies...
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