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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum’s Sunshine Technology Team held its first meeting today to gather information about new technology and its applicability to state agencies. Attending the meeting were open government advocates and state agency chief information officers.
“Attorney General McCollum has stacked this deck in favor of the transparency that Florida law has required for 100 years,” said media law expert Florence Snyder, a former trustee of the Poynter Institute for Media Studies and a board member of the Bureau of National Affairs’ Media Law Reporter who attended the meeting. “That’s exactly where the people of Florida want their chief law enforcement officer to be.”
The team received a presentation from Research in Motion (RIM), the technology company that makes BlackBerry smartphones. During the presentation, RIM representatives walked participants through the capabilities of the BlackBerry message retention systems. The RIM representatives remarked that the trip to Florida was one of the first times a state attorney general had requested a presentation on issues related to a state’s public records requirements.
“We appreciate the Attorney General’s office organizing this presentation and we look forward to learning more about meshing emerging technologies with Florida’s long-standing tradition of open government,” said Sam Morley, General Counsel for the Florida Press Association.
The Sunshine Tech Team, announced four weeks ago and led by Deputy Attorney General and Chief of Staff Joe Jacquot, will explore the open government requirements as related to electronic communications and emerging technology. Other forms of electronic communications that will be reviewed will include text messaging, instant messaging, and voice over internet protocol.
Attendees included Sharyn Smith, a former Assistant Attorney General and Chief Judge for the Division of Administrative Hearings; JoAnn Carrin with the Governor’s Office of Open Government; and Sarrah Troncoso, Senior Legislative Advocate in Administration and Public Safety for the Florida Association of Counties. Also in attendance were the Chief Information Officers for the Attorney General’s Office, the Agency for Enterprise Information Technology, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Florida Department of Children and Families.