Are Emails Private?
Email, memos and spreadsheets are open if they involve government business
- Content Determines If Email is Public
Public employee email messages are open to public inspection if they involve government business. The North Carolina Press Association says it's not how emails are sent but their content that determines whether they are public records. An email discussing government business is public, even if it's sent from someone's home computer. On the other hand, a public employee using his work email to ask his wife if he should get milk on the way home is not public.
The Fayetteville Observer, March 26, 2011
- Email as Public Record: Five Things You Should Know
The definition of public records in North Carolina state law is broad, and includes electronic records like email. That means email is subject to both public access and records retention aspects of the law.
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, School of Government, January 27, 2010
- Federal Open Government Directive
Guidance for federal agency Web and New Media teams.
U.S. GSA, Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies and the Federal Web Managers Council
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© 2011 Dr. Anthony Curtis, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke email home page