R4R Freedom of Information Act and Discord

Discussion in 'Court of The North Pacific' started by St George, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. St George

    St George Culture Doggo Supporter Roleplay Moderator Minister NPA Citizen

    1. What law, government policy, or action (taken by a government official) do you request that the Court review?

    The lack of declassification of private government records from the TNP Executive Discord that reach one year of age by multiple successive governments.

    2. What portions of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Legal Code, or other legal document do you believe has been violated by the above? How so?

    Section 7.5 of the Legal Code: Freedom of Information Act, specifically clause 34:

    Section 7.5: Freedom of Information Act

    31. For the purposes of this section "the government" refers to the Delegate and the Executive Officers, including the departments which they oversee.

    32. For the purposes of this section, classified information is that which fits any of the below definitions:

    • Real life information about any NationStates player from which there is a risk of inferring that player's real life identity and which has not willingly been disclosed to the public, including, but not limited to, an individual's name, IP address, physical address or location, phone number, place of employment or education, appearance, social media accounts, and other knowledge about a player, unless the player in question provides explicit consent for this information not to be considered private.

    • Real life information about any NationStates player for which there exists a reasonable real life expectation of privacy or discretion, including, but not limited to, health status, both mental and physical; financial status; personal tragedies; changes in personal status such as marriage, divorce, pregnancy, birth, or death; and other similar information, unless the player in question provides explicit consent for this information not to be considered private.

    • Information that, upon being made public, would jeopardize any ongoing military or intelligence operations; or jeopardize the security of units and agents participating in them, or be harmful to the diplomatic interests, military interests, or security of The North Pacific.
    33. Notwithstanding any process for publication, any information which meets the criteria to be classified will not be released.

    34. Private government records which reach one year of age will be relocated to the appropriate Declassified Archive visible to residents.

    35. At any time a resident may request the release of any private record from the Government through the Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive.

    36. The Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive will retrieve information requested from the different departments of the government.

    37. Residents who do not receive this information for any reason not specifically designated in appropriate laws or regulations may file a request for the information to the court, where the Delegate and the designated officers of the Executive may present evidence that addresses any claim that release of the information meets one or more of the acceptable acceptable criteria for classification.

    38. Information appropriately not disclosed will be accepted as classified by a majority vote of the Court sitting as a three-member panel.

    Private government records in the legal code is not defined solely as private government records held on the forum, an area to which declassification has previously been applied to only. I believe that due to this, declassification of private government records from the TNP Executive Discord server should have occurred and multiple TNP governments has failed in this area.

    3. Are there any prior rulings of the Court that support your request for review? Which ones, and how?

    None I am aware of.

    4. Please establish your standing by detailing how you, personally, have been adversely affected. If you are requesting a review of a governmental action, you must include how any rights or freedoms of yours have been violated. If you are submitting this request in your capacity as the Attorney General or their designee, please note that here instead.

    As a citizen, the lack of disclosure has prevented proper oversight of government actions by the wider citizenry and regional assembly.

    5. Do you have any further information you wish to submit to the Court with your request?

    There remains a practical obstacle to releasing old cabinet records from the Executive discord server, in that incoming governments have their own executive council channels created and the previous ones are, I assume, either deleted or archived. It is thus difficult for a government to declassify these channels at the required one year point.
  2. Eluvatar

    Eluvatar TNPer Staff Member Administrator Justice Citizen

    This request for review is accepted. The period for submitting briefs is now open.
  3. Artemis

    Artemis Speaker of the Regional Assembly Speaker Security Council Election Commissioner Citizen

    TNP Nation:
    As Speaker, I would support the declassification of information from the Executive Server, or for any government server (Executive, AG, Speaker etc.). I feel after a certain amount of time information should be available to the residents of the region as intended by the law. From my understanding, the law does not stipulate where it applies much as MadJack states. The process of collecting the logs has been stated to be one of the most difficult aspects of the process, either due to the deletion of the channel or archived where no-one can access.

    It was brought up in discussion within the #citizens-chat on TNPGen that a bot could capture all of the logs and export them to a markdown file. Obviously, this would need to be done once that channel has been archived on the server or done at prior to the one year mark to allow for time to review the logs for classified material to be redacted. This would bring up the issue as to who would control the bot, who would have access to the archived channel to run the logging command and who would review the logs, as well as the process this would have to follow.

    Ultimately the law is ambiguous as to where it applies. I firmly believe that it is crafted in that manner to apply to all mediums in which the Government of TNP operates, whether that is via the forum, Discord, Telegram, or even IRC and the FOIA should apply to any and all mediums used by the Government.