Public Records

Resources

Published: 
Friday, September 16, 2011
As flu season approaches, Washingtonians should be thankful that they can still purchase the highly effective decongestant pseudoephedrine over the counter and don’t need to get a prescription (which some states now require). However, they should also be somewhat disgruntled that they must now have their personal information (name, address, amount purchased) submitted into a newly created database that will track their purchases. Since 2005, paper logs had to be maintained for pseudoephedrine sales in Washington, but there was no centrally housed electronic database.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
The ACLU-WA is seeking to learn when, why and how local law enforcement agencies are using cellphone location data to track Americans.  We’ve started with public records requests today to the cities of Bellevue, Tacoma, Yakima, and Spokane.
Published: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
It is a fundamental principle of a democratic society that public employees should be held accountable for their actions. In May, a Seattle arbitrator undermined that principle by ruling that the City of Seattle’s contract with the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild requires the city to withhold the names of police officers who were disciplined for misconduct. Thankfully, City Attorney Pete Holmes has decided to challenge this decision and is fighting to keep this information public.
Published: 
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Samantha*, a single mother from Seattle, is actively searching for housing for herself and her young daughter. She was once involved in crimes connected to her drug addiction, but served her time in prison and successfully completed rehab. All she needs to be a productive citizen supporting her child is a decent place to live.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The final settlement of a lawsuit in which the ACLU intervened will protect the privacy of what customers read, view, and listen to via their purchases on Amazon.com.  
Published: 
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
On January 10, an inquest regarding the August 30, 2010, fatal shooting of First Nations carver John T. Williams by Seattle Police Officer Ian Birk will be held at the King County Courthouse. Reports indicate the police department’s Firearms Review Board preliminarily ruled the shooting was unjustified. Does this mean the inquest verdict will be the same?
Published: 
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
  Public disclosure laws play a vital role in keeping governments in check.  Documents released to the ACLU via public records requests served as the catalyst for many of our efforts, including our ongoing project on government surveillance.  We encourage all of our activist members to file records requests to learn more about what the government “knows.”  Washington has a robust public records law that requires government agencies to disclose all records, subject to a list of specific exemptions for privacy, law enforcement and security reasons.   Additionally, the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts require all federal government agencies to disclose, upon request, a great deal of existing records. Learn more about requesting government records. You might be surprised what you can discover, if you simply ask.  
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, October 14, 2010
In a victory for privacy and free speech on the Internet, a federal court emphasized  that government officials cannot watch over our shoulders to see what we are buying and reading.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, October 11, 2010
A federal court in Yakima has quashed a subpoena that demanded the medical information of 17 medical marijuana patients, citing the need to protect their privacy. The ACLU represented the medical clinic that holds the patients’ records.
Published: 
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Well, that settles it – government surveillance without suspicion is a costly endeavor. The case surrounding the false arrest of Phil Chinn –the Olympia activist targeted for surveillance based on his political associations – has come to a close. Unfortunately, a new ACLU report on political spying shows that coordinated efforts to target political activists for surveillance persist not only throughout Washington, but throughout the country.

Pages