The Sunshine Review newsletter from the Sam Adams Alliance reports an amazing instance of bureaucratic dimwittery.
It seems that the county clerk in the county I grew up in — Pulaski County, Arkansas — also likes the idea of sunshine or “transparency,” or some distorted notion of it. Apparently, he is the kind of person who thinks that if people have “nothing to hide,” it’s okay to go traipsing door to door ripping curtains off living-room windows.
According to the Sunshine Review, this troublemaker “posted [to the Web] tens of thousands of circuit court records containing Social Security numbers and other personal data including bank account numbers, birth dates and check images.”
An outraged resident of the county, Bill Phillips, used the Freedom of Information act to obtain email records from the county clerk’s office. Bill has posted them at his own website, PulaskiWatch.com. In one of the posted emails, county clerk employees are advised to make sure to synchronize their “docuclocks.” Okay. In another email, we learn that someone named Ben is late because of a doctor’s appointment.
PulaskiWatch.com announces that it will remove these silly emails from public view just as soon as the county clerk’s office removes all the personal information from the Internet that is placing so many persons at risk of identity theft.
Good luck, people of Pulaski County. When your public servants don’t see why the personal should be kept private and the public realm open, you’ve got an uphill battle.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.