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FOIL-AO-16302

E-MAIL

From:                Robert Freeman
To:                    
Date:                 11/21/2006 9:09:42 AM
Subject:            

Dear :

I have received your letter concerning email evidence which if disclosed might constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy.  Since "these records were originally created by some one else and not Yorktown Police Department", you asked whether they are "out of the definition of records."

In my view, email maintained by or for an agency, irrespective of its origin or function, would constitute a "record" as that term is defined in §86(4) of the Freedom of Information Law.  However, as in the case of any other record, its content and effect of disclosure serve as the key factors in determining rights of access.  In short, the content of email would be treated in the same manner as a paper record.  If the information appearing on paper could be withheld as an unwarranted invasion of privacy, the equivalent information appearing in email could be withheld for the same reason.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518 - Phone
(518) 474-1927 - Fax
Website - www.dos.ny.gov/coog/coogwww.html