About midway through yesterday's immigration chat with Vice President Biden and Domestic Policy Advisor Cecilia Muñoz, I started to get the sneaking suspicion that the conversation was a tightly controlled event, with the questioners chosen beforehand, even though it wasn't advertised as such.
Huffington Post immigration reporter Elise Foley also expressed via Twitter how it was odd how many of the questioners were anti-immigration reform, especially since poll after poll has shown that Americans nationwide support immigration reform by wide margins. Furthermore, there were practically no questions from those who have voiced concern about the Administration's record-level deportation rate and harsh enforcement practices, a subject that has been the focus of the immigrants' rights and civil liberties communities.
Today, we know why it felt like a rigged debate – because it was: Politico reports that "those who actually got to speak directly with Biden were first recruited by Skype and vetted by the White House." Though Biden and Muñoz did not know what the questions would be beforehand, such sanitizing of actual debate by cherry picking who could actually ask questions and carefully vetting them is an example of this Administration's obsession with message control.
Look, as someone who works in communications, I get the White House's desire for message control, though as The Associated Press's Santiago Lyon said in his New York Times op-ed today, such efforts are not only undemocratic, they are in direct "defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on." In addition to being wrong in principle, White House outreach efforts around the event were misleading. Just hours before the event, the White House sent out the email below encouraging people to ask questions of Biden and Muñoz.
But in reality, those people who submitted questions the day of or even during the event, including Ju Hong, while the "submit" link was still active had no shot in getting their questions answered because the only people who were selected were recruited and/or vetted beforehand by the White House.
In the future, if the White House must do this sort of pre-screened event where they frame the confines of a debate in terms that are most politically favorable to them, they should at least be honest about how they advertise it. Of course, what would be even better is less of an obsession with image control.
By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
Originally posted on The Huffington Post.
The summer of Snowden is fast becoming the NSA's winter of discontent.
This week, tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and others published an open letter to President Obama and Congress urging comprehensive reform of "government surveillance efforts." Then more than 500 writers, including five Pulitzer Prize winners, signed a petition to the United Nations calling for a digital bill of rights to protect freedom and privacy online. In that eloquent way of theirs, they wrote: "A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy."
That's the message approximately 3,000 of us from all walks of life took to the foot of the U.S. Capitol during The StopWatching.US March Against Mass Surveillance earlier this fall. Thankfully, many privacy and open government organizations and members of Congress agree.
Since the disclosures began in early June, there has been a flurry of legislative activity attempting to reform NSA surveillance in some way. None, however, was as significant as the USA FREEDOM Act, introduced in both the House and the Senate by two members of Congress--Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)--who helped write and pass the Patriot Act, the legislative vehicle the NSA wrongly used to unlawfully collect all our phone call records on a daily ongoing basis.
The bill would end the NSA's unconstitutional bulk collection of our call records. It would also clearly prohibit the bulk collection of other sensitive "business records," while making the government's surveillance programs more transparent and accountable. It is serious, roll-up-your-sleeves reform, which is why another powerful group of people have supported it: some of the nation's most prestigious editorial boards. For instance:
The revelations of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have made plain that the government has stretched the boundaries of the law in tracking phone calls. The Leahy and Feinstein bills provide a choice of whether to sanction or curtail this brazen usurpation of privacy rights. The Leahy approach is the right one for a nation that values both security and liberty.
Fortunately, members of Congress have been more aggressive in responding to two broad disclosures. One, that both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations misinterpreted the Patriot Act to permit the collection of metadata on phone calls, emails and text messages of all Americans, whether they were international or domestic….Legislation... introduced... by Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican of Wisconsin, would end the bulk collection of Americans' communications data.
The USA Freedom Act is a compilation of the best features of some 25 bills that have been filed in response to concerns about NSA's trespasses against privacy. It would increase transparency by allowing communications providers to disclose the number of surveillance orders they receive and mandate the government publish how many people are subject to surveillance order.
The metadata program intrudes on the privacy of virtually every American. It needs to be ended, not mended.
And that's just a taste. Since the USA FREEDOM Act was introduced, 71 editorial boards, in both blue and red states, have written about the legislation, overwhelmingly urging for tighter reins on NSA spying, according to analysis by ReThink Media. When op-eds written by outside contributors are factored into the overall coverage, you have a positive sea of green in support of the USA FREEDOM Act as the map below demonstrates.
There's a reason why the NSA is concerned about the growing chorus of concern from every facet of society—both here and abroad—about its dragnet surveillance programs: change looks inevitable, particularly as bipartisan congressional support continues to grow for the USA FREEDOM Act. Currently, 130 members of Congress have co-sponsored the legislation, and just yesterday Sen. Leahy held a hearing on his legislation and NSA reform. And with pressure intensifying in the House for a vote, the USA FREEDOM Act should hit the floor sometime in the new year—a vote the Obama administration and the NSA will no doubt lobby hard against.
Here's hoping the NSA's winter of discontent becomes a democratic spring. Innocent Americans should never have to worry their government's awesome surveillance capabilities are intercepting, filtering, collecting, analyzing, and storing the intimate details of their lives. Appallingly, they do.
By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
It seems that literally no one is safe from the NSA. Even digital alter egos living in fantasy realms in the online gaming world are being caught up in the NSA's surveillance dragnet.
A newly leaked internal document reveals that the NSA and British intelligence agency GCHQ have developed mass collection capabilities enabling them to monitor the activities and communications of the 48 million Xbox Live console network gamers. U.S. intelligence agents from the FBI and CIA, along with GCHQ agents, have also been infiltrating virtual worlds created in games like Second Life and World of Warcraft.
The spies pose as fellow gamers in order to collect intelligence, including communications content and geolocation information; identify players' online social networks; and even recruit informants. So many U.S. intelligence agents participate in this surveillance effort that the intelligence community had to establish teams of referees called "deconfliction" groups, who help to prevent spies from clashing with each other in these fantasy worlds.
In spite of all of these spooks trolling our gaming worlds, and NSA analysts' exclamatory assurances that games "are an opportunity!" for effective intelligence collection, it's not clear that any of this surveillance helped to prevent any terrorist plots. What has become painfully clear is that the NSA and the intelligence community at large have created a surveillance apparatus that puts even the dystopic creation of George Orwell's "1984" to shame. And it not only threatens our rights to free speech and privacy, undermining the very foundation of our democracy, it undermines the tech sector of our economy as well.
All of this raises the question of how this latest chapter in mass surveillance will affect the gaming industry. Gamers, like other tech sector consumers, should be just as concerned about whether the companies that they trust with so much of their personal information–from their demographics and nationality, to time spent playing, and even social connections and conversations shared over these virtual realms–will fight to protect their privacy. According to the Entertainment Software Association's (ESA) 2013 report on sales, demographics, and usage data, consumers spent $20.77 billion dollars on the gaming industry in 2012, and 28 percent of computer game sales is attributable to "role playing" games like those being infiltrated by U.S. and British intelligence agents. Is this really an industry that we want to threaten with abusive and ineffective surveillance programs?
On Monday, eight of the U.S.'s largest tech companies fought back by launching a campaign to rein in government surveillance. They published a website, took out full-page ads in national newspapers, and wrote an open letter to President Obama and to Congress demanding that the government end bulk collection and target its surveillance at individuals suspected of wrongdoing.
Gaming companies and their trade associations should join in this fight to protect their users' privacy by endorsing the USA FREEDOM Act.
By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project
What happens when legislatures pass laws enabling law enforcement to obtain sensitive, private information about people without requiring any evidence of criminal activity, and without any outside oversight whatsoever?
Take a look at this graph, produced by US Cellular in response to Senator Ed Markey's letters to cell phone companies seeking information about law enforcement surveillance requests.
Note that the company only received 2 wiretap orders in 2012. Wiretap statutes require judicial oversight and for law enforcement to produce sworn statements affirming that the search will likely result in evidence of a specific crime -- probable cause. Some wiretap statutes are even stricter, requiring that the crime under investigation be very serious, like racketeering or murder. Search warrants require probable cause affirmations and judicial approval, too. Law enforcement submitted only 702 search warrants to US Cellular in 2012.
On the other hand, the company received 10,801 subpoenas in 2012. Unlike wiretap orders and search warrants, subpoenas require zero judicial oversight nor probable cause. In fact, a prosecutor can issue a subpoena even absent any allegation that the subject of the surveillance is connected to criminal activity. The requirement is simply that the subpoena have something to do with (in legal parlance is "relevant" to) an ongoing investigation.
That means any prosecutor -- yes, including the prosecutors at your local district attorney's office -- can simply fill out a form (a subpoena) and send it to a cell phone company, demanding personal information about anyone. In many states, including Massachusetts, there is zero outside oversight to ensure that law enforcement doesn't abuse this broad power. We don't even know how many of these subpoenas are issued every year. When we asked district attorneys in Massachusetts, many of them said they don't keep records of how many they file. But we know it's common enough that the system is abused. In 2013, the Middlesex county DA's office got into some hot water when it was discovered that a secretary was illegally issuing the subpoenas, which are supposed to come only from DAs.
Worse still, most of the people who are subjected to subpoena-based surveillance will probably never find out about it. That's because very few companies (kudos, Twitter!) inform their customers when law enforcement subpoenas their records. That means the only way you're likely to find out about such a subpoena is if you are arrested, tried in court, and the prosecution uses the subpoenaed records as evidence against you. Investigations that never lead to charges won't leave a public trace that any surveillance against you ever took place.
But it's even worse. If you do find out in time to try to quash the subpoena, a judge will probably cite the third party doctrine, which says you have no right to privacy in any information you hand over to a third party like a cell phone company, to kick you out of court.
And it's worse, yet. In most parts of the United States today, law enforcement can access the content of many of our communications by subpoena authority alone. That's because the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), passed in 1986, puts a six month expiration date on the Fourth Amendment. Under the obsolete but active law, emails and text messages -- unlike the letter in your desk -- lose their warrant protection after 180 days.
It should tell us something very alarming that law enforcement submitted 10,801 subpoenas to US Cellular last year, and only 702 warrants. Our private information shouldn't be up for grabs to any prosecutor who wants it -- especially when we have no meaningful way to defend our information against improper or warrantless surveillance, and when the subpoena system is cloaked in secrecy. The subpoena standard creates a legal environment ripe for abuse.
Take action now to modernize the law.
Cross-posted from the ACLU of Massachusetts PrivacySOS blog.
By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project
Thanks to Edward Snowden we now understand that the NSA runs many dragnet surveillance programs, some of which target Americans. But a story yesterday from Washington, D.C. public radio station WAMU is a reminder that dragnet surveillance is not just a tool of the NSA—the local police use mass surveillance as well.
DC’s Metropolitan Police Department uses cameras to scan vehicle license plates in huge numbers and saves all the data for two years, even though only a tiny fraction—0.01 %—turn out to be associated with any possible wrongdoing. Take a look at these numbers:
In 2012, the police in Washington scannedover 204 million license plates. But only 22,655 were associated with some possible wrongdoing (what the chart refers to as “hits”). And a hit isn’t evidence of guilt. It’s evidence your plate was in a database. And your plate may well be in a database because, as we’ve seen in other areas of the country (check out our report on the use of plate readers nationwide), these databases can include people who violated vehicle emissions programs or are driving on suspended or revoked licenses. These people shouldn’t be on the road, but they are also not major offenders.
The key point is this: 99.9 % of the data pertains to people not suspected of wrongdoing. Why should innocent drivers have their movements stored for two full years?
The new report echoes data first unearthed by the ACLU's local office and revealed two years ago in testimony to local legislators.
This brings us back to the NSA program. What do the NSA and DC Metropolitan Police Department have in common? As we have discussed before, neither appears to be restrained by any sense of proportionality. The data collection is vast, and the gain is either uncertain or negligible. In the NSA’s case, it is storing records about every single phone call each of us makes and keeping it in a database for 5 years, even in the absence of any credible evidence that mass collection is needed to make us safer. (The MPD refused to comment on the plate reader program.)
When it comes to reforming surveillance, it is programs like these that are particularly good targets. While some may be willing to trade privacy for security, here we appear to be giving privacy away and the government either can’t or won’t make the case that we’re getting anything in exchange.
By Dale Ho, Director, Voting Rights Project, ACLU
UPDATE (12/12/2013 4:45 pm): A federal judge today ruled that a trial over North Carolina's sweeping voter suppression law will be held in 2015. U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joi Peake also said the court would hear requests this summer for an injunction to halt some or all of the law's provisions from taking effect until after the trial. More details can be found here.
Today, the state of North Carolina will try to convince a judge to postpone a trial concerning the country's worst voter suppression law until after the 2014 midterm elections. The state's reason: so that it can carry out the elections under a regime that would burden thousands of eligible voters before the court has a chance to determine whether it violates federal law.
The ACLU and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice are challenging this law, which cuts early voting by a week, gets rid of same-day voter registration, and imposes a new voter ID requirement. Voters are also no longer allowed to cast provisional ballots for upper-ticket races like the U.S. Senate if they show up at the wrong polling place or get in the wrong precinct line to vote. Proponents of the law (including Governor Pat McCrory) say that the changes are necessary to improve the integrity of elections. Aside from trying to address the almost-nonexistent rate of voter fraud in North Carolina, there's absolutely no evidence that cutting a week of early voting gets at election integrity.
Changes like these won't promote transparency; they'll only make it harder for people to vote. More than half of North Carolina voters used early voting in recent elections. If you want to know what happens when you cut early voting after voters have come to rely on it, look no further than Florida, which cut a week of early voting right before the 2012 election: the longest wait times in the country; voters waiting several hours to vote and some casting ballots hours after the President's victory speech; hundreds of thousands giving up in frustration.
It's also important to note that these changes will have a bigger impact on minority voters. As outlined in our complaint on behalf of the League of Women Voters, the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Unifour OneStop Collaborative, Common Cause, and several private citizens, during the 2012 general election, 70 percent of Black voters in North Carolina cast their ballots during early voting, whereas only 52 percent of white voters used early voting. Given North Carolina's history, we find these early voting cutbacks, adopted after record levels of Black turnout in 2008 and 2012, particularly troubling.
We're in court today to try to ensure that this case is decided before the next election. If an unlawful election happens before the court has a chance to rule, we'll never get to do that election over. Election results will be final and disenfranchised voters will never get their votes back. If North Carolina officials really cared about election integrity, they would join us in asking the judge to decide whether these changes are unlawful before the next election.
Late last night, like many LGBT South Asian Americans, I waited anxiously to see how India's Supreme Court would rule on a colonial-era law that criminalized homosexuality. The ruling came in just after midnight Eastern Standard Time, and it was a major setback: the Court reversed a 2009 lower court judgment and restored the ban on homosexuality.
The ruling came as a shock to me and many others. Twitter and my Facebook news feed blew up. In a year of historic LGBT rights' victories not only here in the United States, but also in countries in South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal, it's easy to forget just how tenuous these hard-fought victories can be.
But if it's any consolation to LGBT activists in my Indian homeland, even as western media like The New York Times say that "there is almost no chance that Parliament will act where the Supreme Court did not," if history is any judge, this is a fight that is a long, long way from being over and done with.
Here in the United States, for example, the Supreme Court ruled in 1986 in Bowers v. Hardwick that state bans on private, consensual intimacy by gay men and lesbians were constitutional. But the fight did not end there. Activists continued the long, hard slog of pushing state legislatures to repeal their sodomy laws, but it took seven years before these efforts first saw any success. And finally, in 2003, the Supreme Court reversed its decision in Bowers and ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that the Constitution protects the right of gay people to form intimate relationships and retain their dignity as free persons. With unimaginable speed, this landmark Lawrence decision paved the way for marriage victories in the courts and in state legislatures that the ACLU has celebrated and been a part of in recent years.
So no, of course Indian LGBT activists should not give up, and I know they won't. Even though this setback may seem insurmountable today, we stand in solidarity with them as they re-group and continue the fight for equality tomorrow.
By Julie Ebenstein, Staff Attorney, Voting Rights Project, ACLU
Last week, the world lost a great man, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Madiba's uncompromising commitment to self-determination was a first principle of his struggle against apartheid and toward racial equality. In his first television interview in 1961, Madiba talked about the cornerstone of a democratic and free society: one-person one-vote. "The Africans require, want, the franchise on the basis of one man one vote. They want political independence." he said.
The right to vote is widely recognized in the U.S. as a right that is "preservative of all rights." Our continued vigilance over the democratic process in the U.S. is no less relevant to the modern day struggle for equality. Without equality at the polls, there is no self-governance.
In April 1964, from the dock at the Rivonia trial, Madiba ended his statement with these now-famous words: "I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."
In July of 1964, as Madiba was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison, the U.S. had only just passed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting segregation and discrimination on the grounds of race. It was not until the following year that the U.S. passed the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting literacy tests and other discriminatory voting practices and strengthening the ongoing fight to banish discrimination from voting.
For the last 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has protected racial and language minorities from states' attempts to dilute minority voting power or create barriers to voting based on race. In that time, the U.S. has made substantial strides in banishing discrimination from elections.
But there is still a long way to go. Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court declared unconstitutional a key section of the Voting Rights Act. In the wake of that decision, we have seen shameless voter suppression tactics and states' unprecedented efforts to disenfranchise voters by preventing them from registering, voting, or having their vote counted.
It is impossible to capture in a few words Madiba's tremendous contribution in the worldwide fight for freedom, equality and universal recognition of human rights. We can honor Madiba's life by continuing to fight for these principles and protecting the right to vote.
By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office
The following op-ed was originally published by The Hill.
If you doubt the unfairness of our country's criminal justice system, look no further than Hamedah Hasan.
When Hamedah was 21 years old, she fled an abusive relationship and moved in with her cousin, who was a drug dealer. Feeling out of options and indebted to her cousin for helping her, she agreed to run various errands and transfer some money for him. Eventually she found the strength to move back home, hoping to get away from the drug operation and earn an honest living for the sake of her two small children.
But her past caught up with her, and Hamedah was convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Despite her previously clean record, her sentencing judge found his hands tied by mandatory minimum sentencing laws and initially sentenced her to a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug crime.
Fortunately, after 19 years in prison, Hamedah was released last year as a result of the U.S. Sentencing Commission's retroactive application of the new crack cocaine sentencing guidelines. But Hamedah's story is sadly neither unusual nor unique.
It's time to change our country's extreme sentencing laws that destroy lives like Hamedah's and waste taxpayer dollars with no benefit to public safety. We need the Smarter Sentencing Act to make our criminal justice system smarter, fairer, and more humane.
Introduced by Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) earlier this year, the bipartisan Smarter Sentencing Act reduces five, 10, and 20 year mandatory minimum sentences to two, five, and 10 years respectively for certain drug offenses. It also gives judges more leeway when sentencing people who do not pose a public safety risk.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is slated to consider the bill as soon as this Thursday along with other bills that would apply to cases like Hamedah's. If it moves out of committee, the Smarter Sentencing Act will become the most significant piece of criminal justice reform to make it to the Senate floor in several years.
Extreme, one-size-fits-all sentencing has caused our federal prison population to balloon out of control, and it's the top reason why our country has earned the dubious title of the world's biggest jailer. Several recent reports have confirmed that mandatory minimum sentences like those that would be shortened by the Smarter Sentencing Act are a major contributor to the growing federal prison population.
This bill also addresses the serious budgetary problems that currently plague the federal prison system. The federal government cannot maintain a federal prison system that has grown at an astonishing rate of almost 800 percent over the last 30 years. In 2010, it cost us $80 billion dollars to incarcerate 2.3 million people in this country, and federal courts are overwhelmed with staggering immigration and criminal caseloads.
Fortunately momentum and popular opinion is on our side. Recent surveys have found that a majority of adults favor elimination of mandatory sentencing laws and support allowing judges to choose the appropriate sentence. The policies in the Smarter Sentencing Act have been unanimously supported by the bipartisan U.S. Sentencing Commission and by more than 50 former federal judges and prosecutors.
Even our nation's top law enforcement official supports the Smarter Sentencing Act. In a speech earlier this year, Attorney General Eric Holder said, "widespread incarceration at the federal, state, and local levels is both ineffective and unsustainable… Legislation [like the Smarter Sentencing Act] will ultimately save our country billions of dollars."
In recent years, we have finally gotten closer to finding the right balance between the concepts of consistency and fairness in sentencing. From the passage of the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010 to positive reforms from the U.S. Sentencing Commission, it's clear that fair sentencing is smart policy. There's no reason why the Senate Judiciary Committee should prevent the Smarter Sentencing Act from going to the floor for a full vote.
While the attorney general has taken some preliminary steps to address the mass incarceration crisis in this country, and the states have been introducing smart reforms to slow prison growth for years, the ball is now in Congress' court. The Smarter Sentencing Act is a much needed next step toward a fairer criminal justice system.
By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project
Last week I wrote about how a central problem with reliance on the FISA Court as a principal pillar of NSA oversight is that the court, in an environment of extreme secrecy and without an adversarial proceeding, has no reliable means of determining whether its orders have been carried out. We have learned plenty in recent months about the agency’s failure to follow the law.
A recent column by law professor and ACLU general counsel Frank Askin provides a further reminder of the intractability of national security bureaucracies. Even in a normal legal environment where we do have the right rules and oversight structures, getting these institutions to comply with rulings is often no walk in the park.
The piece concerns “mail covers,”the Postal Service’s practice of copying the outside of all mail sent and received by certain people. Essentially, they are snail mail metadata. Askin’s account starts with this story:
In 1972, the FBI sent an agent from its Newark office to Morris County to investigate why a person name Paton was communicating with the Socialist Workers Party at its New York headquarters.
The information had come from a “mail cover” on the SWP’s headquarters.... In that instance, the subject of the investigation was a 15-year-old high school student who had been doing her homework. The FBI agent tracked her down at West Morris-Mendham High School. The school principal and the political science teacher explained that the student was enrolled in a course called “Left to Right,” which explored the programs and workings of fringe political movements.
The agent thanked school officials for the information and left.
But the principal also notified the student’s parents of the incident, and the parents contacted the American Civil Liberties Union office in Newark, which referred the matter to the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers Law School in Newark.
The result was a lawsuit that was to continue for seven years. At first the FBI denied it was investigating the student and refused to provide relevant documents. But when the FBI’s acting director finally testified in the lawsuit that the bureau was acting because the Socialist Workers Party was organizing protests against the Vietnam War, the judge in the case ruled that “national security” was unconstitutionally broad as a justification for this surveillance, and ordered the FBI to rewrite their regulations to reflect that fact. The FBI did not appeal.
Fast-forward to today. In light of a pair of New York Times stories on the photographing of every piece of mail by today’s Postal Service, Askin decided to investigate the FBI’s latest iteration of its mail cover regulations, and found that they authorize mail covers for five purposes, including—wouldn’t you know—to “protect national security.”
Perhaps the FBI has some explanation here but it certainly looks like it has flouted a court order. If we cannot depend on our national security establishment to comply with court orders, it becomes all the more vital that they be subject to vigorous, boots-on-the-ground observation and oversight of what they are actually doing. It’s yet another reminder that the right kind of oversight of secretive security agencies in a democracy is a hard problem, one that will require multi-layer vigilance including not just the courts but also Congress, an active (and non-intimidated) press, robust protection for whistleblowers, strong internal oversight bodies such as privacy officers and inspectors general, and healthy open-records laws. And perhaps other institutions yet to be developed.