Being a consultant, my office changes on a somewhat frequent basis. For someone who is a creature of habit, this forces me to change my habits. In downtown Chicago, there’s a lot of permutations as to how I can go to and from the train station to my current office. Going home however, I always walk west on Jackson.
When was the last time you used Microsoft Word 2003? A decade ago? Longer?
According to a recent FOIA request of mine, the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department is using Word 2003 files as recently as 2015.
As someone who does a lot of content migration projects between technology platforms, I’m no stranger to seeing files in the Word 97-2003 format. These are easily identified by their file extension ending in DOC.
You may remember DOC files. Basically, if you used Word prior to 2007 everything by default saved as a DOC file extension. In Word 2007, Microsoft pivoted from using their proprietary DOC extension, to a friendlier cross-software extension DOCX.
If you’re not a digital hoarder or you updated software in the last decade, the chances you have a file with a DOC extension on your computer right now are pretty low.
What’s interesting is that this file was obviously created in 2015 and is still a DOC file.
I’m guessing there might be an old FOIA template that was created that no one has taken the time to go click Save As and change the extension to DOCX.
This begs the question: what version of Microsoft Word is the DuPage County Sheriff’s Department currently using and how many of these DOC files are there? Sounds like another FOIA request to me.
Redacting the obvious or the near obvious begs the question: why bother? One of my first FOIA requests was pertaining to a fundraising event Donald Trump held in Bolingbrook, Illinois last year. The Bolingbrook Police Department however felt it necessary to redact things that border on common sense. Let’s explore this closer.
Intrigued by my initial request for FOIA logs at my local library, I wanted to see how other libraries in the area would handle an identical request. I submitted a request for FOIA logs from 2012 to the present to libraries in Woodridge, Lisle, Lombard, Westmont, Bolingbrook, Aurora, and Naperville.