Rahm’s Emails

When Salesforce announced it was going to build a new building in Chicago, I thought to myself, “That’d be an interesting FOIA request.” I thought it would be an interesting request because the mayor at the time, Rahm Emanuel, was very pro-business and also was an avid user of a personal email for city business.

I wanted his emails to know what exactly transpired over email to get to this announcement. But instead, I found the request and subsequent appeal process, and Rahm’s mailing list to be much more interesting than what I originally sought.

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Ring’s Relationship with the Naperville and Aurora Police Departments

Ring has been in the news a lot lately. I wanted to learn more about how two local police authorities engage with Ring, so I filed FOIA requests with the Aurora and Naperville Police Departments to learn more about their relationship with Ring.

I’m confident that given the recent reporting through other FOIA driven efforts, that more will come up, but here is what I found in my first salvo of requests. 

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Two Districts, One Data Breach: How Naperville’s School Districts Learned About A Data Breach

Super simple FOIA request time! Naperville School Districts 203 and 204 were recently victims of a data breach. Naturally, I wanted to know a little bit more about how the district learned of the data breach. Both districts learned in different ways. 

My alma mater District 203, learned through an impersonal letter sent to a generic recipient.

District 204 received an email that expressed exigency.

I do have to give the districts credit for coming forward with news fairly quickly after learning about it, but it is unfortunate that it took four months for Pearson to contact the affected parties. But I’m also curious about the disparity in communication between the districts: why did one warrant a generic letter and the other an email that alludes to a problem?

The Art of Access and How I Got My FOIA Groove Back

Starting late last year I used to submit a Freedom of information act request a day. But alas, my priorities changed for a couple of months and I went into a drought. I enjoy writing FOIAs and pouring over documents and wanted to return to form. To get me requesting records again, I read The Art Of Access: Strategies For Acquiring Public Records and found it be inspiring enough for me to get out of my FOIA funk and back into my FOIA groove.

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