As governments contend with the challenges of keeping information safe from hackers, they must simultaneously comply with state and local transparency laws that require them to make records of communications available to the public. Messaging apps that don’t create an archived record of conversations create more work when responding to public-records requests and leave government entities vulnerable to complaints and lawsuits. EIE Legal is compiling a list of nationwide text messaging lawsuits being brought against government entities to demonstrate the growing problem.
Destin, Florida Sued Over Public Record Violations
A lawsuit filed against Destin alleges that city officials violated the state’s public record law by failing to produce requested text messages. An attorney representing a local business stated in their early October court filing that on May 30 their client had requested multiple public records from the city of Destin including text messages. So far this request has not been fulfilled.

Metro County President Appears to have Violated Oregon's Public Record Laws
Metro Council President texted about government business on her personal phone. Her cell phone was set to automatically delete messages after 30 days, so these messages were deleted and she failed to retain records of them.

Colorado Research Reveals Loopholes in State's Open Records Act
A new report from the state Freedom of Information Coalition shows that the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) offer government officials broad discretion over when to keep or delete the recorded history of public business including emails and text messages. In addition, many Colorado officials are currently utilizing apps like Confide and Signal, which offer users a function that deletes messages once they’ve been read so no records are retained. 

Text "Joke" Causes Trouble in Arkansas House Seat Race
​Text messages from a planning board member to candidate for Arkansas House District 53 Republican primary, appear to promise a $20,000 scholarship for candidate's daughter if he drops out of the race and endorses opponent. Both parties later claim it was a joke. 

Takeaways From Ohio News Media Association Webinar on Challenges Faced by Journalists When Seeking Public Records
A Cincinnati law firm hosted a webinar addressing difficulties with response to records request.

Fired Administrator Asks Court to Assess Fines Against Council Member for Violating Iowa's Open Meetings Laws and More
Ex-Windsor Heights, Iowa administrator contends a councilwoman created a hostile work environment​ and that the city council made efforts to bypass Iowa's open meetings laws. 

Maryland Agencies Acknowledge Struggle to Comply with Public Record Requests
A survey done by Maryland's public access ombudsman showed several cabinet-level agencies lacked policies for retaining certain kinds of records that are covered by the Maryland Public Information Act, such as emails and text messages.

Missouri Governor's Office Paid $340,000 in Attorney Fees For Governor's Confide Case
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ use of the self-destructing text message app Confide, has cost the governor’s office $340,000 so far on private attorneys. 

Secure Messaging App for Government
EIE Legal is an encrypted messaging app specifically designed to meet the needs of government entities and ease compliance with FOIA, Open Meetings Act or Sunshine regulations. EIE Legal provides complete privacy and gives users an efficient, encrypted means of communication with staff and colleagues.

In order to take every step possible to protect your communications, choose a messaging platform that has end-to-end encryption and archiving technology. EIE Legal allows users to print or save copies off archived records. The difference with our app is the “encrypted transparency.” TM
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