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Carroll County opposes revealing citizen email links

WESTMINSTER — Carroll County is taking a stand against revealing private citizen email addresses.

The Carroll County Times reports that the County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to seek state legislation prohibiting disclosure of personal email addresses in documents requested under the state’s Public Information Act.

If the measure fails, the commissioners will seek to prohibit disclosure of email lists compiled by public officials.

Republican Commissioner Richards Rothschild says publicizing such information discourages communication between commissioners and residents.

In 2011, a citizen requested and published a list of email addresses to which Rothschild had sent a newsletter. The county then stopped disclosing email addresses. The state attorney general recently said the law doesn’t permit unilateral withholding of email addresses solely on the grounds that disclosure would substantially harm the public interest.

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