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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

UK Information Commissioner says tweet is sweet

The recent post about citizen centric processes for the exercise of rights under access to information laws (and the absence thereof in some jurisdictions) didn't contemplate an application by tweet, but in the UK (where an application under the Freedom of Information Act can be made for information and without mentioning the act) the Information Commissioner has issued guidance that if an applicant can provide the essentials in 140 characters this can constitute a valid request and authorities that have Twitter accounts should plan for the possibility of receiving them. Might be a struggle here where after mentioning formalities required by legislation you don't have a lot of characters to play with. Meanwhile NSW, South Australian and Western Australian agencies that still require a written application sent in an envelope affixed with a postage stamp no doubt insist that process is a big advance on the carrier pigeon.
(Update: the Queensland Information Commissioner thinks a tweet is unlikely to be a valid means of making an application in Queensland.)

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