We like to think freedom of speech applies to everyone, including bloggers, yet some feel the truth needs to be kept from public view.
The City of Claremont seems to feel the Blogger, Claremont Insider, is playing unfair by posting the salaries paid to city officials online. The blogger discovered the pay studs online in the archives of the Claremont City web site, which anyone else could have located as well, and published the information online Sept. 7, 2007.
The City of Claremont attorney cried foul to Google, which prompted Google to bring down the post, with an email of warning. The blogger responded by posting a text version of the pay studs, which by the way did not reflect social security numbers, driver license numbers, or any other personal information on the payees.
Yet, the City Attorney demanded that Google censor the Claremont Insider by halting all web hosting of the blog on their servers.
The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin requested a copy of Claremont’s complaint to Google. The request was at first denied by the city attorney, citing first client privilege, which didn't apply since the correspondence was between the attorney and Google, not the client, the city of Claremont. Then, the attorney claimed the letter was covered by a work product privilege, which also did not apply. The Bulletin made a public records request, which took the city several weeks to respond to.
The letters in question were posted today on the Bulletin's website, and I say, great job to the Daily Bulletin for keeping the public informed.
This was nothing more than an attempt by the City of Claremont to quiet a critical voice, which is the worst type of censorship I have seen.
Why wasn’t the blogger contacted by Claremont and asked to remove the pay stubs first, instead of attempting to close down the blog?