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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Should A Government Agency Have My Email Address?

In the event you're on the fence as to whether or not you should provide your email address to a government agency, here's something to help you decide. It's an email notice I received from Maine Fish and Wildlife. Although it doesn't say what organization requested the info I called and found out it was the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, specifically George Smith, the organization's director. I wish George would have kept his greedy little hands out of the Attorney General's Office and away from my records. I have a hard time understanding how this isn't a privacy issue, or how the A.G. can grant SAM's request. One thing for sure will come out it. From now on, George and the state can be sure I will not provide any more personal information to the state than is required by law. I urge all Mainers who are annoyed by this development to voice their dissatisfaction and let the Maine Sportsman's Alliance and George Smith know you don't appreciate this kind of interference. SAM's email is They can also be reached at the following address and telephone numbers:

205 Church Hill Road, Augusta ME 04330

Telephone: 207-622-5503

FAX: 207-622-5596

Email Notice from Fish and Wildlife below:

As you know, the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife periodically sends out
informational emails to our online customers. We only send these e-mails out to
customers who have indicated that they would like to receive them.

Recently, we had a Freedom of Access Act request from an individual who represents
an organization for our customer e-mail address list. The Freedom of Access Act is a
statute that requires a state agency to provide public records to anyone upon
request. Our initial response to the individual was that our customer e-mail
address list was not a public record and was therefore not covered by the Freedom of
Access Act. The individual appealed our decision with the Maine Attorney General's
office that ruled in favor of the individual and directed IF&W to provide our
customer e-mail address list to the individual. Therefore, we have recently provided
our customer e-mail address list to the requesting individual per the direction of
the Maine Attorney General's Office.

The list contains only e-mail addresses, no other personal data is on the list. We
wanted you to know that we did everything in our power to protect your privacy and
apologize in advance for any issues this may cause you.

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