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View Diary: The global corporate power grab you hear nothing about because it's being decided in secret (55 comments)

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  •  Sadly, that regulations.gov site (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LakeSuperior, aliasalias

    THREATENS (at the bottom) that all of our information, including contact information, is disclosable and searchable on a public database.  WTF????

    I certainly don't mind the government having it (they already do everytime I pay my taxes, etc.), but allowing that information to be available to corporate goon squads who have nothing but time and money to harass activists?  

    TPP should have been just as DOA as the Keystone Pipeline, yet the fact that they both still exist and are being actively promoted demonstrate the power of money and corporations in controlling our government.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 10:17:48 PM PDT

    •  I know what you described sounds a little scary (0+ / 0-)

      to you, but http://www.regulations.gov is the general docketing system of the United States Federal Government and everything in it that is not a legitimate trade secret or piece of confidential business information is fully disclosable to everybody and anybody.

      If you want to influence government policy and provide public comments, then your comments have to be made public.   There's no avoiding http://www.regulations.gov if you want to influence by your comment what federal government administrative agencies do.

      •  I don't mind my comments and name (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LakeSuperior

        but I would like to protect my address, phone number, and email address from either politically motivated stalkers or identity thieves.  It's the reason I own a shredder.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:40:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You should be able to create a PDF document that (0+ / 0-)

          is your comment. and in that comment omit your address and telephone number...  It's been a while but I don't think your email address is necessary in order to post to www.regulations.gov.

          •  Check it out (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LakeSuperior

            You have to fill out your personal information (all listed as "required" before you're allowed to submit your comment.  If you don't it gives you an error saying required information needs to be provided.

            Make sure you scroll down to the bottom to see that disclosure on the use of your information.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 12:07:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look just a bit closer.....for the blue globe (0+ / 0-)

              thingies.....those blue thingies are only next to the fields
              that will actually display in regulations.gov...see the
              legend  "Information entered will be viewable on Regulations.gov"

              However, they don't show the blue thingie icon next to your address, email address or telephone number, so those won't be displayed along with the PDF comment you're filing.   Only the www.regulations.gov SYSOP will have access to it, and the only reason they want that information is to contact you in case there is a problem with the submittal.

              •  Scroll way to the bottom below the "continue" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LakeSuperior

                and you will see:

                Any information (e.g., personal or contact) you provide on this comment form or in an attachment may be publicly disclosed and searchable on the Internet and in a paper docket and will be provided to the Department or Agency issuing the notice.
                I put the bolding in.

                That's the problem.

                You're correct that the blue globe indicates the information that will be disclosed with my comment and I'm fine with that, but no fine with the "any information you provide may be publicly disclosed".

                There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                by Puddytat on Mon Sep 09, 2013 at 01:28:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I guess you're confronting the price of (0+ / 0-)

                  transparency in government policy in a manner I've not personally confronted before since I've never hesitated to provide such contact information when I've filed comments with EPA and other agencies in the past....and I don't mind that information being broadcast.....  However I understand your reticence under the circumstances.

                  The issue you raised is not unique to just www.regulations.gov

                  In general most paper communications with EPA and other federal agencies would be disclosable under FOIA unless it met one of the exemptions from disclosure under FOIA or some other enabling statute.

                  •  I do comprehend that (0+ / 0-)

                    but there have been lots of problems with those same disclosures in a searchable database of people who signed and circulated Scott Walker recall petitions and those never involved giving up my email address (I get more than enough spam already) so I'm perhaps more sensitive to it.

                    It's the searchable database I have a problem with along with the extent of the information they'll have in there.  It would be tantamount to the IRS making their tax records searchable, IMHO.  I don't want shady people to get my SS number either.

                    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

                    by Puddytat on Tue Sep 10, 2013 at 10:28:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Dear Puddytat (0+ / 0-)

                  Before leaving the issue of what http://www.regulations.gov is, I also want to let you and others know that the www.regulations.gov web site is extremely useful for activists and researchers who want to find and locate regulatory information.

                  For example, let's say you are interested in health care and the ACA.   If you can identify the docket number of a HHS rulemaking dealing with the implementation of ACA, all of that material can be found in a docket accessible through http://www.regulations.gov    This means you can see what all of the groups trying to influence the process are saying in response to any agency's proposed action.

                  This makes that site a very important tool for researchers doing work on such specific matters of federal government activity.

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