Here's a Florida news report on how journalists have found that regular citizens have a very hard time getting access to public records that ought to be accessible:
"He could have been a terrorist," Howard said. "We have to ensure the safety of children."The most flimsy reasons were given for being suspicious of folks coming in to view records, and threats were even issued to discourage digging.
Howard couldn't explain how a terrorist might use his cell phone bill to harm children.
Roger Desjarlais, the Broward County administrator, threatened a volunteer by saying, "I can make your life very difficult."Public records audit: Some records requests met with suspicion and threats Posted by James at February 9, 2004 2:32 PM
After insisting that the volunteer give his name, Desjarlais used the Internet to identify the volunteer, find his cell phone number and call him after work hours.