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Wyoming Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Wyoming State Agencies

Do you represent a Wyoming State Government Agency and wondering how you should archive all your web and social media content? Are you trying to determine what you need to do both from a legal and a technical point of view? Here’s a guide to the different Laws and processes you should follow.

What Laws Govern Records Management in the State of Wyoming?

In the State of Wyoming, the State Public Records Act Wyo. Stat. § 16-4-201 et seq. and Open Meetings Act Wyo. Stat. § 16-4-401 et seq. govern open records and social media. The Wyoming Supreme Court has found a constitutional right of access to government information under the applicable freedom of the press and due-process provisions of the federal and state constitutions. (Sheridan Newspapers v. City of Sheridan, 660 P.2d 785, 792, 796 n.14 (Wyo. 1983).

Wyoming Supreme Court precedents require that the Public Records Act “be read in the light of the legislative presumption of openness and keeping with the constitutional right of access to public records.” Wyoming Department of Transportation v. International Union of Operating Engineers Local Union (1995). The Public Records Act must be construed liberally in favor of disclosure, and all exemptions interpreted narrowly.The remedial purpose of the act is “to permit access to public records unless disclosure would inflict irreparable harm contrary to protected rights.”

Do Wyoming Records Laws include Website and Social Media content?

Yes, they do. NARA state that there is a “[P]ublic expectation that all web content is both permanently valuable and accessible” – and so social media and web records are subject to these standards as well as the relevant metadata being pertinent to these laws.

The Wyoming Public Records Act (Wyo. Stat. § § 16-4-201 to 16- 4-205) sets up a general rule of access to public records by persons whom these documents and information regard in one way or another, and the public generally. Public records are defined as any record, in any form, created, accepted, or obtained by the state or any agency of the state in furtherance of its official function and transaction of public business which is not privileged or confidential by law.

“Information” means opinions, facts, or data of any kind and in whatever physical form kept or maintained, including, but not limited to, written, aural, visual, electronic or other physical form; thereby including social media and website content.

What agencies are subject to these laws?

Wyoming law covers all branches of government at both the state and local levels.

What is my agency required to do in line with these regulations?

Your agency website must be retained in electronic format and remain usable, searchable, retrievable and authentic for the length of the designated retention period as established by the agency and/ or form of record in question and content placed on state agency social media should be moderated by an authorized, trained staff member. If a public record exists primarily or solely in an electronic format, the custodian of the record shall so inform the requester.

In which form do I need to archive my records?

Web sites must be retained in their original format: HTML, CSS, PDF, etc.

Electronic record inspection and copying shall be subject to certain standards such as: an agency shall provide an electronic record in alternative formats unless doing so is impractical or impossible, and an agency shall not be required to allow inspection or copying of a record in its electronic format if doing so would jeopardize or compromise the security or integrity of the original record or of any proprietary software in which it is maintained;

How can we transfer website archives made with PageFreezer to the Wyoming Digital Archives?

PageFreezer exports all data on request in the original file format including the required metadata. This data set can be transferred by FTP or by other means to the Wyoming State or Agency Digital Archives.

How can PageFreezer help our agency?

PageFreezer has been working on our Archiving technology and processes since 2006 – We know how to properly archive Web Sites, Blogs and Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Just ask any of our over 500 clients including US Cities, Counties and other Government Agencies as well as Multinationals, Financial Service Firms, Healthcare Providers …

Our clients know our technology is secure, reliable and authenticated. More importantly they appreciate the ease-of-use.

That’s why our complex technology is simple to use – The archiving is automatic and retrieval is a matter of signing in, going to the date you want, and browsing your site just like you did when the content was just published.

If you have questions about any of this or about how to actually implement effective Online Public Records management start a free trial, schedule a demo or contact us directly.

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