Transparency News, 7/19/21


July 19, 2021
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state & local news stories
Reminder: The FOIA Council meets today -- in person -- at the Pocahontas Building at 2 p.m.
Click here for the agenda and supporting materials
And click here for a livestream of the meeting

The Virginia attorney general issued an opinion last week that says, "the Virginia Freedom of Information Act requires local police departments to release footage from body-worn and/or dashboard cameras related to officer-involved shootings unless an exception applies." This isn't a novel opinion, but it does review the issue in part under the new §2.2-3706.1, which was created by HB 2004.
AG opinion on VCOG's website
Related story

The Library of Virginia will soon restore and digitize a volume of mid-20th-century burial records for the historic Evergreen Cemetery in Richmond. Supported through a $4,500 gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, library officials will conserve the “Evergreen Cemetery Interment Volume, 1926-1962” by making the information in it widely available online. The 417-page ledger, which the library will rebind and restore through a process known as deacidification, contains information about 4,500 people buried at the site, including their names, ages, cause of death and who handled the burial, according to Deputy State Librarian John Metz. The record accounts for about half of the approximately 10,000 burial plots in the historic, 60-acre cemetery in the East End.
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Anyone with some money and an internet connection could buy a trove of internal information from the Virginia National Guard’s reserve force today. The Virginia Defense Force is a group of 1,000 volunteers who support the Virginia National Guard when it mobilizes, helping with things like communications and logistics. A listing on one dark web marketplace - a kind of back-alley eBay specializing in the sale of leaked and hacked information - boasted 61 gigabytes of “emails and confidential correspondence” from the VDF. As of Wednesday, it had more than 300 bids.

Virginia Tech was the target of two cyberattacks recently, but the university does not believe that data was stolen or taken. Tech was one of possibly more than 1,000 businesses and other organizations that were affected by a ransomware attack earlier this month that was centered on U.S. information technology firm Kaseya, a Miami-based company that provides software tools to IT outsourcing shops. Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said Friday that a few university units use Kaseya. He said the malware the hackers pushed out to Kaseya customers could have exposed Virginia Tech student data, but the university found no evidence that happened.
The Roanoke Times