Protesters rally against new Utah open records law

March 11, 2011 4:22:38 AM PST
More than 200 people rallied inside Utah's capitol against a bill that would make the text messages and voice mails of government officials private and would restrict access to most communication -- including e-mails -- between legislators and staff or constituents. Some protesters attempted to enter the House floor during the Thursday night rally, but were turned away by security guards.

Gov. Gary Herbert signed the legislation earlier this week, and the new measures are set to take effect July 1. Media executives and advocacy groups opposed the bill, saying it would deal a fatal blow to transparency. But supporters said the state's records law needed updating because it was written 20 years ago when informal modes of communication -- such as text messaging and e-mail -- weren't widely used.