If you want to actually email the bigwigs at the Department of Labor, it'll cost you. Many of Barack Obama's top political appointees are using secret email addresses to cut down on inbox clutter, the AP has discovered. When the AP asked the Labor Department for its share of those addresses, the department said reporters could have them—for a little more than $1 million.
The AP did not pay up. Instead, the news service has since filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the email addresses. It worries that their use complicates government agencies' legal responsibilities to turn over email records for things like congressional investigations and, well, Freedom of Information Act requests. "What happens when that person doesn't work there anymore?" asks an open-government advocate. "He leaves and someone makes a request (to review emails) in two years. Who's going to know to search the other accounts?"