City Hall kiosk removal in Sarasota, Florida, sparks investigation

The removal more than a year ago of a kiosk at the Sarasota, Florida, city hall has spurred complaints after commissioners discovered that access to government officials' emails was removed, according to the Herald Tribune.

Only a fraction of the previously viewable emails are now available online, causing a spike in public records requests, complaints by citizens and questions about the city's motives. Mayor Shelli Freeland Eddie has called for a report on the kiosk's removal.

The city removed the kiosk in February 2017 when it was updating and upgrading its computer system, according to communications manager Jan Thornburg. The removal has reduced the city's vulnerability to a cyberattack and has saved the city about $10,000 annually, officials said.

A 2016 ransomware attack encrypted 160,000 city files; hackers demanded payment of up to $33 million in bitcoin to unlock the files.

 


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