The legislation, signed by President Obama earlier this week, specifically targeted two sections of the law. Section 8, which deals with disclosure and reporting for members of Congress and their staff, and Section 11 which deals with disclosure and reporting for executive branch employees.
The legislation ensures that most federal employees will not see their personal financial disclosure documents posted publicly online. These documents are already public information. Keeping them off the internet for the sake of “security through obscurity” sets a bad precedent by making public information effectively inaccessible.
Members of Congress, the President, Vice President, candidates for those offices, and certain high ranking executive branch officials would still have their disclosures posted online. But, provisions in the law would basically nullify the effectiveness of online disclosure.
The law does not require high ranking officials and members of Congress to file their personal financial disclosures electronically, it merely allows them to if they so choose. Even worse, while the disclosures will still eventually make their way online, the new law ensures that they will not be searchable, sortable, or particularly useful to anyone.
We have created a redline version of the STOCK Act showing exactly how the new law changes the original legislation. The action starts on page 4.