Web Domination: White House Collects User’s Data Without Consent or Disclosure

Again, no surprises here. The Washington Times has the story on the White House’s collection of user information, as well as postings on the administration’s Social Media sites. This is a pretty loose interpretation of the Presidential Records Act requiring that records of Presidential media be kept. What say you? So much for transparency…

Defenders of the White House actions said the Presidential Records Act requires that the administration gather the information and that it was justified in taking the additional step of asking a private contractor to “crawl and archive” all such material. Nicholas Shapiro, a White House spokesman, declined to say when the practice began or how much the new contract would cost.

I guess President Obama forgot his words in 2008:

In a June 5, 2008, article in PC Magazine, Mr. Obama said, “The open information platforms of the 21st century can also tempt institutions to violate the privacy of citizens. We need sensible safeguards that protect privacy in this dynamic new world.”

A sensible safeguard that protects privacy is completely removing the White House from social media. When Twitter and Facebook become a propaganda tool rather than a medium promoting transparency, privacy is lost. For that matter, a sensible safeguard protecting privacy is not giving Obama “emergency control” of the Internet.

I should note that I collect “anonymous” “usage data” on all users of this site. You have been warned. You know, just in case I decide to run for public office someday and need to form an enemies list. Speaking of which, if you overhear anyone making “fishy” statements about me or about this blog, please send an email to flag@elephantsremember.wordpress.com. Thanks for your obedience 🙂
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~ by tom on September 16, 2009.

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