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  1. #1
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    Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages

    I thought this was pretty interesting.

    Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages

    If the Obama campaign represented a sleek, new iPhone kind of future, the first day of the Obama administration looked more like the rotary-dial past.

    Two years after launching the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history, Obama officials ran smack into the constraints of the federal bureaucracy yesterday, encountering a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts.

    What does that mean in 21st-century terms? No Facebook to communicate with supporters. No outside e-mail log-ins. No instant messaging. Hard adjustments for a staff that helped sweep Obama to power through, among other things, relentless online social networking.

    "It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said of his new digs.

    In many ways, the move into the White House resembled a first day at school: Advisers wandered the halls, looking for their offices. Aides spent hours in orientation, learning such things as government ethics rules as well as how their paychecks will be delivered. And everyone filled out a seemingly endless pile of paperwork.

    There were plenty of first-day glitches, too, as calls to many lines in the West Wing were met with a busy signal all morning and those to the main White House switchboard were greeted by a recording, redirecting callers to the presidential Web site. A number of reporters were also shut out of the White House because of lost security clearance lists.

    By late evening, the vaunted new White House Web site did not offer any updated posts about President Obama's busy first day on the job, which included an inaugural prayer service, an open house with the public, and meetings with his economic and national security teams.

    Nor did the site reflect the transparency Obama promised to deliver. "The President has not yet issued any executive orders," it stated hours after Obama issued executive orders to tighten ethics rules, enhance Freedom of Information Act rules and freeze the salaries of White House officials who earn more than $100,000.

    The site was updated for the first time last night, when information on the executive orders was added. But there were still no pool reports or blog entries.

    No one could quite explain the problem -- but they swore it would be fixed.

    One member of the White House new-media team came to work on Tuesday, right after the swearing-in ceremony, only to discover that it was impossible to know which programs could be updated, or even which computers could be used for which purposes. The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software. Laptops were scarce, assigned to only a few people in the West Wing. The team was left struggling to put closed captions on online videos.

    Senior advisers chafed at the new arrangements, which severely limit mobility -- partly by tradition but also for security reasons and to ensure that all official work is preserved under the Presidential Records Act.

    "It is what it is," said a White House staff member, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Nobody is being a blockade right now. It's just the system we need to go through."

    The system has daunted past White House employees. David Almacy, who became President George W. Bush's Internet director in 2005, recalled having a week-long delay between his arrival at the White House and getting set up with a computer and a BlackBerry.

    "The White House itself is an institution that transitions regardless of who the president is," he said. "The White House is not starting from scratch. Processes are already in place."

    One White House official, who arrived breathless yesterday after being held up at the exterior gate, found he had no computer or telephone number. Recently called back from overseas duty, he ended up using his foreign cellphone.

    Another White House official whose transition cellphone was disconnected left a message temporarily referring callers to his wife's phone.

    Several people tried to route their e-mails through personal accounts.

    But there were no missing letters from the computer keyboards, as Bush officials had complained of during their transition in 2001.

    And officials in the press office were prepared: In addition to having their own cellphones, they set up Gmail accounts, with approval from the White House counsel, so they could send information in more than one way.
    wapo
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  2. #2
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    Yea, you'll have that.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  3. #3
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    Remember the rumors of the Clinton's trashing the place before Bush came in? Those stories ended up being fake.

  4. #4
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    I was going to say atleast the computers had all the W's on them.

    Jerry were they found fake? I don't remember that

    Anyway alot of what Obama wants is forbidden by the whitehouse and secret service. This has nothing to do with any past administration. Heck Obama is saying I am going to keep my blackberry, i'm just not sure how yet. The SS is against those things. I agree it's time to do some of these things, and heck I love my blackberry too, but it's got to be safe.


    Come to psd where admitted dupes who do nothing but troll the gd and fs forum are free. But man don't you dare mention trolling on someone's wall.

  5. #5
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    The Secret Service has already put encryption technology on his Blackberry to keep it from getting hacked.

    The Blackberry is here to stay.
    Когда́ де́ньги говоря́т, тогда́ пра́вда молчи́т

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    The Secret Service has already put encryption technology on his Blackberry to keep it from getting hacked.

    The Blackberry is here to stay.
    I knew they were working on it, didn't know if they were able to yet


    Come to psd where admitted dupes who do nothing but troll the gd and fs forum are free. But man don't you dare mention trolling on someone's wall.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmthBluCitrus View Post
    The Secret Service has already put encryption technology on his Blackberry to keep it from getting hacked.

    The Blackberry is here to stay.
    he's getting a james bond version:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,481450,00.html


    By the way, the secret service is not cracking down on the phone and computer tech they have in the white house. The way I read that is competence is now entering the room and saying "WTF", "let's get up to date and become efficient". The apple II can go in the garbage. security over hardlines shouldn't be a problem. Time for some updates.

  8. #8
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    Senior advisers chafed at the new arrangements, which severely limit mobility -- partly by tradition but also for security reasons and to ensure that all official work is preserved under the Presidential Records Act.

    "It is what it is," said a White House staff member, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "Nobody is being a blockade right now. It's just the system we need to go through."

    The system has daunted past White House employees. David Almacy, who became President George W. Bush's Internet director in 2005, recalled having a week-long delay between his arrival at the White House and getting set up with a computer and a BlackBerry.

    "The White House itself is an institution that transitions regardless of who the president is," he said. "The White House is not starting from scratch. Processes are already in place."

    That there leads me to, they are severly limited to what they want to do. Any president.


    Come to psd where admitted dupes who do nothing but troll the gd and fs forum are free. But man don't you dare mention trolling on someone's wall.

  9. #9
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    The important thing is, AM radio is archaic so it worked just fine in the white house.


    Come to psd where admitted dupes who do nothing but troll the gd and fs forum are free. But man don't you dare mention trolling on someone's wall.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHX-SOXFAN View Post
    he's getting a james bond version:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,481450,00.html


    By the way, the secret service is not cracking down on the phone and computer tech they have in the white house. The way I read that is competence is now entering the room and saying "WTF", "let's get up to date and become efficient". The apple II can go in the garbage. security over hardlines shouldn't be a problem. Time for some updates.
    Really, we are going to blame Bush for this? It's not a by product of the strict national security measures that are put in place?

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    I'm confused. Will the new administration be able to bring the white house up to date technologically, or are they stuck with what's there?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_rock923 View Post
    I'm confused. Will the new administration be able to bring the white house up to date technologically, or are they stuck with what's there?
    I think there will be some upgrades technologicaly. Look at Obama and his blackburry. Obama is the first president who has come of age with all this technology, in the age of cell phones and the internet. However, I don't think that there will be the free reign to all the technology that the Obama campaign used during the campaign itself. There's just so much security that has to be involved. You can't have the POTUS' emails getting out obviously. Also, one reason Bush didn't email is because the emails would become available to public record and could then be subject to public law (insert your Bush criminal statements here). Just my two cents.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by b1e9a8r5s View Post
    I think there will be some upgrades technologicaly. Look at Obama and his blackburry. Obama is the first president who has come of age with all this technology, in the age of cell phones and the internet. However, I don't think that there will be the free reign to all the technology that the Obama campaign used during the campaign itself. There's just so much security that has to be involved. You can't have the POTUS' emails getting out obviously. Also, one reason Bush didn't email is because the emails would become available to public record and could then be subject to public law (insert your Bush criminal statements here). Just my two cents.
    Obama and his team will use emails in a direct conradiction to the way the BUsh administration did not, purely for the reason of not having traceable documentation. Transparency and technology, coming to an administration near you

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHX-SOXFAN View Post
    Obama and his team will use emails in a direct conradiction to the way the BUsh administration did not, purely for the reason of not having traceable documentation. Transparency and technology, coming to an administration near you
    What expectation of "transparency" do you have? I mean specifically, how do you think that will work? We will be able to view his emails? He will just be more upfront about his intentions? I don't know exactly how the act that allows emails to become public records works, but I would imagine that under any administration, there will be meetings or communications that will surely be kept behind close doors. I don't know all the laws associated with this but was just wondering how you think the average citizen's (read: me) will be effected by the transparency? This isn't a loaded question, because I've heard that he intends to be more transparent with his administration but I've always wondered what that will mean in terms of specific changes or differences.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by k_rock923 View Post
    I'm confused. Will the new administration be able to bring the white house up to date technologically, or are they stuck with what's there?
    Well, that's the interesting question here. Obviously they want to use it. And I agree with b1e9a8r5s that they will to the extent that they can. The crux of it is that there is an inherent tension between the openness of modern communication technology and the need for security and (even in a "transparently" run White House) secrecy. So I think it's an open question: What will be the balancing points between those two forces pulling against each other?

    But the two things that I consider to be good news about this are:

    a) Obama promised a more efficiently run, less wasteful government. Bringing the technology used in running the show up to date should help that effort in some tangible ways. I think, for example, interagency communication will be a major stress of the Obama administration's dynamics, and a good communication flow should help considerably in achieving that. (See Hillary's speech at State, she was putting a very strong emphasis on cooperation). So hopefully, modernizing the technology will help provide the tools the government needs to operate more efficiently.

    b) We now have a president (and this is not a criticism limited to Bush, because I think Clinton was probably behind the curve as well, although not Gore) who actually understands this stuff and why it's important. And (and well I guess this is a more direct contrast to Bush), this is a president and administration that is absolutely in love with technology and science, and with the pace the world is changing, having that perspective will be key in staying on top of things.
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