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behindmydesk
09-17-2009, 10:04 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/16/obama-wh-collects-web-users-data/

EXCLUSIVE:

The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without notifying or asking the consent of the site users, a failure that appears to run counter to President Obama's promise of a transparent government and his pledge to protect privacy on the Internet.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the White House signaled that it would insist on open dealings with Internet users and, in fact, should feel obliged to disclose that it is collecting such information.

"The White House has not been adequately transparent, particularly on how it makes use of new social media techniques, such as this example," he said.

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.

Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for National Archives and Records Administration, said the presidential records law applies to "social media" and to public comments "received by the president or immediate staff."

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Mr. Obama signed a memo in January stating that his efforts to maintain an open government would be "unprecedented" and "ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration."

An Obama campaign document on technology pledged that, as president, Mr. Obama "will strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and will harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy."

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."

press the link to see page 2.

behindmydesk
09-17-2009, 10:05 AM
To me this is just as bad as warrant less wire taps. In fact to me it's worse, as they are using it against people critical of the president's agenda.

cabernetluver
09-17-2009, 10:43 AM
To me this is just as bad as warrant less wire taps. In fact to me it's worse, as they are using it against people critical of the president's agenda.

To me, they have nothing to do with each other. When I talk on the phone, I have an expectation of privacy. When I post something on the net, I have no such expectation. This is not to argue with you BMD, but instead is meant to explain why we have a difference.

To me, warrantless taps, which much to my unhappiness, Obama has pushed for, violate my expectation of privacy without oversight , and I find the lack of oversight to be unacceptable. I realize we need to have wiretaps, I just want oversight where I have expectations of privacy.

behindmydesk
09-17-2009, 11:05 AM
Yes but to have the government target a group IE one that disagrees with it, is not transparent. Especially when things are hidden by a quasi friend approval method. I do see your point, but are phones really that secretive anymore, when lots of crooks and what not could tap your phone.

cabernetluver
09-17-2009, 11:18 AM
Yes but to have the government target a group IE one that disagrees with it, is not transparent. Especially when things are hidden by a quasi friend approval method. I do see your point, but are phones really that secretive anymore, when lots of crooks and what not could tap your phone.

Like I said, it was not meant as an argument. Maybe I am old fashioned in the area of expectation that parts of my life cannot be overseen without oversight, but it is the way I feel.

When I teach, I never say anything in confidence, because I have no expectation of privacy, but when a student calls me, I will, and asks my opinion of one company over another, I will speak in confidence. You might be right and I might be wrong, but it is the way I feel.

behindmydesk
09-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Oh i know you are just having a convo Cab, so am I. Maybe we take to much secrecy for granted. I still am surprised Obama is even wasting his time doing this, much like the forward the emails about Healthcare. I mean does anyone actually believe crap they get in forwards.

FOBolous
09-17-2009, 11:33 AM
what's the big deal? EVERYONE does it. Advertising companies...a prospective employer...everyone. it's common practice. Have you ever wonder why the ads on website all happens to be things you're interested in?

behindmydesk
09-17-2009, 11:39 AM
what's the big deal? EVERYONE does it. Advertising companies...a prospective employer...everyone. it's common practice. Have you ever wonder why the ads on website all happens to be things you're interested in?

While you are correct, to me their is a difference in the government doing it and an advertising group. that's just my opinion.

FOBolous
09-17-2009, 11:46 AM
While you are correct, to me their is a difference in the government doing it and an advertising group. that's just my opinion.

yea but it's not illegal sooo :shrug: it's not like the wiretappings Bush tried to do on people without court approval which IS illegal. i mean i see why you're uncomfortable with the idea...neither am i..i'm not comfortable with it even when advertising companies do it...but i don't think it's that big of a deal since it's not illegal and since it's common practice.

DodgersFan28
09-18-2009, 01:28 AM
it's not like the wiretappings Bush tried to do on people without court approval which IS illegal.

:facepalm:

DenButsu
09-18-2009, 03:05 AM
This is actually the polar opposite of Bush's illegal wiretapping, since that was, well, illegal, and in this case it would be illegal for the administration not to keep these records according to the Presidential Records Act. So instead of going out of his way to break the law, Obama is going out of his way to comply with it.

None of which is to say that that necessarily makes it a good thing, or that the Presidential Records Act shouldn't be revised in lieu of new technologies that need to be accounted for. But people who are seriously worried about this are being pretty paranoid, if you ask me.

DodgersFan28
09-18-2009, 03:39 AM
The biggest difference I see between this & Bush is that Obama actively campaigned on bringing more transparency, more accountability, having the most transparent government ever, etc etc etc. Seems like there's just been anything but thus far.

So far, the White House has shown more than the Bush White House did, but the Obama W.H. has only shown what they have wanted to show, much like a magician only wants your attention at a certain spot. That's not what true accountability & true transparency actually is.