editorial note from SamHenry:
We are not far down the road from the day when unsuspecting citizens discovered their e-mail accounts not given to the White House were used in mailings by Organizers for America [an arm of the Democratic National Committee established by the President last January].
The Bush Administration was charged with using non-government e-mails by the RNC for partisan
activity during campaign ’08.
Today, September 16, 2009, the issue resurfaces with questions about White Use gathering of information from social network sites such as Twitter and FaceBook :
Submitted by Samiam60 from votingfemale.wordpress.com
Obama Collecting Web Users’ Data
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, the Washington Times reported.
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.”
Among the worst oversights by the Obama Administration is their ability to do this without reporting the cost. This is a carryover to the use of Czars of an unprecedented number. Both should be subject of Congressional approval.
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