White House Mapping Internet Users’ Data For Mass Archives
Status update: Barack Obama is archiving your opinions and personal information
The NLPC argues that Presidential Records Act does not apply because any comments are pasted onto a third-party Web page and do not constitute official correspondence with the president.
The watchdog group also points out that the program is suspicious because it is shrouded in secrecy and the public cost is being withheld.
“[V]irtually any communication mentioning the president or the administration could become subject to collection and archiving under the act. This is not out of an ‘abundance of caution,’ but out of an over-abundance of power. President Obama should make sure that this plan goes no further.” a statement on the NLPC website reads.
The move represents another broken promise of “change” on behalf of the president who consistently pledged to protect privacy on the Internet during his campaign.
It also comes on the back of recent news that the Obama administration is proposing to scale back a long-standing ban on tracking how people use government Internet sites with “cookies” and other technologies.
Recent disclosures under the Freedom Of Information Act also reveal that the federal government has several contracts with social media outlets such as Youtube (Google), Facebook, Myspace and Flickr (Yahoo) that waive rules on monitoring users and permit companies to track visitors to government web sites for advertising purposes.
With further news today that Obama is seeking to reauthorize warrantless wiretappingunder the PATRIOT Act, and that the DHS plans to supply local “fusion centers” with military surveillance intelligence, it is clear that the privacy of American citizens continues to be systematically eroded under a regime that was voted in on a promise to scale back such activity