Report: Obama White House Plans To Harvest Personal Data From Networking Sites (UPDATED)

It just keeps getting worse.

Remember when the left had apoplectic hissy fits over the warrantless wiretap program the Bush administration established after Sept. 11 in order to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists’ conversations?

Although many saw it as an infringement on civil liberties, the wiretap program was put in place to save American lives.

Whose life/lives are protected by this?

NLPC (National Legal Policy Center) has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.

The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”

In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is posted at FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation.

Doug Ross continues:

Note that this is third troubling development related to White House new media operations. The first controversy erupted after the administration began collecting information on critics of the Obama health care transformation program. The second related to spam emails sent by David Axelrod, an Obama senior adviser.

Now the White House intends to harvest vast amounts of data on American citizens who use social networking sites. The scope of the program as described in the RFQ is shocking:

Capture of comments by detractors and supporters of Obama: the RFQ specifies that the White House will capture “comments by both Obama critics and supporters, with no restriction as to how the White House would use the information.”

Transparency: there is none. The RFQ includes “extremely broad secrecy terms preventing the vendor from disclosing to the public or the media what information is being captured and archived (page 7, “Restriction Against Disclosure”)”;

Collection of data on citizens: the RFQ prescribes a massive data collection effort including capturing of comments on any website or social networking service;

Collection of any and all types of content: text, markup, graphics, video, audio, etc.

The NLPC says:

the Presidential Records Act is so expansive that virtually 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.

Awesome. The Nice Deb file is going to be huge.

UPDATE:

An underwhelmed Captain Ed has looked closely at the solicitation of bids file, and concludes:

…this is nothing more than a big, pointless archiving project, one which may stimulate the economy of a handful of people, but otherwise inconsequential.  There are a lot of good reasons to be worried about the Obama administration, but this doesn’t appear to be one of them.

Obama To Give Speech To Nation’s School Children September 8

Just when you thought this administration couldn’t get any creepier, it has outdone itself:

President Obama’s Address to Students Across America September 8, 2009
PreK-6 Menu of Classroom Activities: President Obama’s Address to Students Across America
Produced by Teaching Ambassador Fellows, U.S. Department of Education
September 8, 2009

Before the Speech:
• Teachers can build background knowledge about the President of the United States and his speech by reading books about presidents and Barack Obama and motivate students by asking the following questions:
Who is the President of the United States?
What do you think it takes to be President?
To whom do you think the President is going to be speaking?
Why do you think he wants to speak to you?
What do you think he will say to you?
• Teachers can ask students to imagine being the President delivering a speech to all of the students in the United States. What would you tell students? What can students do to help in our schools? Teachers can chart ideas about what they would say.
• Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?
During the Speech:
• As the President speaks, teachers can ask students to write down key ideas or phrases that are important or personally meaningful. Students could use a note-taking graphic organizer such as a Cluster Web, or students could record their thoughts on sticky notes. Younger children can draw pictures and write as appropriate. As students listen to the speech, they could think about the following:
What is the President trying to tell me?
What is the President asking me to do?
What new ideas and actions is the President challenging me to think about?
• Students can record important parts of the speech where the President is asking them to do something. Students might think about: What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

There’s much more on the PDF file, including suggestions for teachers to assign classroom projects like having the children “write letters to themselves about what they can do to help the President. These would be collected and redistributed at an appropriate later date by the teacher to make the children accountable to their goals”.

Are they kidding me?! Not just no, but HELL NO!!!!

This is most likely part of:

Obama’s Plan To Dissociate 9/11 From Republicans And Turn It Into A Day Of Radical Community Organizing

I have three kids in grades K-6. They will be staying home on 9/08, and they will be exempted from any follow-up activities.

See also:

How Obama Intends To Use The NEA To Promote His Agenda

(That would be the Natl. Endowment for the Arts, not the Natl. Educational Assoc., but now it seems both apply).
Hat tip: Ace

Hey, Obama, Can We See the Text of Your Speech to Every Schoolkid Before You Deliver It?

Michelle Malkin has more:

Obama’s Sept. 8 speech to schoolchildren

More thoughts:

Obama MUST know that this is going to alarm many parents. He can see that his approval rating has been taking a nose dive. He surely understands that some schools and teachers will participate in his program more that others. Does he not see the conflict this is likely to cause?

I believe he does:

How Obama Is Pitting Americans Against Each Other

From page 31 of  Generating Social Capital, a scholarly  look at civil society and institutions:

Repressive governments disturb civic development in two major ways; First, they discourage spontaneous group activity, and second, they discourage trust. Even though totalitarian governments, such as communist regimes, mobilize civil society through party, and other governmental organizations, association is always state controlled, and not always voluntary. Generally, authoritarian, and totalitarian governments seem partially to build on their strength on the foundation of distrust among their citizens. A good example of this can be found in the activities of the German Democratic Republic’s state-secret police which pitted citizens against each other, and provoked tight social control of friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and even within families.

OKAY,  WHAT THE HELL’S THIS?:

(Have students) create posters of their goals. Posters could be formatted in quadrants or puzzle pieces or trails marked with the labels: Personal, Academic, Community, Country. Each area could be labeled with three steps for achieving goals in those areas. It might make sense to focus on personal and academic so community and country goals come more readily.

HUH?

Um……no.

Obama has no business “community organizing” our kids.

MORE from the Foundry, on The Obama camp’s habit of pitting Amerians against each other:

Today, President Obama’s campaign organization “Organizing for America” sent out a notice to its “grassroots” supporters. It asked them to wage a coordinated phone campaign for health care by calling their U.S. Senators on September 11 – also known as Patriot Day in honor of the thousands of Americans killed by Al Qaeda terrorists eight years ago. It goes on: “All 50 States are coordinating in this – as we fight back against our own Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists who are subverting the American Democratic Process, whipped to a frenzy by their Fox Propaganda Network ceaselessly re-seizing power for their treacherous leaders.” Please read that again.

Typically when this type of outrageousness is unleashed on the American public, the appropriate response is to recall the webpage and explain the gray area, with phrases such as ‘that was taken out of context’ or ‘we didn’t mean that conservatives were actually terrorists’ or ‘that was written by a junior staffer who has been admonished’. But that should not be sufficient this time. There are several lessons America must learn from this:

Bipartisanship: Rather than rally our nation, which is certainly more divided than ever, they seek to make those divisions even more distinctive this September 11. The President often talks about reaching across the aisle, working with people of differing viewpoints, but that rhetoric is not matched by this reality.

There are several lessons America must learn from this:Bipartisanship: Rather than rally our nation, which is certainly more divided than ever, they seek to make those divisions even more distinctive this September 11. The President often talks about reaching across the aisle, working with people of differing viewpoints, but that rhetoric is not matched by this reality.

Zealots: This type of irresponsible rhetoric can make dissent against the President seem dangerous. Down the road, the President could paint his detractors as nothing more than right-wing zealots bent on destroying his vision for the nation. Remember, these ‘zealots’ are not smuggling weapons, they’re smuggling poster board and markers. They’re not flying planes into buildings; they’re flying to see their parents for Thanksgiving.

Free Press: How does it help our nation to rally against a free press? If Fox News doesn’t report the story as the White House sees it, does that make them a “propaganda network” as it says on today’s release? Who are the “treacherous leaders” that Fox News is reporting to by the way? These questions need answering.

Memorial: September 11 should be a day to grieve and remember, not a day to lobby for government-run healthcare. It certainly should not be a day to demonize fellow Americans. America’s enemies are violent extremists, bent on bring this nation to its knees, not soccer moms, dads and senior citizens who may disagree with one’s political or policy views.

That is why my kids will have nothing to do with Obama’s community service initiative. They have poisoned the well to such a degree that I can see nothing that comes from this administration in a positive light.

……Something tells me The Glenn Beck Show is going to be a doozy, today.

UPDATE:

I now believe I was jumping to conclusions when I assumed that his address would be related to his odious attempt to turn 9/11 into a “National Day of Service”.

The speech appears to deal primarily with the importance of a good education, and the children’s educational goals, however, without being able to see the text of the speech beforehand, it’s impossible to know what else might get sneaked in. The main problems are the “Dear Leader quality” of the unprecedented Presidential address to schoolkids, and the Dept of Education’s creepy accompanying curriculum.

See also:

More On Obama’s Address To School Children

Video: Michelle Malkin Discusses Obama’s School Speech On Hannity

UPDATE:

Michelle Malkin:

Whitewashing the Obama education speech guides

Hot Air:

WH deletes line about schoolkids helping Obama from speech prep materials

The more objectionable talking points for the  teachers/administrators from the Dept. of Ed. website have been scrubbed.

The Washington Times:

President Obama’s plan to inspire the nation’s schoolchildren with a video address next week erupted into controversy Wednesday, forcing the White House to pull out its eraser and rewrite a government recommendation that teachers nationwide assign students a paper on how to “help the president.”

Presidential aides acknowledged the White House helped the U.S. Education Department craft the proposal, which immediately was met by fierce criticism from Republicans and conservative organizations who accused Mr. Obama of trying to politicize the education system.

Why would the White House be involved with helping the the Dept. of Education craft the teacher recommendations?

Fox News:

Christina Erland Culver, former deputy assistant secretary for education, said presidents have traditionally addressed classrooms on the first day of school, but the problem with the event was the accompanying materials from the Department of Education.

“That’s where they kind of got into a slippery spot. Federal statute denies any authority to the Department of Education to provide any kind of curriculum or anything that can be passed down to the state, and that’s part of the statute forming the Department of Education. So they kinda got themselves into this mess because they didn’t really understand some of the key legal roles or the dos and don’ts at the federal Department of Ed,” she said.

One more thing:

I had previously thought that only grades k-6 would be participating. It turns out that there are also teacher guidelines for grades 7-12.

UPDATE:

IMAO gives us a worst case scenario. Don’t be too alarmed…this probably will not happen.

Announcing New Blog Feature

woman blogger

I’ve finally added an RSS news feed to the blog, which I’ve been wanting to do for awhile. Featured blogs can be seen on the right sidebar, below my top posts. I’ll be revolving blogs from time to time, with certain favorites in permanent spots. There are plenty more blogs I’d like to feature, but I decided to stick to 10 at a time, for now.

I’d love to hear some feedback. What do you think of the positioning? Is it too hard to find? Would it be better closer to the top?

Slow Motion Sneezing

Happy Tuesday!

Get a flu shot? How about covering your mouths, a-holes!

Via The Newsguy on Twitter.

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