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 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.


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.

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

  1. This is so over the top crazy.Are we in some 1984 novel?I seriously keep trying to find reasons to discredit what I see and hear but the fact remain. I really think they are evil.


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  3. This is has gone far enough. Just think this only some of what we know they are doing to us. What are the things that they have started that we have no knowledge of.


  4. Pingback: White House Has Plan To Data Mine Social Networks : Stop The ACLU

  5. Pingback: White House Has Plan To Data Mine Social Networks » Pirate's Cove

  6. Should I just go ahead and send them my login name and password? If I cooperate, maybe they’ll send me to one of the nicer gulags.


  7. Upon learning of Obama’s new Internet Mining Policy

    Obama is cool.
    Obama is the real deal.
    Obama is the man.
    Obama is for change.
    Obama is our hero.
    Obama is the best president ever.
    Obama is the yes we can man.
    Obama is a man for all seasons.
    Obama is a never ending story of hope.
    Obama is an American hero.
    Obama is a jazzy dude.
    Obama is the biggest thing ever!


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  9. As American citizens, can we gather and sue whatever firm harvests our personal information and comments? I think a threat of a major class action lawsuit against whatever firm is hired may stop it. Also why is my space etc allowing this? People will stop using them.


  10. Our worst nightmare comes true. In just 8 months in office, Dear Leader has turned our beloved country upside down. Think about this, what is to come in the next 3 years and 4 months? Get ready for “emergency suspension of our constitutional rights”….Or maybe “emergency suspension of an election(s). This little chat with America’s children sounds even worse. I feel sick to my stomach.


  11. Excuse me people, but as I read through this, when you get past all the descriptors, and actually down to the substance, it seems to just come down to harvesting comments.

    Comments, on public websites, are in the public domain. It is not any different than clipping articles or letters from newspapers, as was done in the old days.

    Where is there any reference, specifically, to “personal data”? There really isnt any, because the effort is not doing anything other than collecting public data – i.e. the same thing you do when you surf the net.

    God, but you people seem determined to prove, on a daily basis, how absolutely batshit insane the right has become, aintcha?


  12. They’re relentless.
    They just keep doing this stuff and people like Joe Citizen are okay with it because it’s their side doing it.

    So even though this president keeps collecting information on people who disagree with him, it’s okay.
    Because he’s so God-like I assume.


  13. Right Joe Citizen. You were no doubt unhappy when the Bush administration allowed the wiretapping of conversations with terrorists.

    This info is in the public domain, but the question is, what is the “most transparent administration ever” going to do with it?
    They are collecting it for a reason.


  14. It is not any different than clipping articles or letters from newspapers, as was done in the old days.

    Well yeah, it is. Hugely different. In fact that’s a jaw-droppingly silly statement. Just because something is in the public domain doesn’t mean you want the government to start building profiles on its citizens with that information.

    Talk about a chill wind.


  15. Just because something is in the public domain doesn’t mean you want the government to start building profiles on its citizens with that information.

    Just read Morrissey’s take on this at Hot Air. Seems like nothing to get alarmed over, since the sites in question have to be affiliated with the Executive Office.


  16. I’ve already updated my post, however, I not sure how, “any space where the White House “maintains a presence.” translates to “being affiliated with the Executive Office”.

    I’m not good at bureaucratese.


  17. Pingback: Data Mining: Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites « Freedom and Linux

  18. Pingback: RED ALERT: White House plans massive spidering operation of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. looking for detractors | North Houston Tea Party Patriots

  19. As to Capt Ed. he seems surprisingly trusting that a gov’t bureaucracy will not exceed its original mandate.

    This didn’t happen in a vacuum either.
    They started with flag.friends and then, after an outcry, just changed the name and the outcry died down (I still don’t understand that), and now this.
    Every day there are like 5 outrages. Every single day.

    They’re relentless.


  20. Thingumbob, you need to add the ‘Sarc off’ tag after your post, or we will have to think that you actually are a leftist dumba** after all.


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  22. The rich corporate media owners have been telling the american public for almost a century: stalin dictatorship is communism. communism is siocialism. organising and cooperating for your rights is socialism. So the american people do not organise, do not cooperate, and if anyone tries to voice that one should cooperate to solve societal problems all the media screams “socialism”. Health care is not the problem, while you are screaming and quarreling about health care reform, everyone misses what really is going on. or what is not being done. the patriot acts have not been repealed. Guantanamo is still there. US men and women in uniform are still being killed in afghanistan and iraq. afghanis and iraqis are still being killed, murdered and injuredand die from apalling living conditions. Government sponsored Health Care insurance for those who cannot afford it a dangerous problem? Really???


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