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.
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.