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Published:September 2nd, 2009 18:26 EST
Do Peons Deserve Privacy Too?

Do Peons Deserve Privacy Too?

By Rob Roy

Privacy is a wonderful thing for crooked politicians, but when it comes to people who dare criticize them?  We`re just peons.  Here is the most recent example:

Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites

Here`s a snippet of the report:

[Submitted by Ken Boehm on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 19:07]

http://nlpc.org/stories/2009/08/31/obama-white-house-has-secret-plan-harvest-personal-data-social-networking-website

NLPC 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.

While the solicitation specifies a 12-month contract, it allows for seven one-year extensions. It specifies no dollar cap. Other troubling issues include:

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 ")

wholesale capturing of comments by non-White House staff on publicly accessible sites

capturing of content of any type (text, graphics, audio, or video)

capturing of comments by both Obama critics and supporters, with no restriction as to how the White House would use the information.

This is the third controversy involving the White House internet operations in less than a month.

[snip]

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I guess it is no longer safe to keep an email public anymore.  Please don`t share mine with fedbizzops.com.  I want to feel free to criticize whoever I want without looking over my shoulder.