"White House collects Web users' data without notice"

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Submitted by partypup on September 22, 2009 - 1:14am

Once again, you just can't make this s**t up. I am tempted to post this on Huffington for entertainment purposes, just to watch the Kool Aid drinkers spin and rationalize the steady drip-drip-drip of their civil liberties leaking out of a broken bottle of *HOPE*:

"The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without notifying or asking the consent of the site users, a failure that appears to run counter to President Obama's promise of a transparent government and his pledge to protect privacy on the Internet.

Marc Rotenberg, president of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the White House signaled that it would insist on open dealings with Internet users and, in fact, should feel obliged to disclose that it is collecting such information.

The National Legal and Policy Center, a government ethics watchdog, said archiving the sites would have a "chilling effect" on Web site users who might wish to leave comments critical of the administration."

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009...

In other words, even if you haven't "friended" Obama, the man will still have access to all of your personal information and any comments - positive or otherwise - that you make about him or him policies.

How's the *hope* and *change* working out for you, comrades?

Submitted by jpinpb on September 22, 2009 - 7:18am.

That's why the government invented the internet, so they can track you and your moves and comments. Comply. Resistance is futile. And to whoever started the comments I'm stealing, "Back to work slave!"

Submitted by air_ogi on September 22, 2009 - 7:22am.

So you go to Whitehouse's page on facebook and post a comment. Now you have a problem with that being logged?

Are you serious?

Submitted by Arraya on September 22, 2009 - 7:59am.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/03...
Warrantless Government Monitoring: Following the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the practice of wiretapping all internet traffic began in the United States with the Bush administration, and is now being defended in court by the Obama administration. All of the nation’s major internet service providers are accused of funneling Americans’ online traffic to the National Security Agency without warrants.

Submitted by afx114 on September 22, 2009 - 8:18am.

And I'm sure you have a problem with Rich "collecting and storing" your posts on here as well. Clearly Rich is invading your privacy by doing so. Rich is a tyrant and a commie!

Hey PP, where's your post about Obama's FCC coming out in support of net neutrality?

Submitted by Arraya on September 22, 2009 - 8:36am.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/09/14
The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true. He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations. He is squandering the country's future with deficits that can never be repaid. He has retained and even bolstered our surveillance state to spy on Americans. He is forcing us to buy into a health care system that will enrich corporations and expand the abuse of our for-profit medical care. He will not stanch unemployment. He will not end our wars. He will not rebuild the nation. He is a tool of the corporate state.

The right wing is not wrong. It is not the problem. We are the problem. If we do not tap into the justifiable anger sweeping across the nation, if we do not militantly push back against corporate fraud and imperial wars that we cannot win or afford, the political vacuum we have created will be filled with right-wing lunatics and proto-fascists. The goons will inherit power not because they are astute, but because we are weak and inept.

snip

It is we who are guilty, guilty for sending these young men and women to wars that did not have to be fought. It is we who are guilty for turning away from the truth of war to wallow in a self-aggrandizing myth, guilty because we create and decorate killers and when they come home maimed and broken we discard them. It is we who are guilty for failing to defy a Democratic Party that since 1994 has betrayed the working class by destroying our manufacturing base, slashing funds to assist the poor and cravenly doing the bidding of corporations. It is we who are guilty for refusing to mass on Washington and demand single-payer, not-for-profit health care for all Americans. It is we who are guilty for supporting Democrats while they funnel billions in taxpayer dollars to sustain speculative Wall Street interests. The rage of the confused and angry right-wing marchers, the ones fired up by trash-talking talk show hosts, the ones liberals belittle and maybe even laugh at, should be our rage. And if it is not our rage soon, if we continue to humiliate and debase ourselves by begging Obama to be Obama, we will see our open society dismantled not because of the shrewdness of the far right, but because of our moral cowardice

Submitted by DWCAP on September 22, 2009 - 12:49pm.

Arraya wrote:

If we do not tap into the justifiable anger sweeping across the nation, if we do not militantly push back against corporate fraud and imperial wars that we cannot win or afford,....

So we are suppose to wage a war to stop the war?

Sorry, had to ask. 'Militantly' is a rather loaded word.

Submitted by CricketOnTheHearth on September 22, 2009 - 1:01pm.

The only two major options for affecting what our leaders do is voting them in or out of office, or taking to the streets in armed mobs. A third option is economic, but there is only so much corpor-rat crap we can refuse to buy... gotta eat and drive to work, after all.

And if our vote is rigged and gamed, and we are never presented with any but corporately-approved candidates, what options does that leave us?

*I* do not accept the 'guilt' of which the Commondreams article speaks. *I* did not back the Iraq war. I did the peaceful First Amendment protest thing throughout. See how much good that did. And what would Commondreams have had me do??

Submitted by sobmaz on September 22, 2009 - 2:46pm.

Why do you think liberals were jumping up and down when Governmental powers were expanded at an alarming rate during the Bush Admin?? All in the name of fighting Terrorism. The Patriot Act, Warrantless wiretaps and on and on and on.

Liberals were called unpatriotic for standing up to the expansion of powers.

Government NEVER gives up power, never, and is forever trying to slowly expand it's powers. Now and then the Government is able to expand in leaps and bounds and that happened under the last admin.

What we found during the Bush Admin was 100% support from Republicans for the expansion along with support from Conservatives.

As Obama has embraced the expansion of powers (that Bush started) he too is doing his part in trying to expand the Governments powers even more.

However, you will find this Administration is unable to expand nearly as fast as the Bush Admin. One reason is Democrats will not vote in lock step with the Party. Democrats will vote their conscience and some will vote the party line. Many Liberal voters will scream and holler at government expansion and of course now that a liberal is on office so will Conservatives.

If only Republicans and all the Conservatives out there would have voted or supported their conscience instead of the Party line, along with the voices of Liberals Bush's attempts to expand would have been less successful.

You ever wonder why Republicans vote Party lines and Democrats rarely do?

Submitted by Veritas on September 22, 2009 - 2:55pm.

"Arbeit macht frei""Arbeit macht frei"

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on September 22, 2009 - 3:10pm.

Veritas: "Work Makes (Creates) Freedom". You might want to tell the dear readers where that little bon mot came from.

Sobmaz: As to your comment about those courageous Democrats: Puh-leeze. What utter, unadulterated crap. The Democrats have been in there, right alongside their Republican pals, gleefully trashing our civil liberties.

Look up FISA. Look up rendition. Look up NSA's Carnivore and Echelon programs. More importantly, look up who started them. How many Dems voted for Patriot Act? Better yet, how many voted for Patriot Act II?

Give me a break with this propagandistic nonsense. The Dems are complicit, as are the Republicans. If you fall for that party line crap, you're as ignorant as those people that believe we're involved in anything other than an increasingly brutal war for resources and will do anything to keep the party going.

Submitted by 4plexowner on September 22, 2009 - 3:52pm.

"an increasingly brutal war for resources"

I believe it is necessary to have a big picture view of the world and what is going on in it

this 'war for resources' is part of that big picture IMO

while the US has been wasting their resources in pointless wars, China has been going around the world buying up the resources they will need in the future

Australia, Canada, Africa - China has secured streams of resources from these countries and more while the US has piddled their resources in the desert (and continues to do so)

China plans for the next 100 years while the US plans for the next quarter and the next election ...

Submitted by CricketOnTheHearth on September 22, 2009 - 4:02pm.

China's giving it the ol' college try, but the bloom may be already coming off the rose in a few of these places. I recently read an article about grumbling in some 3rd world country (I forget which, in Africa, I think) because the Chinese were bringing in their own Chinese workers to do the work instead of hiring local.

America made the big play for the big oil resources in the Gulf area, while China nibbles around the edges for the oil in Sudan, etc. No argument that the US has funbled the Gulf play. I predict the "Great Game" will eventually turn to China attempting to get a foothold in the Gulf region; perhaps cozying up to Iran. Neither Russia nor the US would like that... much ugliness ensues.

The fact that our economies are so webbed together makes it tougher. You can't just haul off and blast your rival any more, you wind up cratering your own economy if you do.

Submitted by Allan from Fallbrook on September 22, 2009 - 4:22pm.

4plexowner wrote:
"an increasingly brutal war for resources"

I believe it is necessary to have a big picture view of the world and what is going on in it

this 'war for resources' is part of that big picture IMO

while the US has been wasting their resources in pointless wars, China has been going around the world buying up the resources they will need in the future

Australia, Canada, Africa - China has secured streams of resources from these countries and more while the US has piddled their resources in the desert (and continues to do so)

China plans for the next 100 years while the US plans for the next quarter and the next election ...

4Plex: I'm reminded of the late 1980s, when Japan, Inc. was credited with the same foresight as China is now enjoying. In spite of the tale being spun about Japanese technological superiority and how MITI's centralized planning was providing Japanese industry with a drive and focus that US industry lacked... well, we know how that turned out.

I don't debate that China is having one helluva coming out party. However, China is also riddled with huge structural defects and the pretty coat of paint the Chinese leadership has troweled over the exterior is starting to flake.

They have been ginning up their economic numbers for quite a while now, and there is significant social and cultural dislocation taking place, whether we're discussing internal security issues with Muslims, Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, or the problems emerging as unemployment soars.

Their costs of labor are increasing rapidly and its proving ever more difficult to find qualified mid- and upper-management personnel, along with attorneys and financial professionals.

I don't discount the Chinese, however, I also don't buy into the story of them as some unstoppable juggernaut. There are some very large obstacles for them to overcome and I remain unconvinced that we're now seeing "Pax Cathay" replacing "Pax Americana". As Cricket points out, the Chinese are finding it difficult to assert themselves in other parts of the world, in spite of the massive sums they're spending and they lack the singular, American ability to project power.

Attenuated as we may be after eight years of war, we still represent TR's "Big Stick" and the dominant military force for at least the next generation. Let's see China put a carrier battle group in someone's back yard to make a point and then I'll be impressed.

Submitted by sobmaz on September 22, 2009 - 4:40pm.

Veritas

Re read my post, I agree with you.

Where we apparently part ways is I believe Conservatives march in lock step with their party, Liberals don't.

My Liberal talk radio programs have correctly been trashing the Democratic controlled government for months now.

When the Republicans were trashing the Constitution the right wing talkers like Rush and Shawn not only backed the President but called the Liberal dissenters "traitors" sympathetic to the terrorist cause.

As far as Democratic and Republican politicians you can't tell the difference. Obama has embraced the illegal wiretaps in the name of "security".

Obama is so far little different than Bush and just because he is a Democrat he will not get a free pass from Liberals.

P.S.

I remember when the "Patriot Act" was being pushed. Those few Democrats who did stand up against it were tarred and feathered for being unpatriotic, Rush and Shawn constantly pushed that idea as did the Republicans. Just about all Democrats in the end supported the Patriot Act because they have no balls. There were no Republican dissenters.

The question is, did YOU support the Patriot Act and do you still today?

Submitted by partypup on September 22, 2009 - 4:38pm.

Are YOU serious? If I want my comments made known to the White House, I will be a good little drone and post them on their website or their Facebook page.

This is completely different, and I'm surprised you don't see the distinction: when I post comments to MY Facebook page, I have only consented to viewing by my "friends" - people I know and feel comfortable sharing my feelings with.

Read the article more closely. Think you are missing the point here.

Submitted by partypup on September 22, 2009 - 4:45pm.

afx114 wrote:
And I'm sure you have a problem with Rich "collecting and storing" your posts on here as well. Clearly Rich is invading your privacy by doing so. Rich is a tyrant and a commie!

Wow...it's insane how hard you'll force your head into the sand.

Once again: when I log onto Piggington, I have CONSENTED to share my opnions and to have those opinions viewed by anyone and everyone. I do NOT give such consent when I log onto Facebook. Quite to the contrary, I have intentionally filtered who will have access to my personal information and my political or economic commentary.

And here's something else for you to chew on, comrade: Rich doesn't have ANY of my personal information. Nor do you. You don't have any idea what my full name is, what city I live in, what I look like, what my partner and son looks like or who my friends are. Under those circumstances, I feel perfectly comfortable sharing my opinions on this site.

Take away those protections, and my speech is chilled. If you don't get that, afx114 - if this is a concept that that truly eludes you, and if even 10% of the population is as cavalier as you are about this issue, then we as a nation are truly friggin' doomed. Good God, is it really that hard for you to understand when your civil liberties are being yanked away?

Submitted by Aecetia on September 22, 2009 - 5:00pm.

Along the lines of Allan's post. We did not go to Iraq without Democratic support. Quit being partisan and start complaining about the erosion of your Constitutional freedoms.

Senate approves Iraq war resolution
Administration applauds vote

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq if Saddam Hussein refuses to give up weapons of mass destruction as required by U.N. resolutions.

Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.

The president praised the congressional action, declaring "America speaks with one voice."

"The Congress has spoken clearly to the international community and the United Nations Security Council," Bush said in a statement. "Saddam Hussein and his outlaw regime pose a grave threat to the region, the world and the United States. Inaction is not an option, disarmament is a must."

While the outcome of the vote was never in doubt, its passage followed several days of spirited debate in which a small but vocal group of lawmakers charged the resolution was too broad and premature.

The resolution requires Bush to declare to Congress either before or within 48 hours after beginning military action that diplomatic efforts to enforce the U.N. resolutions have failed.

The Senate vote sharply divided Democrats, with 29 voting for the measure and 21 against. All Republicans except Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island voted for passage.

http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS...

Submitted by Veritas on September 22, 2009 - 5:13pm.

sob,

I am against this:

A. Silencing Political Dissent

Section 802 of the USA PATRIOT Act creates a federal crime of "domestic terrorism" that broadly extends to "acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws" if they "appear to be intended...to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion," and if they "occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States." [10] Because this crime is couched in such vague and expansive terms, it may well be read by federal law enforcement agencies as licensing the investigation and surveillance of political activists and organizations based on their opposition to government policies. It also may be read by prosecutors as licensing the criminalization of legitimate political dissent. Vigorous protest activities, by their very nature, could be construed as acts that "appear to be intended...to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion." Further, clashes between demonstrators and police officers and acts of civil disobedience -- even those that do not result in injuries and are entirely non-violent -- could be construed as "dangerous to human life" and in "violation of the criminal laws." Environmental activists, anti-globalization activists, and anti-abortion activists who use direct action to further their political agendas are particularly vulnerable to prosecution as "domestic terrorists."

However, to prevent 9-11 type incidents, I fully support waterboarding or dipping bullets in pig fat or other ways of eliciting cooperation. I am pragmatic that way. I do not want this country destroyed because we are weak or perceived as weak by our enemies. They shot the Nazis they captured in WWII in a very perfunctory fashion and I do not believe terrorists or other enemy combatants deserve Miranda, a free attorney, bail and any other legal consideration applied to criminals. War is war and criminal laws are designed to ensure those arrested are innocent until proven quilty. These terrorists caught in the act or in the battlefield do not deserve Constitutional protections. I think a lot of them deserve a firing squad. So I must not be a true libertarian....

Jefferson believed in freedom, but not for the Barbary pirates.

Submitted by air_ogi on September 22, 2009 - 8:28pm.

partypup, you are misinformed. I know the article is a bit confusing, but it is your responsibility to do a bit of research on something that sounds completely improbable and comes from a biased source.

The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Here is the article that details it in a bit more clear way
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/53363

So unless you post on facebook.com/whitehouse , your trolling will not be stored in presidential records.

That said, NSA probably can read your private posts on facebook, since Congress and G.W. Bush granted telecom companies immunity from being sued for warrantless wiretaps. Democrats in congress have a bill that will remove this immunity, but I am sure that Ron Paul will be only freedom loving Republican that will support it.

Submitted by afx114 on September 22, 2009 - 11:43pm.

del

Submitted by jonnycsd on September 22, 2009 - 11:54pm.

CricketOnTheHearth wrote:
The only two major options for affecting what our leaders do is voting them in or out of office, or taking to the streets in armed mobs. A third option is economic, but there is only so much corpor-rat crap we can refuse to buy... gotta eat and drive to work, after all.

And if our vote is rigged and gamed, and we are never presented with any but corporately-approved candidates, what options does that leave us?

IMHO gerrymandering has really shifted power away from the voter and towards the parties and thier clients, which are often corporations and nearly always special interest groups. Generally, the politicians running in a gerrymandered district already know if it will go Democrat or Republican. What matters to them is wining the parties nomination, not winning the election. Gerrymandering pre-allocates seats to each party and effectively removes the need for politicians to respond to ALL of thier consituents and replaces it with the need only to respond to the party they affiliate with.

To fix this, the enire concept of gerrymandering needs to be banished!

Submitted by partypup on September 23, 2009 - 10:20am.

air_ogi wrote:
partypup, you are misinformed. I know the article is a bit confusing, but it is your responsibility to do a bit of research on something that sounds completely improbable and comes from a biased source.

The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Air, I hear you, and thanks for including that link. Unfortunately, it doesn't allay my concern because this information is still being gathered "without notifying or asking the consent of the site users, a failure that appears to run counter to President Obama's promise of a transparent government and his pledge to protect privacy on the Internet. "

When my friends post comments to my Facebook page, I don't archive their posts. Do you? Do you even have that capability? Why does the White House have the capability to archive posts on Facebook that other users do not? And if you DID have this capability, wouldn't you let your friends know, "Hey, by the way, I plan to collect all the information you send my way." I would immediately wonder, "Why do you need to do that?"

No matter how you slice it, there is no transparency here. If he were Dubya, I would just chalk it up to another totalitarian erosion of my civil liberties. What more would I expect from that goon?

Maybe this kind of double-speak doesn't bother you because it's coming from Obama. So be it. But I'm not partisan. And to masquerade as a promoter of transparency and then take this kind of action without the consent of posters is disingenuous, at best. Is that the kind of *change* you were expecting?

Submitted by afx114 on September 23, 2009 - 10:34am.

PP, you are naive to think that anything you post on a public forum or profile doesn't have the potential of being archived, whether it is done by the owner or anyone else who can see it.

I have a feeling the White House also archives letters it receives via ye olden pony express and has been doing so for hundreds of years. How is this any different? I don't recall them notifying anyone that they'll be archiving any mail they receive, but I guarantee you that they do. Generally when you send someone something, it is implied that they will keep it.

Submitted by UCGal on September 23, 2009 - 10:38am.

I assume that anything I put on the internet is not private.

It's kind of silly to think otherwise. Even if the site you're posting to has privacy assurances - there are still hackers.

It's the internet, after all.

Submitted by partypup on September 23, 2009 - 11:03am.

UCGal wrote:
I assume that anything I put on the internet is not private.

It's kind of silly to think otherwise. Even if the site you're posting to has privacy assurances - there are still hackers.

It's the internet, after all.

Absolutely. However, I also assume that if someone promises transparency and vows to protect my privacy on the internet, then they will operate differently form the hackers and the other creeps who populate the internet. My mistake for taking our President at his word, UCCal. I'll be sure to keep that in mind going forward ;-)

Submitted by afx114 on September 23, 2009 - 11:13am.

Hey pp, you may want to call up Google and complain that they are violating your privacy by archiving all your posts here without your permission:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Apiggington.com+partypup

I'm pretty sure that Google makes transparency claims too.

Submitted by partypup on September 23, 2009 - 12:07pm.

afx114 wrote:
Hey pp, you may want to call up Google and complain that they are violating your privacy by archiving all your posts here without your permission:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Apiggington.com+partypup

I'm pretty sure that Google makes transparency claims too.

Hey afx114, I may want to do that. But I probably won't because so many people have already picked up the phone and even gone a step further and filed lawsuits. I'm sure you are aware that Google is one of the biggest transgressors of privacy and is facing a multitude of suits on the that front. Check out this picture and let's talk about whether Google's transparency and privacy claims mean jack:

http://www.switched.com/2007/06/01/the-s...

I could be wrong, but it sounds like you are you saying that because Google violates our privacy interests in creepy ways, then it's okay for our government to do the same thing?

Because here's the thing: as far as I know Google isn't part of the federal government and did not campaign on a platform of internet privacy and transparency.

Once again, if we are not going to hold an elected official - and the Commander in Chief, no less - to a higher standard than we would hold a private company like Google, then let's all be on the same page. I, for one, thought *change* was coming and our privacy interests would be respected more in the new era of Hope - if not by Google, then at least by the President who is claiming transparency. Again, I was only taking the guy at his word. It sounds like that's too much too ask, and it appears that you're comfortable with that because the guy belongs to your political party. I, however, don't defend people when they are trampling my rights - regardless of which party they belong to or whether I voted for them. I call an ace an ace and a spade a spade. If I'm getting screwed, it doesn't matter to me who's doing the screwing. At the end of the day, I'm still sore and can barely walk.

Submitted by Aecetia on September 23, 2009 - 12:16pm.

Well said Pup, as always. The old it's the economy stupid, should now be supplanted by it's the Constitution stupid. Bringing up Bush does not change what the current POTUS is doing to undermine basic American privileges. I wonder what the people who voted for him think of his throwing Israel under the bus??? I think this is a distraction from health care, but it will only give strength to our enemies both foreign and domestic. I guess he did not understand his oath of office!

Submitted by afx114 on September 23, 2009 - 12:25pm.

partypup, please quit quoting me in your posts without my permission -- it is a violation of my privacy.

Submitted by Arraya on September 23, 2009 - 12:48pm.

I wonder what the people who voted for him think of his throwing Israel under the bus??

How dare Obama ask Israel to stop STEALING land. The horror!

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