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Transparency Advocate Campaigns To Lead GPO

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the for-some-values-of-printing dept.

Government 35

BigTimOBrien writes "In this interview with O'Reilly Broadcast, Carl Malamud discusses his grassroots effort to build support for his appointment as Public Printer of the United States, running the Government Printing Office — an agency that opened its doors the day Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated. Malamud has published his plans and platform on yeswescan.org: 'For over 20 years, Carl Malamud has been publishing government information on the Internet. In 2008, Public.Resource.Org published over 32.4 million pages of primary legal materials, as well as thousands of hours of video and thousands of photographs. In the 1990s, Malamud fought to place the databases of the United States on the Internet. In the 1980s, Malamud fought to make the standards that govern our global Internet open standards available to all. Malamud would continue to work to preserve and extend our public domain, and would place special attention to our relationship with our customers, especially the United States Congress.'"

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Yes please... (4, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26980807)

...I'm tired of having to search in hundreds of different locations for little scraps of information that should be freely available from one portal.

Re:Yes please... (4, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26980839)

It would be nice, but he has no political base in government. The powers that be will appoint someone whose interests coincide with their own, since power likes privacy. Too much sunshine is bad for backroom deals.

Re:Yes please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26980899)

"Do you know the website number?" -- Joe Biden.

If it was dan quayle or ted stevens, that would be a recurring joke. But it's Joe Biden, and he's so smart he doesn't need dns.

Re:Yes please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26981039)

Odd.. "Results 1 - 3 of 3 for "Do you know the website number?. (0.49 seconds)"

Re:Yes please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26981185)

Odd..

"Results 1 - 3 of 3 for "Do you know the website number?. (0.49 seconds)"

GP is clearly an off-topic troll. He's baiting someone into the conversation about "Well that's just because the liberal freedom-hating mainstream democrat media won't cover it." Save your time and trouble.

Besides, comparing it to Ted Stevens comments, Ted wins out on the humor. I mean, come on. Send you an internet over the series of tubes? That's comedy. He show's a painful misunderstanding of how networking works.

Now, as far as "Do you know the website number", that could be easily mixed up. People ask for a companies' number all the time.

By the way, I wasted my vote on the Libertarian party this past election. If you want to get all up in arms or have a good laugh at Presidential/Vice Presidential Gaffs, there's probably better material out there.

Re:Yes please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26981361)

there's probably better material out there

Just look at B. Hussein Obama's Porkulus package.

Re:Yes please... (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982101)

"Do you know the website number?" -- Joe Biden.

I think that is gonna be our generation's "What's the frequency, Kenneth?"

Re:Yes please... (1)

Arterion (941661) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987383)

Maybe one of his aide's standing by was nicknamed "Number".

RFID Passports to go away? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26980853)

4. Security. GPO produces passports and other secure documents. The current design for passports uses an RFID chip, which means that an American can be picked out of a crowd merely by having a passport in their pocket. If nominated and confirmed, I would ask security expert Bruce Schneier to form a Blue-Ribbon Commission to reexamine the design of passports and other secure documents so we can better protect the privacy and security of all Americans.

And we know what Schneier's stance is on those RFID chips: he has long opposed them [schneier.com] . So does this mean that we will see a reversal of the policy on RFID tags in passports? Gods, I hope so.

Re:RFID Passports to go away? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981531)

The current design for passports uses an RFID chip, which means that an American can be picked out of a crowd merely by having a passport in their pocket.

Is this still trivially defeated with a mylar ziploc? Or is there some magical tech I don't know about? (I do think the RFID chip is unnecessary and thus wasteful and thus stupid.)

Re:RFID Passports to go away? (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26983081)

I wouldn't be surprised if you could be held under suspicion for keeping your passport in a mylar ziploc. Much like people are concerned about encrypting their hard drives putting them under suspicion. It's very scary that just the act of protecting one's reasonable privacy could label them as a terrorist.

Re:RFID Passports to go away? (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26992031)

You can disable the chip without damaging your passport (excepting possibly some scuff marks) with a hammer.

Does running a web site really qualify you? (2, Interesting)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26980891)

I run several websites.

I would never claim to be qualified to run a whole government agency.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26980925)

Carl has been in the congressional scene doing this for many, many, many years. He doesn't just run a website.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26980939)

Your crappy sites no. His yes. I would definitely say that his experience in electronic record keeping is a much better yard stick for the office than the current 'experience with bookbinding' one.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26980993)

If that government agency happens to be the government's printing/information dissemination agency then yes, it just might.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982123)

Considering that, this would basically be a library gig, wouldn't it? Archive all o' this here data and put it online as efficiently as possible.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982331)

Pretty much. I don't think that the actual printing part is quite ready to go; but the (very) near future of this position is pretty much one of online archivist. Not yet time to sack the people in the department who understand printing; but an advocate of transparency, with a strong understanding of online archival work, is an obviously good policy-level pick.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981231)

Speak for yourself. I'm ready, willing, and able to be the countries first "Web Czar." You hear that Mr. President? Call me.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982009)

Speak for yourself. I'm ready, willing, and able to be the countries first "Web Czar." You hear that Mr. President? Call me.

With grammar like that, you'd better aim lower. Try "slashdot editor".

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982357)

Be warned, Web Czars and Grammar Nazis always end up at war.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

Redbaran (918344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981257)

I run several websites.

I would never claim to be qualified to run a whole government agency.

Nor should having a silver spoon, or lots of money, or famous parents, or a successful Hollywood career, yet those pass as qualifications all the time.

I think you are underestimating his accomplishments as well as underestimating what it takes to run a government agency.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987141)

Nor should having a silver spoon, or lots of money, or famous parents, or a successful Hollywood career, yet those pass as qualifications all the time.

You forgot "really excellent hair". Very important qualification. All the Founding Fathers and most rock stars. Except for Peter Garret of course. And Steve Ballmer.

Oh, wait...

It depends on what the website does. (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981501)

In his particular case, his website was fighting against states and municipalities that were trying to claim copyright on their laws and restrict their distribution, and he had previously had done similar work with data from both the SEC and US Patent Office:

Tech activist takes on governments over 'copyrighted' laws [cnet.com]
Patent office slammed for not posting data [cnet.com]

So yes, I'm guessing that his website might give him some suitable experience for this position.

Re:It depends on what the website does. (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981807)

Yeah, public.resource.org is incredibly useful; I use bulk.resource.org [resource.org] to read appellate and Supreme court opinions all the time.

It's something we /.ers ought to be making more use of - instead of just opining on the law, we can actually link to and read opinions.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981893)

You might want to read Carls books and study what he's done. Lots of people in DC already have and did so years ago. He's institutionally famous and is a shoe in. There really is no better candidate for this.

Start with "Exploring the Internet" (a free download today) and understand that the General Counsel for the ITU then also set up the first White Hosue webserver after that position, and that was ages ago.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

codemaster2b (901536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26982113)

I must point out, that this fellow claims to have been publishing on the internet for over 20 years. That means before 1989. How many people here published anything on the internet before 1989? He obviously has a passion for freedom of information, which is a large measure of our protection from the Government (any free people's protection from their Government, actually).

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982539)

What ... WAIS and gopher don't count? There was an internet way before the web there padawan.

Re:Does running a web site really qualify you? (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 4 years ago | (#26989607)

You don't campaign for a political appointment based on your qualifications and experience. You buy it. (Money and Time are both accepted currencies).

In other words, no.

Carl Malamud's book is a great read... (2, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26981019)

...Exploring the Internet: A Technical Travelogue [amazon.com] . He relates a couple of funny episodes dealing with various ISO bureaucrats... good stuff.

Carl is endowed with unique abilities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26981969)

The rather uncommon quality dubbed "Common Sense" being foremost among them.

I can't think of anyone who would bring more practical innovation to this particular problem...

With so many dollars getting printed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26982083)

...it is expected we will soon be able to see through the notes.

No offense to Carl, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986159)

Is anyone disturbed that "government transparency" is being applauded? Sure, it's a good thing, but it's supposed to be mandatory in a democracy(the people run the government, not the other way around). So why do I keep reading and hearing about how great it is that they're tossing scraps of information to the public?

Worth a shot, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986589)

... with some government organizations (YOU, DHS!) having policies about department "intellectual property", good luck.

Seriously, I'd have thought that any government work was both public domain and only infringe-able if it was used with intent to defraud. Apparently some believe that they should have full trademark and copyright protection concerning things.

And wouldn't you just love to pay not only for passport processing, but also for "licensing" the flag to fly at your house?

carl is the *original* transparency advocate (1)

mibh (920980) | more than 4 years ago | (#26989091)

a decade or longer before it was fashionable to decry the lack of transparency in government databases, carl was out there creating technology and deploying content to prove that what should be done also *could* be done. as a brass knuckled visionary carl could give us the kind of open government that everybody likes to talk about these days but few know how to build. carl also has the executive, financial, political, and administrative experience to pull this off. like the sign says "if you don't like the news go out and make some of your own" ... or just hire carl malamud as the next head of the GPO. --paul vixie
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