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White House Press Secretary's Tweets Archived

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the for-future-generations dept.

Communications 63

RedTeflon writes "The White House spokesman, who has just started using Twitter, told reporters this afternoon that he met with government lawyers yesterday to determine whether his tweets would be archived along with emails and just about everything else produced at the White House. After deliberation, White House lawyers have decided that any and all tweets will be archived in keeping with the Presidential Records Act of 1978."

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It's on the internet (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180174)

Therefore we need news laws.

A corollary:

It's on the internet. Therefore old laws don't apply.

Re:It's on the internet (2, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180208)

The law usually gets blindsided by technical developments. Giving the lack of tech experts in lawmaking, they usually try to apply the old regulation until they break, then and only then do they realize there's a new way to do things.

Re:It's on the internet (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31183054)

Yeah, I agree, they'll just have to keep clandestine communications of underhanded deeds down to face to face encounters, away from microphones, the old fashioned way.

Re:It's on the internet (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180230)

Exactly opposite, though: It's not a new law. It's an interpretation of an old law to see if it applies to something new. And it did. Thus we DON'T need new laws.

Re:It's on the internet (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180332)

Right, and yet he had to meet with lawyers to tell him this.

Seems like I summed up the whitehouse spokesman's thought process pretty well.

Re:It's on the internet (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180786)

If your organization has a legal department, it's not so silly to consult them over stuff like this.

It's not something personal that's completely up to him. As he said: "What I write and what I tweet is archived ... because it is work product created as part of my job at the White House,"

Once he's got that decision from "Legal" he can then tell "IT" to start taking measures to archive the stuff. Without that, "IT" might put his request on a lower priority - somewhere way below "fixing the cute intern's laptop".

Re:It's on the internet (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31187918)

That wouldn't be enough.

Only the stuff that Management is breathing down your back about is put above "fixing the cute intern's laptop"

Re:It's on the internet (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180796)

"Right, and yet he had to meet with lawyers to tell him this."

Yes that's right, he did need to ask because he is not a lawyer, it's called due dilligence [wikipedia.org] . If he decided to throw them out without seeking legal advise then he could possibly have found himself behind bars in the future, if he decided to keep them and it was not legally required then he is wasting taxpayers money.

"Seems like I summed up the whitehouse spokesman's thought process pretty well."

No, it seems that in your rush to find fault you summed 1 + 1 and got zero.

Re:It's on the internet (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180488)

Whether old or new, the law on Twitter must be 140 characters or less.

It's an official public statement (1)

initialE (758110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181092)

with the full backing and support of the president. Why are we even talking about this?

Re:It's an official public statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31184482)

Since it was not long ago when he declared that he didn't want to have the images he takes placed in the public domain?
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/02/07/198219/White-House-Claims-Copyright-On-Flickr-Photos

What are you tweeting about.... (5, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180184)

It seems to me that public people might need two twitter accounts just to create the legal definition of what they're posting as part of their job (which definitely should be subject to retention policies) and what they're positing as a member of the public. Some notable policies...

MSNBC holds people accountable for what they tweet, such as what got David Schuster in trouble for recently. Basically, you can't say anything on Twitter that they wouldn't allow on the air. Keith Olbermann doesn't tweet. Rachel Maddow tweets but it's mostly limited to show previews and links to her other web posts.

ESPN orders their people not to tweet, seeing it as competition to what they do on the air. No breaking of stories before they're reported by ESPN or ESPN.com. No posting of opinions if you're paid to share your opinions on ESPN shows. If you work for them and want to blog, there's space waiting for you at ESPN.com.

CNN allowed Rick Sanchez to turn his non-distinct hour of CNN Newsroom into a signature show called "Rick's List" where they use "iReports" from people tweeting, facebooking and myspacing them in order to generate content. A consultant who wrote an unofficial bridge between the CNN Breaking News e-mail service and the CNN_brk Twitter account ended up getting a handsome reward for handing over control of the account to make it an official CNN service.

G4 one day sent around a sign-or-you're-fired notice that the on-air staff had to give the network license to republish their tweets from their personal twitter accounts. This is what enabled that little quote box on the right hand side of their webpage and nothing more, but the way it was handled with legalese before explaining what the network really meant caused some initial confusion. More or less, the staff learned not to tweet dumb things because there's a risk that might be something the web editor can grab onto now. The reason Morgan Webb's Webb Alert podcast is "suspended" is because Morgan was told to stop doing that since it competed with the The Feed segment on AOTS which up until recently was also podcast. If G4 ever gives her the green light, or she leaves the network and her new job doesn't mind the podcast is likely to return.

In all these cases, the content owners want to control what their public people tweet with information they learned as part of doing their job. Say things that help the company make money, and keep going. Say things that the bosses think cost the company money, and you'll be told to stop. Bringing this back to the topic at hand... if he's tweeting for his job then his job should keep the tweets. If he's just tweeting what he had for lunch, there's no reason to keep that around.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (2, Interesting)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180442)

It seems to me that public people might need two twitter accounts just to create the legal definition of what they're posting as part of their job (which definitely should be subject to retention policies) and what they're positing as a member of the public.

Yea, like there is a separation between personal and professional these days: http://www.bnet.com/2403-13058_23-358555.html [bnet.com]

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180484)

If he's just tweeting what he had for lunch, there's no reason to keep that around.

Unless it turns out to have been code for something, which is why you archive EVERYTHING.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180524)

The reason Morgan Webb's Webb Alert podcast is "suspended" is because Morgan was told to stop doing that since it competed with the The Feed segment on AOTS which up until recently was also podcast.

Great. Now all I can think of is Morgan Webb vs. Layla Kayleigh in a duel of some sorts. Maybe with an added interesting twist like in the mud, or a pool of jello, or perhaps motor oil.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180566)

Layla Kayleigh left G4 about a year ago and was replaced with a rotation of the show's correspondents timed for when they're in the studio building rather than on assignment somewhere else.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181552)

ESPN orders their people not to tweet, seeing it as competition to what they do on the air. No breaking of stories before they're reported by ESPN or ESPN.com. No posting of opinions if you're paid to share your opinions on ESPN shows. If you work for them and want to blog, there's space waiting for you at ESPN.com.

Except you are wrong. Adam Schefter tweets and he offers opinions and I've even seen him break NFL news on tweets before or simultaneously when he breaks it on ESPN.com. I haven't noticed anyone else at ESPN doing this, but then again, when it comes to the NFL, most everyone else at ESPN is a fucking moron (Yes, Mel Kiper, I'm talking about you dickhead).

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31189148)

I'm not sure why Schefter gets an exemption, but the large majority of ESPN personalities in mass deleted their Twitter accounts on a boss' say-so.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31189808)

Probably because Schefter can get scoops from the insiders that others can't, which is also why ESPN paid top dollar to get him to walk from the NFL Network and come work for them. The inside contacts Schefter built up from working for the Denver Post and then for NFLN for years most likely would be the reason for that. The guy probably has the personal cell numbers for half the dudes in the league, as well as most front office personnel worth caring about. He's often regarded as having access to the widest array of inside sources in the NFL.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31194024)

Yep... that'd be standard operating procedure in media. Most TV people aren't allowed to appear on rival media outlets... but take for example Suze Orman who appears regularly on PBS and CNBC. Why'd CNBC agree to that? Because she already was famous for her books, and for them part-of-Suze was better than no Suze at all.

Re:What are you tweeting about.... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31188570)

Did you cry with happiness because of the ability to write more than 140 characters, or why the large wall of tl;dr text? ;)

Bureaucracy gone mad (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31180188)

Jesus Christ.

Are they seriously going to bother archiving his 140-character ramblings? Why would anyone ever find it necessary to lookup one of the stupid little messages the White House spokesperson has left to his followers?

Re:Bureaucracy gone mad (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180232)

Basically, he's doing what a normal company would call PR. He really isn't allowed to express his own personal opinion, he's spouting the official opinions of the executive branch of the US Government. Therefore, what he posts should be part of the official records, he shouldn't be allowed to say "I didn't tweet that!"

Re:Bureaucracy gone mad (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180482)

He really isn't allowed to express his own personal opinion

Yea, I still remember an incident, like that make sense these days: http://www.bnet.com/2403-13058_23-358555.html [bnet.com] (This one is about Facebook photos, but I'd say the same about personal opinions too)

Re:Bureaucracy gone mad (5, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180638)

Are they seriously going to bother archiving his 140-character ramblings? Why would anyone ever find it necessary to lookup one of the stupid little messages the White House spokesperson has left to his followers?

Recording everything is important precisely because we don't always know what is important now. In 30 years these could help provide valuable insight to how the Obama administration communicated with the public. Or if there is some claim of illegal behavior, his tweets could help establish where he and others in the administration were at specific times. Sure, neither of those two seem that likely. But the point is that we don't know. Since archiving takes very little resources, it makes sense to archive pretty much everything.

Re:Bureaucracy gone mad (1)

chip_s_ahoy (318689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31182016)

What? You are a twat. 1. yesterdays XKCD 2. "30 years from now?" 3. "Random claims of whereabouts?"

The National Archives are going to love this (2, Funny)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180270)

Look at this on the bright side -- the librarians at the National Archives won't have to strain their backs to lift and catalogue a tiny collection of 140-character messages. Must be a nice break next to the 5,000 page budget proposals they've gotten used to seeing.

Re:The National Archives are going to love this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31180310)

We're talking about government here. Expect every tweet to be printed on its own page, bound in a 4 inch binder. Heaven help them during campaign season.

Re:The National Archives are going to love this (4, Insightful)

KibibyteBrain (1455987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180804)

Actually, tweets would be challenging to archive compared to traditional texts. The hardest part of archiving is creating a good index and cross-references to the archived material. Most even short traditional documents have some sort of natural outlining and some sort of built in summary with keywords in it, like an abstract or executive summary.
A tweet, however, might be best described by keywords that do not even exist in it but rather only by the material it links to or even just the events surrounding it. It may therefore require far more metadata, in words, to describe the significance of a short statement than the statement itself.

Re:The National Archives are going to love this (1)

ffflala (793437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181270)

You're trying to apply a kind of artificial keyword indexing approach to describing tweets. This approach might be overly complex for actual use, at least in the context of the WH Press Sec'y. The problems you point out, while real, seem more applicable to accessing enough aggregate tweets to overcome what an individual can realistically read.

The press secretary's material is necessarily timely, and there are longer transcripts of his more explicit events (with indexing), and corresponding dates.

Re:The National Archives are going to love this (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31182134)

I thought he meant that when you tweet a link to an external article for instance, the archive would probably have to archive the article in question as well (just in case the external article gets changed, or disappears). The same goes for tweeted links to videos/podcasts, I assume that for the context of the tweet to be understood, the linked video/podcast would have to be copied as well. Am I right?

It seems kind of pointless (4, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180344)

Tweets are public in the first place, and can't really be withdrawn.

They aren't tweets until displayed by third-party servers. And displaying them means that they are published...

And anyone can archive them already.

So I question whether it's an efficient use of government resources.

When a politician is answering questions at a press conference... is an archivist scrupulously keeping their own record to be stored in the presidential archives?

Including requiring all members of the press to have their video and notes run through a machine to "archive" it, before they're allowed to leave.

And also... that all articles published also get archived.....

It seems like the things most important to require be archived carefully are the things that aren't published, or contain elements that were not made public at the time.

Re:It seems kind of pointless (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31180430)

Don't be such a dense turd. Moron.

Re:It seems kind of pointless (2, Informative)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180468)

Thats just it, you can delete tweets.

Re:It seems kind of pointless (3, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180630)

Deleting a tweet draws even more attention to its text when just one of the >100,000 followers noticed the tweet went away

There are entire websites already dedicated to archiving all deleted tweets

I'd be far more concerned about integrity of the message.

For example, what happens if Twitter.com admins decide to alter the text of a tweet during posting, or shortly after it is posted?

Such as to censor bad words, block certain tweets from being published (spam filter), or alteration for selfish commercial purposes (such as adding ad placement to their tweet)

Then the "archived" tweet might not even actually be close to what got published, or might not reflect the version that was the most widely disseminated.

Re:It seems kind of pointless (2, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180704)

Just because something can be archived by everyone, doesn't mean that someone will. Otherwise we wouldn't be missing all those old BBC episodes for which the originals were destroyed.

Re:It seems kind of pointless (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181496)

In this case, though, I think they will. Twitter itself is archiving everything, and Google just paid Twitter >$10m for a real-time data feed that I'd be willing to bet they're permanently archiving (Google doesn't like deleting data). That's not quite the same as having public archives, of course, but I would put the odds of the tweets actually totally disappearing pretty low.

Presidential tweets (2, Funny)

nicknamenotavailable (1730990) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180364)

I, for one, am glad that twitter wasn't around when Clinton was president.

tmi about Clinton already, what happens at the next scandal?

Re:Presidential tweets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31180876)

well yeah, he had just sent 20 or so cruise missiles against a nation that was no threat to us. anytime there's some pointless conflict like this there has to be a scandal to get the attention off of it. next time you see one, look at the timing and notice the pattern yourself

Re:Presidential tweets (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181580)

I guess you could say he sent a nice little tweet in the form of cruise missiles. The message read: "Have a nice day, fuckers. I'm off to get blown by this thick intern."

How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31180368)

How do you tweet a stupid smirk?

Re:How? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31182362)

It would probably look something like what you just did.

which prompts the question (5, Interesting)

Eil (82413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180458)

After deliberation, White House Lawyers have decided that any and all tweets will be archived in keeping with the Presidential Records Act of 1978.

I'd be curious to know what there is to deliberate about. Why wouldn't the White House archive all non-classified records and communications?

Re:which prompts the question (2, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180492)

Because records have this nasty tendency to bite you when you are trying to change history. The entire reason transparency and archiving laws are important is that even for fairly normal, non-evil people, there are major temptations to just not keep records of stuff that is inconvenient unless there's a specific action to tell you otherwise. Indeed, for all of Obama's talk about transparency during the election, this administration has only be marginally more transparent than the previous administration in many respects.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31182376)

And in many respects they are much, much more transparent then the previous administration. Of course it's early to say, but I don't see this administration using unofficial email addresses to illegally circumvent archiving laws.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31183994)

And in many respects they are much, much more transparent then the previous administration. Of course it's early to say, but I don't see this administration using unofficial email addresses to illegally circumvent archiving laws.

Please give me one example of how the Obama Administration is more transparent than the previous administration. Second, I was unaware of the Bush Administration using unofficial email addresses, please provide a reference. I believe there was a story about Sarah Palin using an unofficial email address when she was governor of Alaska, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether the Obama Administration is more transparent than the Bush Administration.
It may be that the Obama Administration is more transparent than the previous administration, but everything I have seen indicates that if anything it is less transparent (although without doing a detailed analysis the most I would state categorically is that I have seen no evidence of it being more transparent).

Re:which prompts the question (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31184296)

I believe there was a story about Sarah Palin using an unofficial email address when she was governor of Alaska, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether the Obama Administration is more transparent than the Bush Administration.

The key point in that story is that a member of Anonymous, who said he wanted to "derail [Palin's]" campaign," and whose dad happens to be a (Democrat) state representative in Tennessee, hacked into that e-mail address and found that she was using the e-mail address for personal communication and not state business.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31189006)

I believe there was a story about Sarah Palin using an unofficial email address when she was governor of Alaska, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether the Obama Administration is more transparent than the Bush Administration.

The key point in that story is that a member of Anonymous, who said he wanted to "derail [Palin's]" campaign," and whose dad happens to be a (Democrat) state representative in Tennessee, hacked into that e-mail address and found that she was using the e-mail address for personal communication and not state business.

That was the "gov.palin@yahoo.com" account, which she used for personal communications. She was actually using "gov.sarah@yahoo.com" for conducting state business [answerbag.com] and there's boxes of email transcripts to prove it.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31195636)

The answer bag article that you linked doesn't actually say what you claim it says. It says that a disgruntled former employee CLAIMS that she uesd that address. There's also no date on the article, so I can't go and find more about it from a source that might know more than "answer bag" or "The Public Record," whoever they are.

According to the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] , Palin was the subject of 15 ethics probes (of which this was one), 13 of which were resolved with no finding of wrongdoing and the other two were pending as of when this article was written. (That's an almost direct quote from page 2 of the article; my link goes to page 1.) This article was written in July, when she resigned.

Do you have some other, better researched link to there being "boxes and boxes" of state buisness in her personal e-mail account, or is accusation supposed to replace the fact that Palin usually gets found not guilty when her political enemies frivolously accuse her of ethics violations?

Re:which prompts the question (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31196028)

The hacking incident took place in September 2008. The only other stories I find say the same things. The boxes of emails that were turned over to Andree McLeod in June 2008 were heavily redacted, and the ones that were still being requested from the Yahoo accounts are the ones that Palin refuses to turn over, citing executive privilege. How you claim executive privilege over email that isn't related to state business, I have no idea, so I can only assume that they are state business related emails.

There were still FOIA requests pending, but Palin said it would cost $88,000 to hand over those emails, knowing that the woman couldn't pay it. That's more than a year's salary for most people, and a completely ridiculous amount for handing over 1,000 emails.

Lots of politicians get cleared after ethics probes. It's hard as hell to ever prove anything because of all the privileges they get and how easy it is for them to obstruct the investigation without consequence. Unless they get caught pretty much red-handed (like that William Jefferson [nola.com] asshole from Louisiana who got off really easy with only a 13 yr sentence), they'll generally get out of it. Even Jefferson put up a pretty good fight, and that one was about as open and shut as they come. If it had been anyone but a politician they'd have been screwed from the start.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31212636)

The hacking incident took place in September 2008. The only other stories I find say the same things. The boxes of emails that were turned over to Andree McLeod in June 2008 were heavily redacted, and the ones that were still being requested from the Yahoo accounts are the ones that Palin refuses to turn over, citing executive privilege. How you claim executive privilege over email that isn't related to state business, I have no idea, so I can only assume that they are state business related emails.

Do you have a link to a story giving either these dates, or citing Palin's executive privilege claim? It seems to me that "these are my private e-mails, and not state business, and therefore I shouldn't have to turn them over (and should be allowed to redact them)" is a perfectly reasonable position for Palin to take. Would you turn over all your personal e-mail to someone who you know is going to try to use it to harass you and your family?

There were still FOIA requests pending, but Palin said it would cost $88,000 to hand over those emails, knowing that the woman couldn't pay it. That's more than a year's salary for most people, and a completely ridiculous amount for handing over 1,000 emails.

Cry me a river. This lawsuit was brought to harass Sarah Palin and make her look like an unsuitable candidate for national office. The cost of fighting off stupid lawsuits like this one is what wound up driving Palin from office.
Also, neither Palin nor the state of Alaska was keeping an archive of these e-mails; Yahoo was. And since you're not supposed to do important business via Yahoo e-mail, Yahoo probably doesn't keep the world's best backups, and getting to the backups they do have is most likely expensive. Plus, paying someone to go through and check what information is private is going to cost money.

Lots of politicians get cleared after ethics probes. It's hard as hell to ever prove anything because of all the privileges they get and how easy it is for them to obstruct the investigation without consequence.

There's also the possibility that she didn't do it. That seems to be the most likely option, especially since the judge would most likely have to have approved the redaction (which means he would have had to have access to the unredacted text.) But no, you choose to ignore the "she didn't do it" option (and all the evidence to support it) because you disagree with her politics. That's probably the biggest problem in American politics today.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31213578)

According to these [washingtonpost.com] articles [msn.com] and others I've read, she did claim executive privilege. You're assuming a lot here. You assume that the "disgruntled" former aide is lying, although there's no evidence of that. You're assuming that the suit is just for purposes of harassment, again with no evidence of that. You're assuming that these emails are all personal (which just from the subject lines that were leaked (see the msnbc link for those too), it's quite obvious that they were about state business.

Whether they should be protected rather than released because they are part of the "deliberative process" is for a court to decide, not Palin. It may very well be that they should remain private for now, but that still doesn't mean it was appropriate or legal for those communications to go through a non-governmental email service.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

jmac_the_man (1612215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31223218)

According to these [washingtonpost.com] articles [msn.com] and others I've read, she did claim executive privilege. You're assuming a lot here. You assume that the "disgruntled" former aide is lying, although there's no evidence of that. You're assuming that the suit is just for purposes of harassment, again with no evidence of that. You're assuming that these emails are all personal (which just from the subject lines that were leaked (see the msnbc link for those too), it's quite obvious that they were about state business.

I made a lot of assumptions about the facts of these e-mails because I only had the first set of articles you posted, plus what I posted later. The second set is a lot more helpful.
I made other assumptions about the complaint based on a pattern. Like I said, there were 13 ethics complaints against Palin resolved (and two outstanding) when she resigned. Of those 13, Palin was found to not have committed any wrongdoing. She was governor for two and a half years. Having 15 complaints about her filed in that time and being found to not have committed wrongdoing in the 13 settled ones seems like her enemies are throwing everything they have at the wall and seeing what sticks. In my book, that counts as evidence in Palin's favor. Once again, you're making the assumption that she's guilty because you disagree with her politics. (By the way, the MSNBC* article says that even if Palin was using the e-mails like the disgruntled former employee says, that's not illegal.)

Whether they should be protected rather than released because they are part of the "deliberative process" is for a court to decide, not Palin. It may very well be that they should remain private for now, but that still doesn't mean it was appropriate or legal for those communications to go through a non-governmental email service.

I originally said that the e-mails being part of the deliberative process and therefore not subject to disclosure was a reasonable thing for Palin to say to the judge. Clearly, the judge would then rule on it. And he did; the MSNBC* article said the judge ruled it not illegal.

*By the way, MSNBC absolutely HATES Palin. If they're saying it "wasn't necessarily illegal" you can probably take their word for it.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31235376)

I made other assumptions about the complaint based on a pattern. Like I said, there were 13 ethics complaints against Palin resolved (and two outstanding) when she resigned. Of those 13, Palin was found to not have committed any wrongdoing.

That's not necessarily true. One of those complaints was about her using state funds to pay for her kids' travel. She ended up paying back the money, but it wasn't an unfair or unfounded claim. I can't find much info on most of those complaints, so I can't address them. I do think that anyone that becomes (or even looks like they might become) a candidate for a major office is going to face increased scrutiny. This happens to all of them, so Palin is hardly alone in this. Hell, look at all the accusations leveled against Obama, I lost count of those a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure they outnumber Palin's by a wide margin, if only because he's been a target longer since he won the election.

Like I said before though, allegations against governors and congresspeople are very difficult to pursue as they can make it extremely hard to get the information needed to build the case, and they face little or no consequences for "losing" information like emails and such. Palin claimed that she wasn't even aware of Alaska's document retention policy. Since she didn't even know about it, I guess she was just lucky that it was determined that she wasn't technically violating it since it didn't specifically cover email.

I originally said that the e-mails being part of the deliberative process and therefore not subject to disclosure was a reasonable thing for Palin to say to the judge. Clearly, the judge would then rule on it. And he did; the MSNBC* article said the judge ruled it not illegal.

The judge decided for some reason that emails were different than, say, memos. I've seen no rationale for this, and it doesn't make a bit of sense to me. We often interpret older laws to cover newer technologies, but in this case, since the law didn't specifically mention email, the judge decided it wasn't a violation. Bizarre. At least the Alaska legislature rectified the situation going forward by specifically addressing emails and prohibiting use of private email accounts whenever possible, and requiring that copies be sent to government accounts whenever a private account is used.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 4 years ago | (#31188636)

Please give me one example of how the Obama Administration is more transparent than the previous administration. Second, I was unaware of the Bush Administration using unofficial email addresses, please provide a reference. I believe there was a story about Sarah Palin using an unofficial email address when she was governor of Alaska, but that is irrelevant to the question of whether the Obama Administration is more transparent than the Bush Administration.

http://oversight.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2469&catid=44%3Alegislation&Itemid=1 [house.gov]

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2007/04/rove-and-co-broke-federal-law-email-scam [motherjones.com]

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/apr/12/nation/na-emails12 [latimes.com]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_e-mail_controversy [wikipedia.org] for a summary of the whole thing and more references.

Re:which prompts the question (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#31188810)

Danse above provided the references. It was pretty big news at the time, not sure how you missed it.

actually, the opposite is true (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31182804)

there's a certain amount of ego going on. for example, nixon made a point to have all of his white house discussions taped, down to the most mundane stuff, like where he would eat for dinner, but where he also freely and many times said extremely sensitive things. its aggrandizement: "i'm so important, let's tape everything i say so historians of the future can hang on my every word"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/us/politics/24nixon.html [nytimes.com]

Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster "permissiveness," and said that "it breaks the family." But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases -- like interracial pregnancies, he said. "There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white," he told an aide, before adding, "Or a rape."

---

"What I really think is deep down in this country, there is a lot of anti-Semitism, and all this is going to do is stir it up," Nixon said. At another point he said: "It may be they have a death wish. You know that's been the problem with our Jewish friends for centuries."

ah that wacky nixon. i wonder what if tweets today will look equally crude in the future

the nazis and the east german stasi were fanatically meticulous record keepers. pol pot and the soviets kept voluminous records. the chinese commnist party and iran's military junta are studious record takers

so when you say " there are major temptations to just not keep records of stuff that is inconvenient unless there's a specific action to tell you otherwise", i assert the exact opposite is true. there's no impulse to hide anything. in fact, the impulse is to record everything

this is because the impulse to hide something is to assume someone thinks they are doing something wrong. but at the highest echelons of power, in any country, in any era, you are not talking about people with small egos. and no one up there thinks they are doing anything wrong. and in fact, many rulers in the heights of power pretty much think they decide what right and wrong is. they got that high in power for a reason: they firmly believe the absolute justification of their beliefs. you don't climb the rungs of power if you have misgivings and secret doubts, that just drains your drive to succeed

therefore, no rulers see record keeping as a threat. in fact, many of them see record keeping as just good business: future writers of future history books need to know what great thoughts they were thinking at the time and how bright is the sunlight that shines out of their asshole: a nod to the future glorification of their wonderous legacy

Re:which prompts the question (2, Insightful)

18_Rabbit (663482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180506)

Apparently you've been missing for the past 8 1/2 years. The Bush administration was using non-official email accounts to conduct official business, 'cause, you know, they never wanted anyone to know what they were doing.

Twitter universe (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#31180732)

Hope they expand it to defense and state dept. Think of the hilarity of international diplomacy via twitter smirks.

Yeah. Pwnage, loots, and all that.

Oblig. Simpson's Quote (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31181042)

"And this affects me how?"

The Death of social media portals. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31182964)

And so we now have found what will finally be the death of most social media outlets, including Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook...Lawyers.

I can see it now..."Anything you can say, might have said, or will say, regardless of format, will be held against you. We have the right to refuse you a job based on that pic you posted when you were 16. We also retain the right to fire you for anything WE deem "offensive" in nature that is done by you, on or off duty, that we discover at a later date. We reserve the right to inform future employers..."

Having a hard time believing that? The term "hostile work environment" didn't hardly exist a couple of decades ago, and look at the billions generated from sexual harassment lawsuits since then.

Re:The Death of social media portals. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31185334)

It will be a godsend.

Tweets & Twits (1)

Jamey (10635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31183876)

One of the hard things about archiving these tweets is ... do they get to archive the tweets that his tweets may be in reply to? How do they verify a bit.ly link actually pointed to what the expanded URL archived claimed to be? These are 140 character type-bites! There's no space to have internal context - the majority of their meaning is in all the tweets they reply to, and that reply to them!

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