Skip to comments.Obama's dissident database could be secret -- and permanent
Posted on 08/06/2009 6:06:32 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o
The White House request that members of the public report anyone who is spreading "disinformation" about the proposed national health care makeover could lead to a White House database of political opponents that will be both secret and permanent, according to Republican lawyers on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are examining the plan's possible implementation.
On Monday, White House director of new media Macon Phillips posted a note on the White House web site complaining of "disinformation about health insurance reform." "These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation," Phillips wrote. "Since we can't keep track of all of them here at the White House, we're asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com."
In a letter to Obama Tuesday, Republican Sen. John Cornyn wrote that, given Phillips' request, "it is inevitable that the names, email address, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House." Cornyn warned the president that "these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program."
"I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House," Cornyn continued. "I urge you to cease this program immediately."
Senate Judiciary Committee lawyers studying the proposal say that although there is no absolutely settled law on the matter, the White House plan is likely not covered by the Privacy Act, which prohibits government agencies from keeping any records "describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statute or by the individual about whom the record is maintained." Therefore, it appears the White House can legally keep records of the emails and other communications it receives in response to Phillips' request.
Those lawyers also point out that the White House is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, which means it would not have to release any information on the plan to members of the public who make a request.
In addition, the lawyers say the collected emails likely will be covered by the Presidential Records Act, which requires the White House to preserve and maintain its records for permanent storage in a government database. Phillips' request suggests that whatever information the White House receives on health-care reform "disinformation" will be used to further the goal of passing a national health-care makeover, which is, of course, one of the president's main policy initiatives. Such material, and whatever the White House does with it, would qualify as presidential records. Only after more than a decade would such records be publicly available.
"So the White House, whether by design or accident, has requested information from the public that will become 'records' under the Presidential Records Act, yet would be impermissible for any government to otherwise collect under the Privacy Act," writes one Judiciary Committee source. "Where were the lawyers in all of this? What is their legal basis for authorizing the collection of these records?"
Linda Douglass, head of communications for the White House Office of Health Reform, says the White House is "not compiling lists or sources of information" on opponents of health care reform. But if "fishy" information is indeed collected, as Phillips' request suggested, the laws involved mean that the information obtained by the White House could not only be secret but permanent. A dissident database, in whatever precise form it ultimately takes, could be around for a long time to come.
The article specifically says the White House is not subject to the FOIA.
At what point does the military-man’s oath both allow and compel him to consider the leaders of the state to be domestic enemies?
At what point, if any, will the people cause the Dissent of the Governed to replace the Consent of the Governed?
Out of nowhere, I started receiving e-mails from the White House. There are only two way they could have gotten my e-mail address:
1) They bought a list from someone.
2) They intercepted it through my e-mail correspondence with my congress critters.
Apparently not THIS President.
Turnabout is indeed fair play. It just has no legal standing.
Nixon’s enemies were his political opponents, Husseain’s enemies are everyone who does not agree with him.
I wouldn’t count on that. Most of the universities don’t even have protection from virus attacks.
Hasn’t Obama done enough treasonous things to be impeached?
That is disturbing.
or contacted your IP, obtained a list with your name on it, cross referenced it, came up with some names (one being yours), and spamed you.
Please don't dime out WB Yeats. He's one of my favorites...
Wait until some other thing comes along and the WH asks for people to report miscreants. Now they will have two lists. Expand as necessary.
Name: Joe for FR
Party Affiliation: not democrat
IP number: 184.108.40.206
Number of blogs: 4
Blog(s) anti-Obama %: 100
Number of lists name appears on: 6
Action: Pending Removal
Actions to be impliments as soon as the light blueshirted Civilian National Security Corp is up to strength - then certain people will begin to disappear.
We've been there for a while now. The destruction that this Marxist meat puppet and his minders have wreaked on the American Republic is nothing less than an act of war.
In a better world, they would all swing from gallows lining he Capitol Mall.
The spam filter can’t determine whether an email from a private citizen is a legitimate “report” or a bogus one (reporting 0bamites that you know).
Send away. There are millions of us, and we can send a few dozen per day to make their database worthless.
Rent the movie "Se7en" and pay particular attention to the scene where Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are in the library.
By the way, this movie was issued in 1995.
Brown shirt ping
“At what point does the military-mans oath both allow and compel him to consider the leaders of the state to be domestic enemies?”
A non-tested point, of course. I always thought “domestic enemies” would be revolutionaries against the US. I never thought it would be the actual government elected officials.