Monday, August 17, 2009

White House Flag Emails, Spam Program Pulled

According to Politico, the Obama White House has pulled the plug on their government-sanctioned snitch “tip-off” program.

The controversial e-tip or flag program solicited assistance from Healthcare bill supporters and asked that they forward “fishy” emails from dissenters. Now, if you send a flag email, it will be returned.

An interesting aside, because of Federal Law, presidential records (including emails) are retained. It would likely be illegal for someone to delete any “informant” information sent to the White House. So, if you responded to this solicitation from the Whitehouse, you might have placed both yourself and whomever you reported in a record to be preserved in perpetuity.

This had the potential to create a chilling reverberation on Freedom of Speech. That is why the ACLU fought the provision, though not very hard.

Further on the subject of emails, the White House has pledged to stop their spam program.

The White House has sent thousands of emails to try and clarify their position on Healthcare. The problem is that many are reporting that these emails were unsolicited. The Whitehouse is blaming third-party groups for submitting the email addresses. Had these emails been viewed as being in a commercial nature, they might have actually violated the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003.

Both the cessation of spam emails and the abrupt ending to a snitch-on-a-dissenter program are the kind of change we should all be able to believe in!

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