The National Legal and Policy Center has dug up an interesting nugget posted on FedBizzOps.com, a government site that solicits bids for government work.
Lots of easy government money out there (hello, stimulus funds!), but it is this particular solicitation that is troubling, as it essentially seeks a 21st-century Stasi agent to collect data on or about the president where ever it may be found:
The contractor shall provide the necessary services to capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer content published by EOP [Executive Office of the President] on publicly-accessible web sites, along with information posted by non-EOP persons on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP offices under PRA maintains a presence, throughout the term of the contract.
The contractor shall if possible, capture, store, extract to approved formats, and transfer content published by EOP on non-public websites. The contractor shall include in the information posted by non-EOP persons on publicly-accessible web sites where the EOP maintains a presence both comments posted on pages created by EOP and messages sent to EOP accounts on those web sites. Publicly-accessible sites may include, but are not limited to social networking sites.
The contractor shall provide a user-friendly way of organizing and searching captured information...
Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. YouTube (see link below, page 50). And blogs of any size and readership, great and small. All will be captured by the president's men and placed on "non-public" websites. In other words: the government will keep a dossier on you, and you cannot see it. Tweeting a disparaging remark about the president? Railing away in full-throated opposition on your blog read by twenty of your closest friends daily? Either way, you will be captured, and filed, and this information can and will be used against you if Barack Obama and the Democrats find it useful to do so.
It's all laid out in a 51 page pdf file that can be accessed here. Some requirements for the lucky winner of this government contract:
Capture all created content at regular intervals daily...
Capture all comments posted to a list of websites provided to vendor (so the government already has a "hit list" of critical websites?)
Capture and store content of any kind, including text, graphic, audio, and video, in any existing file format.
...Ability for government employees to tag captures from publicly-accessible websites by arbitrary fields or tags such as office or issue (i.e. OVP or health care) (health care, huh?)
The Contractor shall not refer to this award in commercial advertising (shhh...!)
The NLPC comments:
Given the White House’s recent abuse of its New Media operations, this huge, new secretive program is yet another sign that this Administration is at best indifferent to privacy rights and at worst prepared to violate civil liberties for political purposes....
Great. I always compared Obama to 20th century tin-pot dictators of the southern hemisphere - a Castro, an Ortega, a Che Hey!
Instead, we get the first fascist of the digital era, right here in America. Ironic, but somewhat apt. Let's see if we the people have within us a "digital revolution" of our own...
More here , here