All Your Tweets Are Belong To Us
By: Mark W Adams

Obama is going to keep his Blackberry, but won't by IMing you anymore. I've no doubt my joining the Facebook group petitioning that they allow him to keep his little toy tipped the scales. I'm narcissistic like that.

Ironic that a new President and a staff who rode the tsunami of social networking to build a campaign, a movement that exploited new media with a level of sophistication usually expected of teenagers and not crusty political veterans now have to stop IMing each other, and no doubt will have to leave all their FaceBook, MySpace and Twitter pals behind once they get in the bubble.

Somehow it just seems counterproductive when citizen journalists using iPhones and Twitter hit the net with pictures and reactions of things like planes landing in the Hudson River a half hour before the TV networks can uplink from the scene -- right in the heart of America's professional media enclave -- the White House staff is deliberately disconnecting from World Wide Web for legal and security reasons.

We go from an administration that writes and shreds it's own laws, and pretty much blackmailed the major telecom companies into cooperating with its illegal schemes to capture and collate everything communicated by everyone, to one which is giving up the tools that got them where they are out of fear they might be held to account for what they text to friends, family and each other. Gimme a break.

These folks make the damn rules, and are sitting on a budget that would make King Midas jealous. They can't spring for some way-cool encryption software and palm it off in the recesses of NSA's "black" budget? Come on. Worried about embarrassing notes, worse than anything they'd email each other? Puhleeze. I'm not buying the trepidation that legal disclosure and historical archiving would necessarily lead to completely banning the practice. No.

This must be more about message discipline and control than counter-espionage or fear of creating discoverable e-paper trails a frisky Congress or Special Prosecutor might subpoena. That, or just lazy institutionalized thinking already working its magic to destroy creativity like all bureaucracies do.