More safeguards for Americans' data and additional protections for emails are some of the recommendations being made by the White House as it asks Congress to pass new privacy laws. Six recommendations in total are being offered by President Barack Obama’s counselor John Podesta, who posted the proposals on the White House website.
The White House responds to a petition to begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
No matter what your stance is on politics, whether you lean left, right, or find yourself all twisted up in every which direction like a contortionist, you have to give the White House props for what might be the best response to a petition, ever. It all started when a petition for the U.S. government to secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016, collected tens of thousands of signatures. What did the White House have to say?
The Obama administration on Thursday laid out its blueprint for a "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" as part of a larger initiative to improve online privacy protections and to give users more control over how their personal information is used on the Internet. Part of this initiative involves an agreement with advertising networks and leading Internet companies to get on board with Do Not Track technology, which is baked into most major browsers.
Google earlier this week said hundreds of Gmail accounts were compromised by hackers in China, including accounts belonging to U.S. government officials and military personnel. This was followed up by a report in the Washington Post claiming one of the affected Gmail accounts belonged to a Cabinet-level official. Despite the reports, it might not be as bad as it initially sounded.
The money will be spread out across 66 new broadband projects affecting all 50 states. Obama administration officials estimate that some 5,000 jobs will either be created or saved as a direct result of the funding and projects.
According to Gary Locke, secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the grants and loans are primarily intended "to put Americans back to work immediately, managing projects, digging the trenches, laying fiber-optic cable, and stringing up those utility poles."
Included in the funding will be over $200 million in private investments.
All the recent buzz may be centered around, um, Google Buzz, but don't go writing Twitter's obituary. The mico-blogging service has attracted yet another high-profile poster - White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
"I opened it today," Gibbs told the Associated Press. "I was watching a Twitter feed while the President visited the briefing room last week." Gibbs added that he "thought it was fascinating to watch and see what people were thinking, doing, and writing."
And speaking of watching others, Gibbs notes in his bio that his is an official White House Twitter account, and that messages received through such pages are subject to the Presidential Records Act and may be archived.
If you still want to follow him -- and so far, over 18,600 Twitter users do -- you can find his Twitter page here (PressSec).
If it's good enough for Maximum PC, then it's good enough for the White House. What are we talking about? Open-source Drupal software. Citing an Obama Administration source, PersonalDemocracy.com notes that the WhiteHouse.gov website has kicked its proprietary content management system (CMS) software to the curb and made the switch to Drupal after months of planning.
So why the switch? Obama's media team decided they needed a more flexible development platform in order to make the White House's online presence an interactive one. The media team envisions question-and-answer forums, live video streaming, and collaborative tools all meshing with the site's infrastructure, and for that, they decided on Drupal. Score one for the open-source community.
"Open-source is a great form of civic participation," said Macon Phillips, the White House media director. "We're looking forward to getting the benefit of their energy and innovation."
In addition to MaximumPC.com, the White House joins a growing number of sites built around the Drupal platform, some of which include NASA, Ubuntu, Linden Labs, Yahoo Research, Popular Science, and thousands of others.