Feeds

Obama's got a Google problem

The Oompa Loompas are everywhere

High performance access to file storage

Obama has created an exquisite problem by hiring so many senior executives from Google - some of the Oompa Loompas don't seem to realise they no longer work for the company. Now a Congressman has called for an enquiry.

The issue was made apparent when a trail of correspondence by administration official Andrew McLaughlin was exposed recently. McLaughlin is Obama's deputy CTO - a freshly minted post, with CTO meaning either Citizens Twitter Overlord, or Chief Technology Officer - we believe it's the latter. He was previously Google's chief lobbyist, or 'Head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs'.

McLaughlin's contacts were also exposed. In an irony to savour, the exposure was by Google itself, as it introduced its privacy-busting Buzz feature in February. As our Cade pointed out, it would be hard to imagine a better Google story.

Now GOP Congressman Darrell Issa, a ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has asked why the Deputy CTO is prattling away on Google's email service. Issa wants to know whether private, non-governmental emails are archived, as they should be.

He also wants to know what the retention policy is for information posted on Twitter and Facebook, who decides these things (pdf). Issa wants answers by 22 April.

As I noted last June, there are interesting parallels with the influence of think tank RAND on US policy in the 1960s - and some interesting differences. RAND's most famous contribution was developing a nuclear policy based on game theory, developed by Robert McNamara, who went on to apply RAND analysis (disastrously) first to escalate, then to prolong the Vietnam war.

Google is merely a corporation, I noted. Then, the following month, Obama tapped the Berkman Centre, a pretty New Age techno-utopian think tank attached to Harvard Law School, to conduct an "independent" review of broadband deployment and usage. Like Obama, McLaughlin is himself a graduate of Harvard Law - the class of 94. McLaughlin had two senior stints at Berkman, from 1998 to 1999, and once again before joining Google.

Google is a Berkman sponsor.

There's a broader issue than archiving emails here, and it's eloquently illustrated by Andrew McLaughlin's Gmail Buzz contact list. It's that the range of ideas that Obama can draw upon, via his Googlers, is extremely narrow and ideologically rigid.

The boundaries of what he's permitted to think are defined by Google. And that's isn't really in the best interest of either the President, or the US public. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.