Obama lawyers prohibit staff from using instant messaging in the White House
(Faiz Shakir, Think Progress, 18 Jan 2009)
Politico’s Ben Smith reports that Obama lawyers broke some bad news to the incoming White House staff at a briefing Friday morning: they will not be allowed to communicate with each other and the outside world through the use of instant messaging. “They just told us flat out we couldn’t IM in the White House,” complained one senior staffer. The reason? The Presidential Records Act would likely require the disclosure of “instant messages discussing government business.”This is crap. There are plenty of ways to archive IMs. They could meet the requirements of the act. The problem here is not that the communication can't be archived, it is that they want these communications to be "off the record". Well too effin bad. You are in the executive branch, your actions SHOULD be recorded for posterity, and for prosecuting your asses if you get out of line.
this white house is in 1970's tech. mode. First no handhelds, now no IM's? As sam has mentioned, there are ways of archiving such communications, the IT industry has had solutions for this issue for a long time, this is stupid...
Perhaps they really just don't want public IM's from the President that say, "OMG, ROTFLMAO. KK. TTFN! :-)"
The thing is, Brandy is sort of right here. It isn't about the technology at all. There are technological solutions for both the archiving and security issues with IM (and email). It is all about not wanting to have what might be said that way as a matter of public record.