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Bush Won't Be "The Online President"

timothy posted more than 13 years ago | from the sorry-this-can-be-subpoenaed dept.

Privacy 236

satch89450 writes: "The Electronic Telegraph says here that President Bush has retired his electronic mail habit, citing FOIA access. As a point in fact, The New York Times reportedly obtained a copy of the farewell e-letter to 42 of Bush's friends. Just how bad can it get? Here is an old news report from The Associated Press via amarillonet of an auction of the 1992 e-mail to John Glenn. Privacy advocates should be scared ..." And an Anonymous Coward who points to the same article asks: "Whatever happened to the right of the people to be secure in their ... papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures?" Good question -- what did happen to that?

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236 comments

4th Amendment (1)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 13 years ago | (#352801)

It's been a while since I've read the Constitution. Not exactly my idea of entertainment. But on closer inspection, it seems that the 4th Amendment has indeed been pretty thoroughly shit upon.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Probable cause? That is still usually intact, in that the court says there is probable cause. Unfortunately, the definition of "probable cause" has been expanded to being black in a rich neighborhood or peaceably assembling to protest.

Supported by oath or affirmation? Or anonymous tip, or evidence gathered (voluntarily, w/o a warrant) from some outside source.

Particularly describing? That one is pretty much gone now. If you're suspected of a computer crime, they'll take anything with a circuit board in it and any literature (journals, textbooks, etc.) vaguely related to computers.

My faith in the American judicial system as a counterbalance to overenthusiastic, vote-scrounging lawmakers has just dropped another notch.


My mom is not a Karma whore!

<Ontopic> (2)

deran9ed (300694) | more than 13 years ago | (#352804)


Its not a bad move by Bush to protect his personal information from being subjected to ridicule via way of the FOIA. Its the same people who passed this law that has used it against many people often abusing it and hiding under the curtain of the FOIA.

Lets be realistic here if possible about the situation, and shoot from the hip should you think its conspiracy based. We all theoretically have the right to Freedom of Speech and privacy, and many go about daily having these rights violated without even knowing. Cookies, spam resellers, telemarketers, etc., etc..

Sure we have crypto here, but let us not forget these same people who believe in a persons right to privacy tried to secretly shaft us with HR46 [cryptome.org] late last quarter.

But wait before someone rebutts with a "That was a bill for criminals who use crypto", lets take a hi tech case to a courtroom trial shall we. Jury based, in theory a jury of ones own peers. Does anyone honestly believe they will get a jury of their own peers, or rather a jury of retired computer-phobic e-misfits who sit home watching Oprah and Judge Judy? This is the sad reality is that privacy is very limited in the United States although many would love to dispute this.

Anyways I don't feel like rambling on more than I already do.

The Big Breach [antioffline.com]

The Packwood Diaries... (1)

cburley (105664) | more than 13 years ago | (#352810)

...being exposed by Democrats makes this look like a very wise move by Bush. "Won't be the online President"?? Then neither was Clinton, according to that article anyway.

(And any past or present bashers of Ken Starr might want to look into exactly who the Democrats in Congress decided had the integrity and non-partisan judgement to delve into Bob Packwood's diaries, back when one's "private life" was worth exploring in every detail as long as the target was a Republican.)

We reap what we sow...and we have not yet begun to experience the full effects of the support this nation gave Bill Clinton and Democrats in Congress as they trampled common sense, decency, the rule of law, over the past 10 years or so.

Re:Obviously (1)

thatmoron (309497) | more than 13 years ago | (#352812)

dns hacks? you aren't really a quick one yourself are you?
moron

Re:And paper mail is somehow different??? (1)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 13 years ago | (#352813)

I can understand Junior wanting to avoid scrutiny under the FOIA. But if Presidential email is public record {FOIAble], why isn't paper mail? Is there some sort of special exemption for private correspondence?

There is a practical difficulty in searching through paper as the tobacco litigants are discovering. They now have a warehouse full of documents on court discovery but no index to find stuff.

The President's fear is that someone would download the docs and use grep to find the incriminating stuff.

Don't expect this president to be giving written orders to sell arms to terrorists in Iran to buy arms for terrorists in Central america.

Problem with plausible deniability is that if there is a similar screw up under Bush it may not matter that people cannot prove it was his fault. The most damaging criticism of Bush amongst voters is the accusation that he is not in control.

Re:Copyright (2)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 13 years ago | (#352815)

Then how can they still be trying to supress it?

Public Domain (1)

Gunnery Sgt. Hartman (221748) | more than 13 years ago | (#352816)

All letters written by the President get entered into the Public Domain. Bush can't even write an email to his daughters asking them about their day without it being open to the public. I think email started being part of the Public Domain with President Reagan. I'm pretty sure all of his emails were kept for posperity.

Secure in their papers, yadda yadda (2)

the_hose (120374) | more than 13 years ago | (#352818)

In answer to the /. editor's question, check out Jeff Rosen's book "The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America". Apparently, there was a time when common practice was _not_ to allow personal papers, diaries, etc as evidence. Rosen traces the errosion of this standard and extrapolates the current, invasive environment to the way email is handled in the courts.

Started reading this book recently, from what I've gotten through so far I'd recommend it...

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

Chris-en-topper (215099) | more than 13 years ago | (#352820)

"Never mind that the Chinese government funneled money to the Clinton and Gore campaigns in exchange for nuclear secrets. "

You mean that warhead technology that the Chinese government tested during the Bush I administration?

"And FYI, the modern era of dragging public officials through the mud can be traced back to the Democrats doing it to Nixon. "

Dragging your opponents through the mud is an ancient political strategy predating the U.S. by a few millenia. Both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of perpetuating it but neither can realistically be blamed for originating it.

"Don't blame me. I'm a Libertarian "

Keep voting Libertarian. Third parties are good for democracy. I reserve most of my contempt for moral, cultural, and religious conservatives, libertarians and the occasional bout of fiscal conservativism I can live with.

right to protection against search and seizure (4)

q[alex] (32151) | more than 13 years ago | (#352825)

see:

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/docs/Conlon_on_Computing /c o1294.html

an exerpt:

"Your email must be treated just as you treat your paper mail. You discard messages of a transient nature and retain the official documents (if any) that are connected with the business of the University. Some of us receive (and therefore file) more business related documents than others. Committee chairs, department chairs, deans and administrators will, naturally, receive and file more paper and email official documents."

The same rules (more stringent) apply to government officials. Simply put, public records, whether they are official court documents or an email from the pres, are public records, and citizens have the legal right to request to see them (within reason). Because som e email from Bush might be public record, annoying lawyers could request all email "pertaining to Colin Powell" as public record, and the email between Prez Bush and his brother Jeb about how Colin Powell is a lousy golfer would have to be turned over and aired publicly.

At least, that's how I understand it all.

Re:Geez, use encryption! (2)

igaborf (69869) | more than 13 years ago | (#352829)

why doesn't he just download GPG (or any other encryption program) and start using it? If he does this, would the "open record requests" require him to relinquish the key?

Doesn't matter. You encrypt using the public key of the person you're sending to, and their private key is needed to decrypt. So W doesn't have the key that decrypts. (Just as long as he doesn't keep a plaintext copy of the message!)

George Dubya use encryption? I don't think so (1)

proxima (165692) | more than 13 years ago | (#352834)

Let's face it, Washington D.C. isn't very full of technically-oriented people. I wouldn't be surprised if no one even recommended to Bush that he try encryption. This simply shows the incredible need we have to educate our government about cyberspace.

Earlier today an article showed how e-mails to Congress didn't have nearly the impact of snail-mail. How stupid. Instead of finding ways to better communicate through cyberspace, our government simply takes steps back.

Granted, Bush not e-mailing a few dozen friends isn't a threat to national security, but it's the principle of the thing.

Re:42! (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 13 years ago | (#352835)

frrrrrrrrreaky!

(sorry, but "frrrrrrreaky" really isn't lame as the filter suggested)

You know... (1)

To0n (256520) | more than 13 years ago | (#352837)

For those AOL "pass this on to every person in your address book, so some non existant sob story lukemia/AIDS/emasculated little child can get money SOMEHOW for you sending such an annoying message to people who will soon hate you" messages. That, or his bulk e-mail spam.

Well, how can he have time for it? (1)

jlrowe (69115) | more than 13 years ago | (#352839)

I don't see a President having time to do email and internet anyway. That is stuff to be delegated. And he will

the previous administration dropped the ball... (1)

xeeno (313431) | more than 13 years ago | (#352840)

they could have made millions on ebay selling all of that email that Gore deleted.

Re:Bush did what Slashdot would have done (2)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 13 years ago | (#352843)

Here in Indiana, the legislature tried to sneak through a law protecting the privacy of their emails - but the newspapers picked up the story and are having a field day. If you're on the job, the boss (in this case, We The People) have a right to that information. At home, that's another story - but of course in the President's case, we're talking about the ultimate Home Office.

no that's Cheyney's job (1)

Miska (45422) | more than 13 years ago | (#352848)

after all, it can be done from a (hospital bed) without greater difficulties.

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

Malcontent (40834) | more than 13 years ago | (#352850)

WOW after years and years of investigation and a buttload of money spent and hundreds of lawyers the combined might of the congress, keneth starr, conservative legal foundations, newsweek, time, new york times, washing post, fox TV and fox news, CNBC, MSNBC etc could not make any of the charges stick except for one thing.

Did you stick you dick in monica lewinsky? No I did not.

That's it one lie under oath in a deposition. Not only that but the it was a deposition in a sexual harrasment case about a consentual relationship. That suit was settled eventually BTW.

Listen just because Rush or Bill Oreilly says it, that does not mean it's true. If a hundred of the highest paid lawyers in the world could not make any of the accusations you just so carelessly made stick why should we believe you? I millions of dollars spent and the awsome powers of the senate and the house and the independent council could not gather enough evidence to make a case then all you have left are baseless accusations.

Nixon was a traitor, reagan betrayed his country, Bush sr. killed a hundred thousand arabs for cheaper oil, clinton lied under oath, bush jr. will ruin the environment (he has already started).

Encryption? (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 13 years ago | (#352854)

You'd think the president, of all people, would at least encrypt anything he'd like to keep private.

Re:Encryption? (1)

plam (123263) | more than 13 years ago | (#352856)

My understanding of those laws is that email is treated as a public document because of it's inherintly insecure nature, while snail-mail isn't. I'd expect that encrypted email would be protected under those laws...
Even things which are classified eventually fall under freedom-of-information laws. So it's not because email is insecure that anything changes. Bush's email would be a public document because he's an Important Person, and even if he encrypts it, it's still part of the record and he can be compelled to release it under freedom-of-information.

hmm. (1)

emperorpter (265305) | more than 13 years ago | (#352858)

Ain't there Enkrip-shun in Texas?

Obviously (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#352861)

It's hard to type "www.(whatever).com" when there aren't any W's on your keyboard.

Re:Encryption? (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#352862)

Posted by rbook:

Is there such a thing as "executive privalege" that could be used to keep these things private?

Also, does anyone know the basis for the president's private e-mail (say, to his daughters about family matters) being public record? If he wrote them paper letters, would that be public record? Why is e-mail different?

Would it make a difference if he used a computer owned by him personally instead of by the government, and used an ISP he paid for himself instead of the government's connection?

Also, how do we know he'd be forced to reveal the private key or plaintext, instead of just the ciphertext? Is there legal precedent for this in other cases?

I'm not claiming anyone who's posted before is wrong here -- I'd just like to know.

Re:Geez, use encryption! (1)

gunner800 (142959) | more than 13 years ago | (#352865)

"If he does this, would the "open record requests" require him to relinquish the key?"

I would certainly hope so. The FOIA requires certain government information to be made available; letting them release the ciphertext while hiding the keys would basically make the FOIA meaningless. Personally, I *like* the FOIA.

If he thinks that personal correspondense should be excempt (as it apparently is for telephone calls) then he should take it up with congress. The use of technology to skirt the law has created such lovely things as encrypted DVDs and using IR images of a house as evidence to get a warrant to search the house.


My mom is not a Karma whore!

Re:Geez, use encryption! (3)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 13 years ago | (#352870)

> If he does this, would the "open record requests" require him to relinquish the key?

Yes. He's the President and not a private citizen. All of Clinton/Gore's email was subject to subpoena. Remember all the hubub about the accidentally missing backups tapes with Gore emails. Do you really think Congress, while investigating the President for impeachment, would say "Oh, it's encrypted... well, it must be a private message between the POTUS and the VP, so we'll let that one go."

The whole purpose of "Open Records" laws are to keep the records "open". Letting a loophole like "unless encrypted" through would guarantee that every piece of email was encrypted and, therefore, not "open". Imagine a world where every FOIA request was denied because the documents were encrypted. They wouldn't even have to bother with "National Security" exemptions anymore.

Nixon happened to it (2)

Iron Webmaster (262826) | more than 13 years ago | (#352873)

Everything used to be the property of the President. At first papers were donated to some university and later to a presidential libary.

And then Nixon claimed to own the tapes ...

The President is a government official (4)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#352876)

For the same reason that the government can tell its employees not to browse porn on government computers, Prince George cannot expect to send private email through government network.

His correspondence is public record unless classified, and it cannot be classified unless it is a matter of national security.

So his recent email to the CEO of Alcoa:

Hi buddy, California is yours, if the regulators annoy you, all you have to do is whistle.

will one day be in the national archive.

hush mail will not work (1)

onepoint (301486) | more than 13 years ago | (#352878)

I recall that all conversation that are electronic ( telephone / fax / email ) ... are recorded if they involve the president. Some records might be kept secret if they involve national security otherwise it's all avalible. All mail is kept and filed away ( where and how I don't know ).

The president gives up the right to his personal communications in exchange for the power of the presidency. So this way he can not make a private deal without public knowledge.

I do not know if the first family is subject to these terms.

ONEPOINT

spambait e-mail
my web site artistcorner.tv hip-hop news
please help me make it better

PGP/GPG/Encryption misses the point. (1)

buss_error (142273) | more than 13 years ago | (#352879)

The point is that the communications are subject to FOIA requests. No, FOIA documents cannot be encrypted, otherwise what's the point of making them subject to FOIA?

Re:Encryption? (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#352882)

This isn't about encryption - encryption won't save you or the president... Just try holding out on handing over your private key and pass phrase if you're on trial... you'll probably be thrown in jail for contempt until you decide to hand it over.

It's simple personal email stupid (1)

Brian_Ellenberger (308720) | more than 13 years ago | (#352883)

This is simple personal email---to his mother and stuff. It isn't military secrets or anything. Maybe some minor political stuff (so and so is an a@@hole, etc) :) But just B.S. emails. The problem is that even *IF* Bush did a 1024 bit PGP encription and *IF* the courts said he could keep it secret, politically it would not fly. He is trying to not be Bill Clinton, not emulate him!! Basically this is all Clinton's fault. Clintons strategy when he pulled something unethical was to drag his heals as long as possible refusing to cooperate in any way. Then he complains bitterly about how long the investigation is taking and how much money it is taking. Then he finally reveals something 2 years later after everyone is tired of the whole thing. Because of stuff like this, Congress tried to clamp down---this email policy is one result... Brian Ellenberger

Well, he can't use GPG... (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 13 years ago | (#352886)

because GPG is un-American.

Um... I don't think he wrote that farewell... (3)

Booker (6173) | more than 13 years ago | (#352888)

From the article:


In a mournful farewell computer message to 42 "dear friends" and relatives, Mr Bush said: "My lawyers tell me all correspondence by email is subject to open record requests. Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace. This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you."

With that, Mr Bush announced "sadly I sign off", adding: "I will miss your ideas and encouragement. So perhaps we will talk by phone."


Now... obviously he didn't write that. If it had said

"My legalistic team tell me, email, and, all correspondence by email is subjectinated to open record askinations. Since I do not want my private talking-tos seen at by people, and, enemies, and such, out to embarrass, the only path of action is not to correlate in cyberspace. This unhappies me. I have enjoy conversating with each all of you."

With that, Mr Bush announced "sadly I type off", adding: "I will miss your ideas, entourages, and budget plans. So mebbe we will talk by that thing with the two speakers with the calculator buttons."

---

President AOL (1)

F.O.Dobbs (17317) | more than 13 years ago | (#352891)

The best part about his former use of email...
g94b@aol.com.

He won't be the Internet President but he sure as hell will be the AOL President.

F.O. Dobbs

Re:The President is a government official (1)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#352894)

Sorry, I misquoted, the email was to the CEO of Enron, not Alcoa. Keeping track of the web of payback, bribery and corruption in Bush's white hose is just too big a task for my limited brain.

Workplace use of Email: GW Bush our employee (1)

WillAffleck (42386) | more than 13 years ago | (#352896)

And an Anonymous Coward who points to the same article asks: "Whatever happened to the right of the people to be secure in their ... papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures?" Good question -- what did happen to that?

Well, seizures, that's Cheney's job.

But seriously, even if he somehow got the job by bribing the executive review committee (Supreme Court), Baby Bush is our employee. So long as he's on our premises, which means at the very least the territorial boundaries of the USA and all government facilities (use of Secret Service), we own his email, notepaper, toilet paper, etc.

For that matter, his entire family loses their rights by living in the White House. But the media's too chicken to follow up on that and put the First Lady on the Spice Channel's "Red Shoe Dairies" show.

If he doesn't like it he can ... oh, wait, we're Americans, we don't have a right to privacy in the workplace like the Europeans. Never mind ...

Re:Too bad Duhbya doesn't know... (1)

blonde rser (253047) | more than 13 years ago | (#352898)

Encryption is good if your trying to get around technology. If the system said "only the text that you actually send is open to out scrutiny" then you're right pgp is great. But what the system says is ALL electronic correspondances are open to our scrutiny. Unless his message could encrypted in such way that the cyphertext looks like plain text encryption is useless. Or he could try to convince everyone that he enjoys sending his friends droves of random characters.

Bush already encrypts his e-mail! (5)

Seinfeld (243496) | more than 13 years ago | (#352905)

Dear friendilees
It is most saddifying to enstop electrical males toward personas and others to who I have been sending to. Many regretabilities,
Predisent Bush
-----------

Being that he's the president.. (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 13 years ago | (#352906)

Wouldn't you think he'd try to pass some more defined amendments to the Freedom of Information Act, or some new legislation, to permit members of government to keep personal e-mail not-subject to such laws?
Rather than just giving up on technology altogether? Guess this is what we get for voting in a conservative candidate(oh wait-we didn't! how ironic) - he'd rather leave legislation alone with stupid and inane results (the nation's president can't use e-mail) than try to make some changes to shitty legislation.

Re:It's simple personal email stupid (1)

MousePotato (124958) | more than 13 years ago | (#352907)

Yeah, I see the fact that this is personal email. Its sad that he can't actually communicate with friends and family but that is why he should be able to use encryption. Does he as pres not deserve the right to secure and private personal communications?

Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#352909)

This is absolutely deserved. The Republicans were were the ones that raised hell about Gore making fund raising calls from his office (like he was supposed to go to a 7/11 to do it). They were the ones that sought to embarass Clinton by first holding a hearing about an ancient money-losing land deal and then twisting it into an inquiry about his extramarital affairs. The Republicans have been at the forefront of dragging public figures' private lives into the spotlight, so let them reap what they sow.

If Bush wants to send secret e-mail love letters to the big-wigs at the NRA, the tobacco lobby, and the Christian Coalition, he can do it from a privately-owned computer in the home that he pays for.

Encryption is not the issue (5)

btempleton (149110) | more than 13 years ago | (#352910)

The point is that the written correspondence of the President is a matter of public record if it's not classified. While we want to use encryption in our private lives, we have decided that the actions of our public officials should be public. As such, we don't let them use encryption unless public trusts like national security would be threatened.

Do you want your public officials using encryption to encrypt up their records of kickbacks and graft? Their secret deals with other officials?

Now all this really means is that people learn to do the stuff they want secret, including the illegal stuff, in ephemeral forms rather than writing. Though Nixon learned that you had better not have tape recorders on.

All these present interesting public issues. How much privacy do public officials get when in their offices? Should we grant special privacy to certain records to avoid people refusing to document them at all?

I'm presuming that if Bush has a computer in his private residence, and uses it to E-mail his friends strictly about non-governmental matters, he can encrypt them. And if they are not about government, people can't FOIA them. They can still subponea them, and even demand he hand over encryption keys, if they are relevant to a case.

This is one of the big issues of E-mail. E-mail ends up being halfway between written records, which are subject to subponea, and spoken ones which are normally not recorded and in many states can't legally be recorded. We haven't figured out a good way to treat it in the law.

Re:W should make use of this... (1)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#352919)

Dear prospective contributor

Thank you for your two cents. Unfortunately, you have to realize that both the senate and the whitehouse can handle only so much legislation in one year. The very high demand for the President's services makes it utterly impossible for the President to push through every cause presented to him by supporters like yourself. The President deeply believes that markets should regulate the choice of legislation he champions through judicious use of price signals thats reflect supply and demand.

The President is thefore forced to refuse your contribution, unless you up it to $2000, which is the current minimum for an executive order. If you want a pricelist for lobbying Congress, please send $25 and a self-stamped enveloppe.

John S. Leaze

secretary of corporate payback

Re:Being that he's the president.. (1)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 13 years ago | (#352920)

Well, yeah. But he'd also have opened up a can of legal worms that would extend into other things like privacy, use of resources, "official" e-mail (that is e-mail that can be used for legal evidence) vs "conversational" e-mail (which is assumed to be like a spoken conversation - informal and forgotten) and the legal status of an elected official who is always "at work". This would likely not be resolved legally until he's out of the white house. so wh give up potentially damaging info now?

Re:Obviously (1)

wroot (264810) | more than 13 years ago | (#352924)

Why is it funny? Could somebody explain it to me please? Is "W" supposed to refer to Mr. Clinton? Really, I don't understand.

Well Al Gore was the guy who invented it all... (1)

simpleguy (5686) | more than 13 years ago | (#352926)

...so Bush ain't using it!

Re:Well, how can he have time for it? (1)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#352927)

You must be kidding right?

Haven't you noticed yet that the present King of US is working 9-5 and going to Camp-David every weekend?

Re:Too bad Duhbya doesn't know... (2)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#352928)

No... just as an employee at work doesn't have the right to "privacy" at their desk, through their company email or on their company phone, the president doesn't have a right to privacy while he's serving US. Remember, he's under our employment right now, 24 hours a day, for the next 4 years (give or take). He doesn't work for a corporation, he works for us, and we can request information from him. He can't refuse, unless it's on the grounds of national security, and him making fun of a reporter isn't national security, so that's the stuff he doesn't want coming out (any more than it already has).

Besides which, where's your PGP key? Not in slash's little field set up to hold it. And why should the president feel obligated to encrypt his emails to his friends discussing their last round of golf, or the dirty jokes they heard? As long as he's under our employ, it doesn't matter if they're encrypted or not, so long as he or anyone else is capable of providing the plaintext version...

They have a loophole (2)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 13 years ago | (#352929)

"Whatever happened to the right of the people to be secure in their ... papers..., against unreasonable searches and seizures?"

IP messages are not transmitted on paper unless you use RFC1149 [landfield.com] .

Self Contradiction? (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#352930)

Posted by Bridog:

It's rather interesting that the President of the United States is legally allowed to sign an online commerce agreement with a digital signature, and Clinton digitally signed a bill into law last year (though apparently a bill must still be signed by hand); but, at the same time, the president does not know, and was not informed, by his advisors or close friends, that the same technology can be used to encrypt his personal email.
It will be interesting to see if mass public usage of encryption ever comes to pass, and whether the `important people' (like business transactions, etc.) set the example or the end-users set the example.
I wonder how many people have emailed President Bush informing him about the uses of public-key cryptography?

Re:42! 42 fnord. (1)

Zeio (325157) | more than 13 years ago | (#352932)


They want you to know they are there. They wallow in the semi secret shadow they live in. Its strange how much you see that number reappearing - especially whenever Bush is mentioned. Fnord.

Perhaps he needs an AOL account? (1)

M@T (10268) | more than 13 years ago | (#352934)

They're pushing privacy issues at the moment aren't they? ;-)

AOL Lawyer: "..We are here representing one of our valued customers, whom at this time will remain anonymous and will herein be referred to as Pres... ahh... Mr. X"

tabloid press and privacy (2)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#352935)

Given all of the investigations that have gone on over the past few years, it is probably wise not to leave open any more doors than is needed.

This is just another symptom of the lack of tolerance that has developed in our society. In this case, it is merely a man coming into the hell hole that is Washington DC, and seeing what garbage goes on, decided to handle it appropriately. Now you may not like it, but it makes sence, given a town full of lawyers.

Copyright (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 13 years ago | (#352936)

So doesn't this beg the question:

if Bush sends an MP3 of a Metallica song, as an attachment through the email, does it then become public domain, subject to the FOIA? Or does it remain under copyright protection, since Bush had no right to reproduce it anyway?

If it is protected, can Bush simply copyright his emails? If not protected, do we have a backdoor method of receiving copyrighted material into the PD?

And if the encryption of MP3 bothers you, let's use a plain-text hypothetical, such as a poem or a short story, as the example. The idea occurred to me while watching West Wing last week--one of the characters read Dickens during a filibuster. Well, UIMM (unless I'm much mistaken) every word uttered on the Senate floor is archived, and becomes part of the public record. So what copyrighted works have been read during a previous filibuster, and are now quotable in the context of the public record of the Senate?

IANAL but I play one on /.

Re:His "recent e-mail" (1)

core10k (196263) | more than 13 years ago | (#352938)

If he got your blood boiling, he must have hit a nerve. Can't blame him, that Dubya is nothing more than a bully and extortionist in a schoolyard the size of the world.

Have fun trying to enumerate all his illegal NAFTA and international trade-circumventing policies in the next 4 years, pricklord.

Lawyer Ho! (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 13 years ago | (#352939)

Posted by IWAssassin:

Well honestly as a proud American I can say society's gone to hell. Lawyers and other people Rule Washington DC to the point where the President, be it Clinton, Bush, Gore, whomever, is nothing but a puppet of those with the real power. If they don't want the president of the United States reading email, he won't be reading it.

Sure it's better to keep it safe by using encryption, but when it's the government itself you're encrypting the data from, how long will it take them to crack it? A few seconds?
This also is the most well known guy on the planet. In addition to the Lawyers and the Government, general hackers will decrypt it just for fun. Okay so he could use really secret encryption we'd love to be able to run on our own systems, but even that is unlikley. End result his emails are public, 4th Ammendment or not. Sure I may not like Bush, and never saw him as someone who could spell e-mail anyway, but even if he was a super-geek, he probably would have made the same decision.

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 13 years ago | (#352946)

WOW after years and years of investigation and a buttload of money spent and hundreds of lawyers the combined might of the congress, keneth starr, conservative legal foundations, newsweek, time, new york times, washing post, fox TV and fox news, CNBC, MSNBC etc could not make any of the charges stick except for one thing.

How much was spent?&nbsp A whopping 40 million for a 4+ year investigation.&nbsp In Washington terms, that's a goddamn bargain.&nbsp And isn't it amazing how evidence relating to those investigations was missing yet later found in the White House residence.&nbsp No doubt the Clinton's did their best to cooperate with the mean and nasty Republican independent council.&nbsp

Did you stick you dick in monica lewinsky? No I did not.

Try:

&lt Bill Clinton does his best to give us a stern look and make his voice crack as if he's under some terrible strain... &gt

"I Did Not Have Sexual Relations With That Woman... Ms. Lewinsky."

What does that show me how Bill Clinton feels about me as a citizen?&nbsp "You petty people have no right to harass me and I can lie to your face to try and make you feel bad."&nbsp But you're right, it was all about sex. sigh

Listen just because Rush or Bill Oreilly says it, that does not mean it's true.

That's nice.&nbsp I don't listen to either of them.&nbsp And my cable carrier does not offer Fox News so I'm stuck with MSNBC or CNN.

If a hundred of the highest paid lawyers in the world could not make any of the accusations you just so carelessly made stick why should we believe you? I millions of dollars spent and the awsome powers of the senate and the house and the independent council could not gather enough evidence to make a case then all you have left are baseless accusations.

The charges could not stick becuase the arena was that of politics and not one of strict adherance to the laws that you and I are subjected to.&nbsp Can you honestly say with a straight face that Bill Clinton was not guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors?&nbsp I feel very sorry for you if you can.

On another note, I don't need hard proof of a quid-pro-quo in the current pardon scandals.&nbsp It's so obvious that Clinton traded pardons for favors that Ray Charles can see it.&nbsp But that's right, if it doesn't stick, that means that it must be another one of those pesky baseless accusations.

Nixon was a traitor, reagan betrayed his country, Bush sr. killed a hundred thousand arabs for cheaper oil

Funny how you have no problems making those same careless accusations that you condem...

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (2)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 13 years ago | (#352947)

Never mind that Clinton obstructed justice. Never mind that Clinton molested at least two women against their will and raped another. Never mind that Clinton lied under oath.

I don't mind that he lied under oath about his sexual liasons. If he had lied under oath about something related to his job as President, then I would give a damn. It's not like we are talking about him trading arms for hostages and then pardoning all of his cronies that were involved.

As to your other right-wing, Rush Limbaugh inspired accusations, I suggest that you reexamine the record of the multi-million dollar Ken Starr mud-slinging fiasco. The result of that was a lot different than what you are claiming.

who dragged Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas through the mud?

Clarence Thomas should have been dragged through the mud. He is the stupidest Supreme Court justice to serve in our lifetimes. His behavior around women is very germane to whether he is fit to judge on such "women's" issues as sexual harassment, abortion, etc. Whether Clinton slept around has nothing to do with his fitness for duty as President.

And FYI, the modern era of dragging public officials through the mud can be traced back to the Democrats doing it to Nixon.

How can you compare Nixon, who abused the power of the Presidency to subvert the very process of democracy, to Clinton, who, according to a multi-year, multi-million dollar investigation, did nothing worse than have an affair and lie about it? "Dragging through the mud" means finding out embarassing personal items and making them public, not exposing the most blatent series of criminal operations and cover-ups ever orchestrated by a U.S. President.

Get your facts before looking like an ass and pointing fingers.

It's you that doesn't have command of the facts, you that now looks like an ass, and you that can kiss my ass.

Don't blame me. I'm a Libertarian

Good. I was afraid that your vote would actually count.

By the way, I am an American and I believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty. If you want to accuse a person of something, either (1)make it something that he was found guilty of in court of law or (2) make it an allegation based on personal knowledge, not the hearsay, unproven claims by third parties.

Encryption? Oh, yeahhhhh.... (4)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 13 years ago | (#352950)

Hey, that's great:

Something like 14 responses asking "Gee whiz, doesn't the President use encryption?"

But not one pointing out the fact that, if someone of the dubious mental faculties of George W. Bush can't figure out how to use encryption, then half of America probably can't either.

Am I the only one thinking that SOMEBODY -- be it the PGP people, the Free Software Foundation, or Microsoft for that matter -- should figure out a TRULY easy, TRULY fast, TRULY seamless means for the common email user to encrypt a message?

Cuz I've got PGP installed on my Macintosh, and I'm telling you guys -- PGP ain't it.

--

Re:Obviously (2)

_Splat (22170) | more than 13 years ago | (#352954)

Call to tech support: Help me, I can't find the "Dubya" key!!

Re:Encryption? (1)

Von Rex (114907) | more than 13 years ago | (#352956)

Are you referring to his military desertion? Or maybe to the $800,000 he made in insider trading? No, wait, I bet you're referring to his successful attempt to derail the manual recount in Florida that would have certainly given Gore the presidency. Don't we usually call that sort of thing a coup?

Yeah, there's a guy with nothing to hide.

Re:George Dubya use encryption? I don't think so (4)

rm -vrf (212851) | more than 13 years ago | (#352957)

Er..this isn't about encryption. That would just prevent any middleman from intercepting and reading his emails while they are being sent. It's the fact that the emails he sends thru Government networks become public record, and so people can request them thru the Freedom of Information Act. He'd be required by law to give up his encryption keys.

Bush knows the laws? (1)

Symbiosis (39537) | more than 13 years ago | (#352958)

Sweet! Things are lookin' up.... ;-)

-------------------------------------------
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.

He doesn't want to become an evil hacker... (2)

Kasreyn (233624) | more than 13 years ago | (#352959)

Which is what would happen if he used encryption. Don't you know that crypto turns law abiding citizens into pot-smoking, pipe-bomb-making terrorists? Sheesh. Bush is way smarter than YOU, apparently. =P

To be serious though, Colonel Klink (response just above mine) has it right on the nail. Though the guy deserves his right to privacy in his private life (a right which I think was stolen from Clinton by the Lewinsky circus), he IS the POTUS, and as such, his communications while acting as such are and should be openly available. The whole purpose of this law is to prevent things like Nixon's 18.5 minute gap from being used to deceive the public. If all our lawmakers started using crypto, we'd suddenly have no clue what they were up to until they did it.

Cnn reports: "And the Senate has, today, passed a bill striking down the Bill Of Rights. It was unkown to CNN that such a bill was being considered, as it was encrypted heavily and not made available to the public. The ACLU immediately registered a protest, and head ACLU officials are now being held in an undisclosed federal prison. And the Seargent who's holding a gun to my head has just handed me another amazing news break..."

Be glad our "leaders" are mostly too dumb to use crypto. Oh, and be glad our military isn't that dumb. ;-)

-Kasreyn

Dubya stopped using email because... (1)

bmasel (129946) | more than 13 years ago | (#352960)

a) Never recieved a response from Congressman Schnell when he complained about the 5 cent Email Tax.

b) He already knows how to Make Money Fast.

c) Hotmail's spam filters suck.

d) Whitehouse.com wouldn't sell

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 13 years ago | (#352962)

This is absolutely deserved.

What total crap.

They were the ones that sought to embarass Clinton by first holding a hearing about an ancient money-losing land deal and then twisting it into an inquiry about his extramarital affairs.

Yeah, that's it.&nbsp Never mind that Clinton obstructed justice.&nbsp Never mind that Clinton molested at least two women against their will and raped another.&nbsp Never mind that Clinton lied under oath.&nbsp But yeah, that's right, the impeachment hearing were only about sex.&nbsp Never mind that the Chinese government funneled money to the Clinton and Gore campaigns in exchange for nuclear secrets.&nbsp Give me a break.

Oh yeah, and before the Clinton years, who dragged Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas through the mud?&nbsp That's right, it was the saintly Democrats.&nbsp Your lapses in memory are quite convenient.&nbsp And FYI, the modern era of dragging public officials through the mud can be traced back to the Democrats doing it to Nixon.&nbsp Not that Nixon was a saint (I consider he and Clinton to be in the same low-class w.r.t ethics.)&nbsp Get your facts before looking like an ass and pointing fingers.

If Bush wants to send secret e-mail love letters to the big-wigs at...the tobacco lobby

How much money did Gore take from that Tobacco lobby before it became fashionable to bash them?&nbsp And how much personal wealth did he gain from his family's tobacco farm?

Don't blame me.&nbsp I'm a Libertarian and think that both the Democrats and the Republicans suck -- I just happen to think the Democrats suck more.

Re:Well, how can he have time for it? (1)

Enigma2175 (179646) | more than 13 years ago | (#352963)

That's a lot better record than he had in Texas. He would frequently leave work 2-4 hours early to play golf.


Enigma

Re:Encryption? (2)

paled (22916) | more than 13 years ago | (#352969)

only criminals use encryption ;)

Re:Encryption? (3)

n3rd (111397) | more than 13 years ago | (#352971)

Actually, I feel this goes to show we have a long way to go in the battle to have easy to use, strong encryption for all users.

If the President doesn't use encryption in his e-mail to friends and family, then Joe User certainly doesn't.

I can't really offer and constructive suggestions or code, but I hope some of you good people out there will work to make encryption easy to use for everyone.

how do you auction off an email? (2)

StandardDeviant (122674) | more than 13 years ago | (#352974)

Is it on a disk? What format? Did they print it out? Is it on acid free paper? etc. etc.

WRT the freedom of information act and the bill of rights protections against self incrimination or unreasonable searches and seizures, the impression I've gotten in the law class I'm taking (in theory business law but the prof is really cool so we end up debating all sorts of legal topics, you gotta love arguing the validity of things like the DMCA in a class situation[1]) is that as a _person_ you have those protections, as an _institution_ you do not. So Bush's love letter to his wife or birthday card to his daughter are not FOIA fair game, but his email _as the incarnation of the institution of the American presidency_ is. (Leaving aside my personal views regarding his _extreme_ lack of aptitude for the office, unfortunately we're stuck with that cromag for the next few years...)

[1]I'm a computational chem major, but I'm eclectic. eh, you have to have some way to squander your youth, I picked college...


--
News for geeks in Austin: www.geekaustin.org [geekaustin.org]

Re:Encryption? (1)

Von Rex (114907) | more than 13 years ago | (#352978)

The judge that reviewed that case was a close personal friend of the Bush family. Business as usual.

Bush did what Slashdot would have done (1)

Tairan (167707) | more than 13 years ago | (#352979)

It sure seems that President Bush did what any of you would do - in order to protect his privacy, he decided to not use email while as a president. Any email that he would send from the White House would be public property - the letters to his family, friends, lovers, anyone.

yes, it means that Bush cannot be communicating with many of his friends, but as President, he has to give up some things. He wants to protect the privacy of his friends as well. I don't know why Timothy and Michael and everyone else below this are seeing this as something bad or whatever. Bush knows the laws, and wants to protect his own privacy. You do the same!

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 13 years ago | (#352981)

I don't mind that he lied under oath about his sexual liasons.

This is truly sad.&nbsp How can you NOT be outraged about this?&nbsp A lie is a lie and if you don't value truth under oath you've just destroyed our legal system.

It's not like we are talking about him trading arms for hostages and then pardoning all of his cronies that were involved.

Yeah, that's right.&nbsp You offer the typical Clinton defense.&nbsp "See, he's not so bad.&nbsp Look at how bad all of these other people were."&nbsp Last I checked, we were talking about the actions of Clinton here.&nbsp Yawn

How can you compare Nixon, who abused the power of the Presidency to subvert the very process of democracy, to Clinton, who, according to a multi-year, multi-million dollar investigation, did nothing worse than have an affair and lie about it?

Quite easily. Did Nixon do a stupid thing ( and yeah, it was stupid -- he had the re-election wrapped up.)?&nbsp Yeah, just like Clinton.&nbsp Did Nixon use his office to delay the investigation?&nbsp Yeah, just like Clinton did.&nbsp Did Nixon lie about his actions?&nbsp Yeah, just like Clintion did.&nbsp Note the pattern?

Good. I was afraid that your vote would actually count.

I voted for Bush this go-around and Libertarian on the rest of the races.&nbsp Regardless, my vote would count.&nbsp Thanks for trying to diminsh the value of another citizen's vote.

By the way, I am an American and I believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty.

I believe this too, but the President of the United States works for me.&nbsp As such, I am able to hold him to whatever system of values that I choose.&nbsp I don't need a court when I have evidence, a voice and a vote.

42! (2)

tarzan353 (246515) | more than 13 years ago | (#352982)

...obtained a copy of the farewell e-letter to 42 of Bush's friends. there's that number again!

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 13 years ago | (#352983)

I bet you hate Jesus, too.

Not a bit.&nbsp Jesus drives my hotrod...

Knowing our prez (1)

oooga (307220) | more than 13 years ago | (#352984)

The New York times probably got hold of the letter because Georgie misspelt (or as he would say it, nonspeldifyed) orinhatch@senate.gov as editor@nytimes.com. Hey, it could happen.

Re:Too bad Duhbya doesn't know... (2)

ajs (35943) | more than 13 years ago | (#352987)

If he sent encrypted email, it would look like he had something to hide.

This is because we do not encrypt all email, and GWB should be concerned about this. This is why he should be using PPS [ajs.com] .

Of course, until I and any volunteers write implementations of the spec, that'll be a little hard ;-)

be happy (1)

mondainx (34102) | more than 13 years ago | (#352988)

im glad he wont be "the online prez".. but this could also be a bad thing.. if he doesnt understand the internet or is "afraid" of it then how can he make policy on it?

Re:Encryption? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 13 years ago | (#352989)

No, wait, I bet you're referring to his successful attempt to derail the manual recount in Florida that would have certainly given Gore the presidency.

You mean the recounting of historically democratic counties in Florida?

LK

Re:Encryption? (1)

Von Rex (114907) | more than 13 years ago | (#352990)

Indeed it is, and it's especially damning when the pardon was as directly self-serving as that one.

The pardon brought an end to the investigation of Caspar Weinberger. How much do you want to bet he would have implicated Bush if the investigation had continued? Bush was one step up the food chain at the time, and a former head of the CIA. Iran-Contra was right up his alley, especially since Reagan's claim that he was utterly clueless about this affair wasn't so difficult to believe.

Re:Encryption? (1)

YetAnotherDave (159442) | more than 13 years ago | (#352991)

My understanding of those laws is that email is treated as a public document because of it's inherintly insecure nature, while snail-mail isn't.
I'd expect that encrypted email would be protected under those laws...

obligatory acronym: IANAL

Re:Geez, use encryption! (1)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 13 years ago | (#352992)

Exactly... someone moderate this up...

Re:Duh (1)

rm -vrf (212851) | more than 13 years ago | (#352993)

Those emails would be classified, as they are a matter of national security.

Re:Copyright (2)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 13 years ago | (#352994)

I saw that episode (West Wing Rules) and I had this thought:

What would happen if a Senator (or CongressCritter) read DeCSS out loud on the floor of the Senate or House? Would it then be a matter of Public Record?
Please reply if you are a lawyer, and you know about this stuff.

If its true, we need to snail-mail all those CongressCritters... if even one of them reads DeCSS into the record, we've WON!

Re:Well, how can he have time for it? (1)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#352995)

Well, given that he plans to distribute the national surplus to all Americans he plays golf with, I guess that was work.

Govt network can't be the main problem... (2)

LinuxParanoid (64467) | more than 13 years ago | (#352996)

...George cannot expect to send private email through government network.

I'm skeptical- this can't be the sole issue... If it was just the government-owns-the-network problem, I'm sure for any politician at that level, it'd be worth their time to work around that.

For example, couldn't George pay for his own phone line and simply dialup AOL on his own personal laptop? That's not a government network by any stretch of the imagination.

Perhaps the issue is that any actions he conducts on governmental premises fall under some legal restrictions (perhaps the Hatch Act that Gore violated but claimed no-controlling-legal-authority under)? Anyone know what's really going on here, legally?

--LP

Too bad Duhbya doesn't know... (3)

MousePotato (124958) | more than 13 years ago | (#353000)

  1. That PGP is pretty easy to use.
  2. The fifth ammendment protects him from having to give out his key(Well IANAL but there are millions of lawayers out there who would love to defend the constitution on behalf of a Presidential defendant).
And this begs the question: What the fuck is our President doing sending unsecure unencrypted email in the first place?

Geez, use encryption! (3)

mjh (57755) | more than 13 years ago | (#353003)

W says:
"My lawyers tell me all correspondence by email is subject to open record requests. Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course ofaction is not to correspond in cyberspace. This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing witheach of you."

If he really wanted to continue to converse, privately, with his friends why doesn't he just download GPG (or any other encryption program) and start using it? If he does this, would the "open record requests" require him to relinquish the key?

President Who? (1)

friedmilk (261597) | more than 13 years ago | (#353010)

I think this is the kind of thing we can come to expect from Mr. Bush.
---

What is bush writing that is so embarassing? (1)

paranormalized (278300) | more than 13 years ago | (#353015)

Steamy letters to interns?
Letters to Bill Clinton saying "why couldn't you keep your gals quiet? Doncha know a lady never tells?"
Just his spelling and syntax?

You know, now I'm more interested than ever in Dubya's personal correspondence...

Personally, if I became President, I wouldn't mind the American Public peeking in over my shoulder... they oughta stop being such prudes anyways... and before you ask, yes, I'm planning to go into politics myself, a double/triple major in Political Science, Law, and Computer Science, to fall back on in case of disillusionment...

-----
IANASRP- I am not a self-referential phrase
-----

Re:Copyright (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 13 years ago | (#353017)

if even one of them reads DeCSS into the record, we've WON!

DeCSS is already in the public record in the court transcripts of MPAA vs. 2600...

And paper mail is somehow different??? (2)

redelm (54142) | more than 13 years ago | (#353019)

I can understand Junior wanting to avoid scrutiny under the FOIA. But if Presidential email is public record {FOIAble], why isn't paper mail? Is there some sort of special exemption for private correspondence?


This would make no sense. A letter is legally stronger than email. Not that the law needs to make sense. But Junior cutting himself off makes even less sense. There's more here than we've been told.

Re:Isn't there a secretary of e-mail??? (1)

pjl5602 (150416) | more than 13 years ago | (#353020)

Shut up hick.

Man, you're a big, bad AC.&nbsp I'm so awed by your cool comeback.&nbsp What substance!&nbsp BTW, that should be "Shut up, hick."

Is your Karma that precious?&nbsp Or do you really have nothing useful to contribute?

The issue is denying accountability (2)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 13 years ago | (#353022)

Hey this topic is flamebait, so don't blame me if as a democrat you don't like my opinion of your president.

Bush certainly knows about digital signatures and encryption. His poppy was director of the CIA. His fear is that any record of what he does may become a political liability. As Ollie North and Bill Gates found out an email trail can look real bad in court

I did some security work on a project deployed at the Whitehouse during the days when they still counted the votes in elections. First thing that Clinton did was to put out every press release on the Internet - this was back in 1992. First thing the Bush crew did was to shut the server down. They want to control the flow of information.

The purpose of FOIA is to make elected officials accountable. Under FOIA every memo that reaches the president's desk is discoverable. PGP does nothing for Bush since if he used it to prevent FOIA discovery he would be facing a second criminal conviction. When the EOP screwed up the archiving process and lost a number of Gore emails the 'liberal press' had a field day. If Bush deliberately prevented his email being read Wolf Blitzer and co would, would, well explain it away to their viewers.

After having hounded the democrats for eight years it is entirely logical for the GOP to expect the same medicine in return.

The minute that the GOP loose control of either half of Congress they have a very real threat of trial by endless investigation. The more evidence they allow to be created the greater the liability. As one GOP lawyer told the incomming Clinton administration, never take any notes at meetings.

In summary it is certainly an understandable political move, if not an acceptable one. Bush is certainly not attempting to have the most accountable Presidency ever.

Bush may be doing the right thing to insulate himself from scandal. But he is also insulating himself from the administration he is meant to be in control of. I don't know many modern CEOs who insist on being kept out of the decision loop. But that is exactly what not using email means today.

offline president (1)

metis (181789) | more than 13 years ago | (#353023)

from what we know already Bush is, if he is President at all, the Off-line President.

When he talks, he is mostly off-line, the rest of the time he isn't even on. I think Dick Cheney boots him every day before the press conference, but the ELISA implementantion is so buggy that after 10 questions from journalists all the memory is gone and the disk starts trashing. So they have to take him away and ALT-CTRL-DELETE him till the next day.

Re:how do you auction off an email? (1)

isaac_akira (88220) | more than 13 years ago | (#353025)

People really need to read the articles before they post...

Re:The President is a government official (2)

drix (4602) | more than 13 years ago | (#353026)

By CEO of Alcoa I'm assuming you are referring to the former CEO of Alcoa, Paul O'Neill, who now heads up the Treasury Department, and not Alain Belda, who is the current Chief. Perhaps you could elaborate on why exactly the Secretary of Treasury would "want" California as opposed to any of the other 49 states. Or why Alcoa, the world's largest producer of aluminum, would care about California at all. As far as I know we're newsworthy right now only because our state's energy market is a joke. I'm specualing here, but in my opinion the only way Alcoa could do anything to alleviate this problem would be to cease all operations in California. Certainly they would not encounter regulatory difficulties doing that; Compaq, Intel, GM, and all the rest already did it with nary a peep from Washington. Or, most importantly, how that post got modded up.

--

Re:Bush did what Slashdot would have done (1)

fooeyploo (150566) | more than 13 years ago | (#353032)

>It sure seems that President Bush did what any of
> you would do - in order to protect his privacy...

Nah, I'd just get an anonymous hushmail account.

Re:Encryption? (2)

plam (123263) | more than 13 years ago | (#353036)

While he could use encryption, it seems to me that he would be forced to reveal the encryption key used if someone makes a Freedom of Information Act request for the information. You're allowed to ask for certain public documents under that law, and lawyers claim that his emails fall into that category, so he is required by FOIA to reveal this information to you. In order to avoid that, he has to not send email.

Encryption is a technical solution, the problem here is social/legal.

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