Should White House Staffers Use Gmail? IPads?

May 3, 2011 2:18pm

ABC’s Brian Hartman (@niagrasquare) reports: Are the president and his staff bypassing the Presidential Records Act by using iPads, gmail and other modern communications inventions that operate outside the official White House recordkeeping system? House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrel Issa thinks so and believes the law may need an update to reflect the proliferation of networked mobile devices. 
Waving an iPad, Issa today questioned the White House chief information officer.  “Today, there are hundreds of products in the Old Executive Office, in the Treasury building, and in the White House proper being used to communicate, whether you like it or not, to private e-mails,” Issa said. “They’re simply connected. Is that correct?” “That’s correct, sir,” said Brook Colangelo, the top tech officer at the White House. Issa has posted the exchange on YouTube. He wants to find a way to get at gmail and other types of cloud-based messaging systems, as well as the personal phones of White House personnel. The records act requires all White House staff to turn over any work-related communications, regardless of whether they are on the government network, to the Archivist of the United States. But Issa said he is concerned there is no way to police the use of personal devices and outside e-mail accounts. “I’m not after the president. I’m not after the administration,” Issa said. “I’m after the changes in technology and whether or not we’re equipped to deal with them.” There was some debate last week over this recent White House photo shows President Obama’s iPad resting on his desk in the Oval Office. Click the image for a larger version.
Read how the White House uses the Internet and state run media to get out its message.  

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