For all their shrieking and caterwauling over the Maryland State Police surveillance operation, Maryland’s lefty blogosphere is dead quiet on Obama’s White House asking their sycophants to snitch on fellow citizens just because they oppose the healthcare plans in Congress. Furthermore, one would think they would be hopping mad that any information the White House collects could be kept permanently and secretly.
Senate Judiciary Committee lawyers studying the proposal say that although there is no absolutely settled law on the matter, the White House plan is likely not covered by the Privacy Act, which prohibits government agencies from keeping any records “describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed by the First Amendment unless expressly authorized by statue or by the individual about whom the record is maintained.” Therefore, it appears the White House can legally keep records of the emails and other communications it receives in response to Phillips’ request.
Those lawyers also point out that the White House is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, which means it would not have to release any information on the plan to members of the public who make a request.
In addition, the lawyers say the collected emails likely will be covered by the Presidential Records Act, which requires the White House to preserve and maintain its records for permanent storage in a government database.
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Of course, if George W. Bush did this…