Tuesday, January 20, 2009

All The President's E-Mail

I'm not sure how I feel about letting Barack Obama keep his BlackBerry. Is the idea to give him a government-issue smart phone with a separate, personal address, and have his email subject to the Presidential Records Act? That, I'm fine with that; it's easy enough to shift "personal" email into the "official business" column when one of his law school buddies starts asking him whether or not the SG will file an amicus brief in some case. But keeping his old email address ... not so much. That's a recipe for a truck-size loophole in Presidential record-keeping.

Likewise, yes, Congress should update the PRA since the fax machine, email, and instant messages have come into existence since the law was written. Most likely, we're going to end up judging that it constitutes "writing" and no one will use it. Pick up the phone.
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