Archive for February, 2010

Transparancy in The District of Columbia, Washington

Monday, February 22nd, 2010


It’s official knowledge. My scheduled appointment with my associate Fernando Galvan for a West Wing tour of the White House on November 18th, 2009 is officially ON THE BOOKS. Along with the swarms of other visitors that have entered the hallowed grounds of this National Park, I’ve been categorized as someone who had direct access to staff while being escorted through the wide hallways of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and winding passages of the West Wing. This means that the American people want to know what my agenda was in visiting such a prestigious locality and influential staff. Thankfully, they’ve got me covered in the spreadsheet, by linking me to Google, Wikipedia and several other visible sites where I’d be listed if I’d ever given a sizable contribution or had a powerful position in life. Unfortunately, I don’t usually go by my given first name, making the linking rather fruitless.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “You sound somewhat hesitant about this scenario, Drew!” Realistically, I could give a damn about said listing. I was just there to do a generic tour and see the Navy Mess/Rose Garden/Oval Office/Cabinet & Roosevelt Rooms/Press Room and hear a little history about each. I wasn’t there to influence Presidential policy or have power meetings with high-level advisers. In fact, I think it’s pretty cool that I can prove I’ve been there. I’ll bet about 99% of my friends haven’t been to such a well-known landmark, let alone Washington, DC! I am honored to have had the privilege of stepping foot on the grounds to begin with. I can’t even imagine the pride that some of my friends must feel when they’re able to go to work there every day. Here’s a prime example:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/20/AR2010022003719_pf.html

So, if you want me to be your privacy guru, you’re probably barking up the wrong tree. While I believe large measures should be taken to protect very personal information, I also believe the sharing of information & social engineering/hacking (for security improvements) being done by trusted individuals to be extremely relevant to today’s digital world. If you think trusted individuals didn’t track this down, you’ve got a lot of learning to do, young man and/or lady:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/a6f5621c-1f21-11df-9584-00144feab49a.html?nclick_check=1

In conclusion, if you’ll be in DC on March 27th & 28th, and you’re interested in being part of a greater discussion on Transparency in Government & Technology, come join us in an “unconference” at Transparency Camp DC 2010, being organized by the Sunlight Foundation. A good number of my counterparts will be attending and I expect it to be an all-around good time filled with the sharing of knowledge and ideas in order to continue the open course that President Obama has outlined for his Administration.