Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

White House Technology Plans Holding Steady

BY Sarah Granger | Wednesday, February 4 2009

Yesterday was challenging for the new Obama administration as two key individuals nominated for appointments removed their names from consideration. I was at the White House asking questions about the plans for the CTO and White House technology. Witnessing the heated afternoon press briefing, there was definitely some pressure being put on the administration to respond about whether they were perhaps moving too quickly on these cabinet and senior appointments.

I asked Nick Shapiro, White House spokesman on technology related topics, whether what we've been hearing about a possibly diminished role of the CTO was true. Essentially the answer is no. He told me very clearly that nothing has changed in the plans of the administration since the development of the technology agenda. "Change.gov is still up," Shapiro noted, directing skeptics to read about the proposed plan for a CTO there.

As to the timing of an announcement or any names, there was nothing mentioned, but given the current situation in the White House after the letdown of Daschle for HHS Secretary, one can assume that they may slow down the appointments process for a while to make doubly sure all of their i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Nobody seems to know how long it will be before the first USA CTO is named - it could be days, weeks or months yet.

Meanwhile, I asked about the troubles with getting setup on the White House computers and the press staff seemed to think that was a non-story. They're using Gateway PCs in those offices and although it took a couple of days to get e-mail up, everyone's online now. They have had at least one, possibly two server outages since taking office, which is a bit disconcerting, but with such major staffing changes, perhaps it's to be expected. Still, one would think they would have a more robust backup system. Time will tell. Regardless, their plans to modernize the administration in terms of technology leadership still remain intact.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Upgrades

Obama tech veterans heading to Hillary 2016?; renewed calls for Obama to stop collecting Americans' phone metadata; FCC upgrades its definition of broadband service, finally; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Blogrolling

How Canada spies on its citizens' web behavior; with uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan quitting the field, whither political blogs; how big data is helping prevent homelessness in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Jargon Busters

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

More