White House Explains Why It Blocked Twitter

Posted on 28 July 2009

Apparently, it is the fact that most bloggers have never had corporate jobs. It has been remarked by the Press Secretary Robert Gibbs‘ last week that due to the reason that Twitter has been blocked on White House computers, many of the tech-blogs has gone into full-on shaming mode in regards to the White House’s IT policies.


Gibbs quickly answers a question about Twitter during an interview on CSPAN, in his answer he explains that on White House PCs the micro-blogging service is blocked and that he himself is not on the service because he is in front of the camera often enough that now the people “have a decent sense” of what he is doing. This answer has quickly given rise to accusations from blogs, like ReadWriteWeb, that the utility of Twitter is not clearly understood by Gibbs. Others complained about the Obama administration‘s IT security policies as a “joke”.


As it has been explained to Mediaite, by deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton, that the issues with Twitter are due to some record keeping and a little bit of security reasons. The first and most obvious thing is that, in a most sensitive environment such as the White House, it is extremely important to control the flow of information to the outside world. Second thing is that, Twitter is not protected against malware, viruses, and scams. Then the Presidential Records Act also had to be followed, whose requirements are that all White House communications are to be saved. To abide these rules would prove to be much difficult on an external service such as Twitter.

It has also been told by Bill Burton to Mediaite that the blockage was not complete; the White House new media team is able to have access to the service. It has also been said by Burton that he was working with the Office of Administration’s new Chief Information Officer to give some relaxation to some of the restrictions.

Not only that it is unsurprising to hear that the White House’s blocking Twitter, but it also makes perfect sense. Unluckily, it seems that the blogosphere prefer to give knee-jerk reactions to thoughtful analyses.

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R. MAK. - who has written 232 posts on ixibo.

How Should I describe me?... Well! I am a simple dude, who likes to indulge in intelligent conversation with an intelligent people, specially on technology topics hope you are one of them :p