Supporters use Obama's social network to organize protest against him
Group opposes candidate's support of FISA bill
Computerworld - A group of more than 20,000 supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama have used his official social network to organize an online protest against his stance on legislation set to be taken up by the U.S. Senate tomorrow.
The users of the social network MyBarackObama.com have organized a grass-roots protest online that opposes Obama's support of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act. The act would continue the controversial surveillance of e-mail and phone calls by the U.S. National Security Agency that started after Sept. 11, 2001, and would likely end lawsuits against the telecommunications carriers that participated in the program. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve the legislation last month.
Jeff Jarvis, a blogger and associate professor and director of the interactive journalism program at the City University of New York, noted in a blog post that the protest could mark an important moment in "participatory, self-organized online politics," especially since Obama's campaign has built itself on the support of various grass-roots efforts.
"When it's a grassroots organization that makes you — rather than a party — and you say you're beholden to them not to special interests and big money and lobbyists, well, then you really are beholden to them," Jarvis noted. "If they rise up from within to tell you that they don't like what you're doing — when they use your own organizational tools to do that — then I'd say you ignore them at your peril. Live by the crowd, die by the crowd."
Jarvis added that it will be interesting to see what type of power these self-organized groups wield if Obama ascends to the White House.
"Will his supporters at MyBarackObama continue to use these tools to influence him and government? And will he have to listen because he is beholden to them?" Jarvis asked.
Obama's campaign did not respond today to a request for comment on the online protest. However, the senator said in a blog post Thursday that the ability to monitor individuals who want to attack the U.S. is a "vital counter-terrorism tool" and that he believes it is necessary to keep Americans safe.
"The truth is that your organizing, your activism and your passion is an important reason why this bill is better than previous versions," Obama wrote. "No tool has been more important in focusing peoples' attention on the abuses of executive power in this Administration than the active and sustained engagement of American citizens."
Obama went on to note that "when citizens join their voices together, they can hold their leaders accountable. I'm not exempt from that. ... I cannot promise to agree with you on every issue. But I do promise to listen to your concerns, take them seriously, and seek to earn your ongoing support to change the country."
- Troubleshooting Common Issues in VoIP Learn more about Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), including common VoIP metrics used, best practices in VoIP management and tips and tricks for...
- IDG Research Survey: Are you Paying Too Much for Your NMS? Feel like you're paying too much for network monitoring? You're not alone. This survey brief summarizes findings from research recently fielded by IDG...
- 2013 Network Management Software (NMS) Buyers Guide This white paper contains an independent comparison study of six different network management solutions and provides guidance on how you can choose the...
- Rightsizing Your Network Performance Management Solution: 4 Case Studies This white paper discusses challenges encountered as organizations search for the most cost-effective network performance management solution.
- Live Webcast 5 Steps to Assuring Quality of Experience In order to align monitoring and management practices with the true demands of the business, IT professionals must expand beyond traditional comfort zones...
- Live Webcast Master the Changing SAP Landscape with Performance Management SAP landscapes are not getting simpler. Gradually, business processes that used to be contained on a single SAP system now involve a range...
- E-Signature RFP Checklist Webcast If your organization is looking to adopt e-signatures, you may be overwhelmed by the number of providers that offer seemingly similar solutions. How...
- Navigating the New Wireless Landscape Thriving in the new wireless landscape View Now>> All Networking White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!