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Government Privacy United States News

White House Ditches YouTube 204

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that in an apparent response to privacy complaints, the White House has quietly moved off of YouTube as a method for serving the President's weekly video address. Choosing instead to use a Flash-based solution and Akamai's content delivery network, this comes just days after YouTube began to roll out their own new policies regarding privacy of visitors.
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White House Ditches YouTube

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  • Re:Wise choice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:42PM (#27045581) Homepage Journal

    Call me cynical, but Obama chose YouTube because it's "what young people use". That was his campaign's primary target demographic, so it's what he used. I doubt it had anything to do directly with Google's ownership of the site, but who knows.

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PetriBORG ( 518266 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:42PM (#27045587) Homepage

    Maybe so, but do if you are hoping to get young people - people who wouldn't otherwise notice you - to notice you, then maybe you would post it to some place they go right? I'm wondering why they can't just post them to multiple places - now that seems a more reasonable question to me.

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:54PM (#27045713) Homepage Journal

    Oh yes, and I'd also like to see a .torrent on the site, but I know that'll never happen.

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:01PM (#27045793) Homepage Journal

    I tend to agree. The thing is that the government doesn't pay for the broadcast of the press release.
    I would have no problem with the BBC streaming the addresses themselves. Or CBS, NBC, Hulu, PBS, NPR, or any other news service.
    Just for the US me as a tax payer to pay for it. As I said at the start I so don't have a problem with it being on YouTube at all. But this will probably end up costing millions all over a cookie.

  • Re:Good decision (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pembo13 ( 770295 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:49PM (#27046275) Homepage

    What can Google do that the US government can't do?

  • by Ironica ( 124657 ) <pixel.boondock@org> on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:52PM (#27046301) Journal

    If a video of someone's preschooler summarizing Star Wars requires a tracking cookie to access, well, if you want to stay completely private, you just go without the video.

    If the President of the United States is using a service as an official distribution channel, though, it's not enough to say "If you don't like the policy, don't view the content." The President's official communication is, in essence, something that the American People have a *right* to view, and not to be tracked while doing it.

    Let's just get a little 1984 here: What if it became, somehow, "right" to always watch the President's videos? Or wrong? And so, with the law behind them, the government subpoenaed those tracking cookie results, and determined who was being a good/bad little boy/girl?

    Or more mundane: say someone works for Google, and has some access to that data. And has political differences from his/her spouse... so they look up the home IP in the tracking database for the President's videos. Domestic squabbles ensue because someone's listening to "that one" when they're not "supposed" to be.

    Participation in the political process is both voluntary and an entitlement for most Americans between 18 and death. Tracking any part of that participation has the potential for abuse, and could have a chilling effect.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02, 2009 @08:29PM (#27046629)

    from the article "This solution, which appears to use Akamai's content delivery network, does not make use of tracking cookies."

    Yes it does use cookies. Adobe's Shared Object Library cookies. Right click on any flash video and go through the privacy manager and look at the list of all the sites you've visited.

    Shoddy /. reporting FTW. Don't you guys have any tech savvy at all?

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plnix0 ( 807376 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:44PM (#27047115) Homepage

    If the president would like to speak to the American people, why not choose something not affiliated with any company.

    You mean... like Akamai?

"Turn on, tune up, rock out." -- Billy Gibbons