In the slew of privacy issues floating around, there’s also the case of the White House reprimanding its Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Andrew McLaughlin, for ethics violations, as reported first by PR NewsWire.
For the record, McLaughlin is a former Google lobbyist.
Conflict Of Interest ?
The White House took action after the breach was revealed through a Freedom of Information Act Request from Consumer Watchdog. McLaughlin was caught discussing and conducting government business from his private email address and with former Google associates.
The full content of the exchanges can be found in PDF files here: pdf1, pdf2 and pdf3.
Too Light A Punishment For A Major Blunder ?
The White House issued a memo the staff of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, “Reminder: Compliance with Federal Records Act and the President’s Ethics Pledge” without naming anyone in particular. Director John Holdren mentioned that “one of our employees fell short” of meeting White House legal and ethical standards. He said the employee “has been reprimanded on these issues and received additional individual training on his obligations”
Consumer Watchdog does not stand to be satisfied with just a slap on the wrist of McLaughlin and requests that he resigns.
“We opposed the appointment of a lobbyist to this position from the beginning,” said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with the nonpartisan, nonprofit group. “This episode demonstrates that he should resign.”
How hard do you think the White House should be on McLaughlin ?