Eight years ago, we noted that newly elected President George W. Bush had given up email
, in order to avoid problems with open records laws on Presidential communications. Not surprisingly, there's now a lot of speculation concerning whether or not President-Elect Barack Obama will now have to give up email as well
. In the intervening eight years, email has become much more important, and, of course, Obama is a known Blackberry fanatic.
Eight years ago we thought this was a silly turn of events, and today it seems even more ridiculous. Email is an important and useful form of communication. It seems silly not to allow Obama to use email, and it's difficult to see what the real advantage of cutting him off would be. The article mentions concerns about security, but no one is saying he should be sending nuclear codes or military training plans via email. The second concern is about the open records laws, that would potentially open up private communications to the public. Again, it seems like this can be dealt with in a variety of ways -- either by changing the law to protect certain emails, or by having Obama make it clear to any and all emailers that their emails should be considered public records. It seems like there are better solutions out there than cutting him off entirely.