In the worlds of technology and government, I’m fond of joking, paranoia is just having a long time-horizon. Advances in data processing will make identifiable what is now anonymous. That “voluntary” pilot program will become full-fledged and mandatory.
But we need not apply the paranoid principle to the White House’s handling of the petition I started a few weeks ago asking the White House to have TSA follow the law. The petition ended on time. There’s no good evidence that its ending was hastened to cut off a late run at getting to 25,000 signatures.
Some folks had gotten the idea that we would have until midnight last Thursday, but it expired around mid-day. That’s about the same time that I created the petition weeks earlier, which is consistent with my assumption that the system is designed to expire petitions automatically when the time allowed for them to run has elapsed.
We could kvetch about losing some momentum when the petition function went down for a few hours around the time a great story came out on Wired’s Threat Level blog. But the folks at Whitehouse.gov added a full day to all petitions to make up for the maintenance outage. The time to complain was then, and I didn’t, so that complaint has expired.
There’s lots of other stuff that is interesting about all this. Continue reading →