I feel safer already
April 16, 2003 2:36 PM   Subscribe

Homeland Security Dept. Fills their Privacy czar post with....(drumroll)...Nuala O'Connor Kelly, formerly the Privacy Officer of Doubleclick. Yes that doubleclick, and that one too. Also this one. I feel safer already. Is it still April 1st somewhere in the world?
posted by mathowie (24 comments total)
 
well, she should have a good bit of knowledge about how to invade people's privacy. so if she were really dedicated to protecting people's privacy, she seems like could be an asset. but i don't know why they bothered coming up with a privacy post when they have T.I.A. i can see Ridge getting dizzy between Poindexter on one shoulder and O'Connor on the other.
posted by memnock at 2:48 PM on April 16, 2003


wait, was her job at doubleclick to protect consumer privacy or to protect doubleclick from consumer privacy complaints and liability?
posted by th3ph17 at 2:49 PM on April 16, 2003


From the article:

"O'Connor Kelly is well acquainted with the often bitter debate over balancing privacy rights with other interests. She joined DoubleClick in February 2000 after the Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into complaints that the company was improperly storing and sharing private user data. DoubleClick also was embroiled in similar investigations by 12 state attorneys general and several class-action lawsuits.

DoubleClick settled most of those lawsuits, and created a division specializing in privacy compliance, which O'Connor Kelly ran. "
posted by some chick at 2:52 PM on April 16, 2003


What's her history before she joined DoubleClick is the question...
posted by banished at 2:58 PM on April 16, 2003


This is right in step with Henry Kissinger originally being the man chosen for heading the 9/11 investigation.

What, you didn't know our government was a sham already? Please! Assuming even 10% of what gets posted to metafilter is true, and 5% of what gets posted to slashdot, it is impossible to come to any other conclusion.
posted by Ryvar at 3:02 PM on April 16, 2003


Thats like making Pablo Escobar the Drug Czar! Or the CEO of Philip Morris the Surgeon General of the United States.
posted by blindambition at 3:04 PM on April 16, 2003


Or, as some folks have already pointed out on slashdot, like making Kevin Mitnick a security consultant.
posted by weston at 3:09 PM on April 16, 2003


I don't buy the "she should know how to do the job best" argument. When you appoint someone you also appoint their connections and influence. Heck connections and influence is how you get appointed in the first place.

So what do we have here? An industry insider with experience in spin and damage control. Great.

The Bush administration knows it can get away with lots of questionable appointees. Gale Norton as sec. of the interior, Ashcroft as Attorney General, Kissinger to head 9/11 investigation, etc. As long as Bush doesn't mess with gun ownership, big business, and keeps making token gestures to appease anti-abortionists then he'll continue to enjoy votes and populatiry.

I really hope someone on the federal level makes some noise over this. I'd hate to see the "we don't have privacy anyway" sentiments turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
posted by skallas at 3:20 PM on April 16, 2003


Kevin Mitnick would be a lousy security consultant but not for the reasons you believe weston. For the most part he was a good social engineer and a mediocre hacker. Most of what he did was done by going on a phone and talking the clueless out of information they obviously shouldn't have had. For any "Czar" position there should be two qualifications: 1) vast amounts of knowledge and experience in the subject area 2) a desire to use that knowledge to make things "better", for whatever the administration defines "better" as.

For that reason he is disqualified on the first item but not necessarily on the second. If he's reformed then the second item isn't going to knock him out of eligibility. In fact I don't think you can have excellence in network security without practicing intrusion at some point in the past. Maybe you've done it on your own systems but maybe not.
posted by substrate at 3:29 PM on April 16, 2003


Thats like making Pablo Escobar the Drug Czar! Or the CEO of Philip Morris the Surgeon General of the United States.

ever thought of a career in executive recruiting blindambition?
posted by th3ph17 at 3:34 PM on April 16, 2003


"Or, as some folks have already pointed out on slashdot, like making Kevin Mitnick a security consultant."

You would hire Mitnick because you think he knows how to break things. Any good security person can fix holes, it's finding the holes that is the trick. For that job, a hacker is the best qualified candidate.

If you want to protect privacy, you DO NOT need someone with a very shady past in terms of privacy protection. The most qualified candidate will be someone with a proven track record in consumer protection and advocacy.

Apples and oranges.

Having said that, the article seems to indicate that privacy groups are much less worried than people here seem to be. She seems like someone who will get consumer rights groups involved in the process.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:41 PM on April 16, 2003


Hrm, back when Eliot Abrams was rewarded the post of "Human Rights Czar" for lying to congress about selling arms to a terrorist nation to fund central American terrorist activity, I noted that the appointment was a dual irony because it was the Romanovs' astounding incompetence in regards to basic human rights that led to the revolution.

Perhaps the title "Privacy Czar" is a bit less of an oxymoron.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:06 PM on April 16, 2003


From the Technology Administration website:
Nuala O’Connor Kelly joined the Technology Administration as Chief Counsel on March 18, 2002. Prior to joining TA, O’Connor Kelly served as Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning within Secretary Donald L. Evans’s team at the Department of Commerce.
posted by jgilliam at 4:07 PM on April 16, 2003


Wired article from 6 months ago:
Schwartz also said that Nuala O'Connor Kelly, chief counsel for the Commerce Department's Technology Administration, spoke on a panel with Swire and emphasized several privacy-related accomplishments the Bush administration has made -- in particular in the area of identity theft and medical privacy.
posted by jgilliam at 4:11 PM on April 16, 2003


Mitnick ... For the most part he was a good social engineer and a mediocre hacker.

substrate, I can't speak authoritatively to that, but the recent Slashdot Interview with Kevin would seem to discredit that idea somewhat: he did some brilliant social engineering, but was no slouch at the technical end (see question 3).

If you want to protect privacy, you DO NOT need someone with a very shady past in terms of privacy protection. The most qualified candidate will be someone with a proven track record in consumer protection and advocacy.

OK, so which would have left you more speechless -- the Bush admin appointing a doubleclick exec, or Ralph Nader? ; )

I actually agree with you... there's something very different in character between Mitnick and Kelly, from what I can read. Kelly would appear to be an insider, and even as a bridge between citizen and corporate/big-brother interests, she might be more likely to be an ambassador from the later than an advocate for the former. Mitnick is a maverick, and outsider, who has more than enough reason to be wary of abuse of power and put checks on it. I'd like the same thing in a privacy czar, but I think it's unlikely with an administration who sees enterprise as the central institution of our society. Kelly seems like as good a choice as one could hope for, under the circumstances.
posted by weston at 4:22 PM on April 16, 2003


From http://www.ta.doc.gov/ChiefCounsel.htm
Ms. O’Connor Kelly is a frequent speaker on electronic commerce, and has been an attorney with the law firms of Sidley & Austin, Hudson Cook, and Venable, Baetjer, Howard & Civiletti in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the bar in Washington, D.C. and Maryland. O’Connor Kelly received her A.B. from Princeton University, a master’s of education from Harvard University, and J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
posted by dhacker at 4:24 PM on April 16, 2003


Some times you need a wolf to guard the hen house.

DoubleClick settled most of those lawsuits, and created a division specializing in privacy compliance, which O'Connor Kelly ran.

Looks like she knows what she is doing...not wait corps are evil and all their span is evil...Nevermind I get it now.
posted by Bag Man at 4:36 PM on April 16, 2003


Administrative credibility, anyone? Ms. O'Connor Kelly seems like a decent choice if one has precisely NO concern for public perception, or simply assumes that the public will be unaware of any impropriety in which she may have had a hand. It shows a phenominal disregard for public wish or will. That would be like nominating John Poindexter to ... oh fuck.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:42 PM on April 16, 2003


Well... she's Irish. At least alcoholics and wee little people will be well-represented in Homeland Privacy.
posted by The Michael The at 7:00 PM on April 16, 2003


aye, me lucky stars, laddie!
posted by quonsar at 7:38 PM on April 16, 2003


Some times you need a wolf to guard the hen house.

You're very funny!
That WAS a joke, wasn't it?
Seems wolves are all we're getting to guard our hen houses lately.
posted by nofundy at 5:16 AM on April 17, 2003


Seems like this will play well into the hands of any Democratic presidential candidate willing to play up the "Conflict-of-Interest- Appointees" angle in the next campaign.
posted by zaelic at 10:06 AM on April 17, 2003


zaelic - yeah, I can see that now.

Dem. Pres. Candidate: Look at all the conflict-of-interest in these appointees!
Bush admin: Why do you hate America so much?
Dem. Pres. Candidate: [*crickets*]
posted by soyjoy at 9:14 PM on April 17, 2003


You're very funny!
That WAS a joke, wasn't it?
Seems wolves are all we're getting to guard our hen houses lately.


No joke, unlike you I consider common sense and fundamentalist bullshit arguments.

Haven't you hear of Joe Kennedy? The first head of the SEC and known insider-trader? I mean, to catch crooks you need someone who knows how to think like the crooks and you need someone with specialized knowledge of the field. Mr. Fundy you have also conveniently forget her merits - which you refuse argument about and seem unwilling to address them (because you know you will lose), but I expect little for you so I guess its par for the course.

Mr. Fundy thanks for ignoring common sense and facts with your rabid brand of fundamentalist bullshit once again.

Mr. Fundy, she can be easily distinguished from Lt. Aschrot defending the Constitution and Whittman defending the environment, but since that does fit your worldview it is ignored as usual.

Mr. Fundy, your always-fundamentalist views, inability to acknowledge facts when they contradict your narrow worldview (even when, as in this case, they soundly and logically contradict your argument) and overwhelming stupidity has once again blinded you. (sorry for the insult, but you provide no e-mail)

Mr. Fundy your fundamentalist view give open minded people lefties a bad name (those who debate the merits rather spew hare and ignorance like you).
posted by Bag Man at 2:53 PM on April 22, 2003


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