In a step taken after much pressure from Fox News' Major Garrett on behalf of "We, the little people," The White House today announced changes to its website which should, they believe, stop Americans from receiving unsolicited emails. Following the controversy over the e-mails, the White House has added two new filter devices to its "Contact Us" section on its Web site, which could reduce the number of people who receive e-mails unsolicited.
Now, anybody who fills out a comment on that section must uncheck a box that says, "sign up to get e-mail updates." The box is automatically checked when the page loads, so commenters must take an action to uncheck it.
Anyone submitting a comment now also must type in two words that appear on the page in a strange font -- a security step similar to one that appears on many commercial Web sites (including this one).
"We are implementing measures to make subscribing to e-mails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individuals' behalf. We are implementing measures to make subscribing to e-mails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individuals' behalf," White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said In a written statement released to FOX News Sunday.
The White House indicated its Web site managers were going to seek out and block online petitions so that people can only sign up for information individually.
Additionally, Fox News reported that The White House has closed the controversial 'firstname.lastname@example.org' email account.
White House officials say they're not intentionally trying to contact people who don't want to be contacted, and they don't want the controversy to deepen.
But Scott Stanzel, former spokesman for President George W. Bush, said the White House, and not advocacy groups, are to blame."The Obama White House developed their own Web site. They are in charge of Whitehouse.gov and what people do on there. They are responsible for monitoring that and they are responsible for making sure that people can't misuse Whitehouse.gov," he said. "On that point, they failed.
From that respect, the explanation is not thorough and, in my view, places blame where it shouldn't be. They should be looking in the mirror instead of pointing the finger at third parties."
Fox News story here...