Barack Obama’s White House staff has stepped into a time warp. The tech-savviest campaigners in history, who deployed email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, et al, brilliantly to get their guy elected, now have to settle for an email system that goes down for long periods of time—as it was most of yesterday. The equipment is obsolete and staffers are forced to conform to Clinton-era rules that forbid outside email, IM, and all social media.
The administration may review those policies, but in the meantime the staff is struggling to relearn how to communicate using older technologies. “It took the British navy 150 years to carry lime juice on its ships after it was discovered that lime juice prevents scurvy," says Andrew Rasjef, a tech policy adviser. "Hopefully the White House will be able to make advances in the protocols faster than that.”