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Government's New Internet Privacy Officer is Twitter's Lawyer

By - Source: CNET | B 2 comments

Twitter's legal director is heading to the White House, but her role is currently unclear.

CNET reports that President Obama has named Nicole "The Decider" Wong as the White House's very first Chief Privacy Officer.

Although the White House has not released an official statement as of this article, a person close to the situation said the new position will be a senior advisor to the chief technology officer, and will focus on Internet and privacy policy. Todd Park is the current and second person to fill the government's CTO role, following Aneesh Chopra who vacated the seat in January 2012.

Wong joins the Obama administration after serving as Twitter's legal director since November 2012.  Prior to that, she worked at Google for eight years and served as the company's vice president and deputy general counsel where she earned "The Decider" nickname. She was responsible for arbitrating issues of censorship for the company.

"She's as hard-core on free speech as anybody you could ever find," Andrew McLaughlin told Mercury News. He led global public policy at Google for five years and was deputy CTO in the Obama administration. He worked closely with Wong on requests to take down content other countries found objectionable.

Before joining Google, Wong was a partner at the law firm of Perkins Coie, LLP, where she handled big-name clients like Amazon, General Electric, Microsoft, Walt Disney Company and others. Additional accomplishments include co-editing the EFF's Electronic Media and Privacy Law Handbook (2003), serving on the governing committee of the ABA Communications Law Forum since 2001, and on the board of directors of the First Amendment Coalition since 2007.

CNN reports that the White House is only considering Wong for the role -- the White House has not confirmed the hire, and neither Twitter nor the White House returned requests for comment. Over on AllThingsD, the site is reporting that she will only serve as senior advisor to CTO Todd Park, and will not have the Chief Privacy Officer title. Again, given that an official statement has not been released, all information surrounding Wong's role is based on unnamed sources.

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  • 0 Hide
    bit_user , May 12, 2013 11:17 AM
    "She's as hard-core on free speech as anybody you could ever find,"
    Um, free speech and privacy are two different things.
  • 0 Hide
    bit_user , May 12, 2013 11:19 AM
    "she worked at Google for eight years and served as the company's vice president and deputy general counsel"
    Great, one of the people girding the legal framework behind the biggest corporate spy on the general public is now going to do the same for our government.
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