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Hill staff rages as LegiStorm gets personal


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The Congress-focused research organization LegiStorm set off a firestorm on Capitol Hill this week as some staffers learned that their personal Twitter accounts would appear on the site.

LegiStorm on Wednesday publicized the tool StormFeed, a “real-time, full-text searchable access to every official press release and official tweet from Capitol Hill plus the tweets of thousands of congressional staffers,” according to a release. It’s a page available for members of the subscription service LegiStorm Pro.

As staffers learned about StormFeed, some discovered other detailed, personal information listed on the site.

“Many are finding inaccurate information in their profiles, despite [Legistorm’s] promise that info provided is ‘confirmed,’” one House Republican staffer told POLITICO in an email on Friday. “I was pretty surprised to show that they even listed who I married, when I married him and where. Why in the world does that need to be in there?”

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A Democratic staffer said the new feature brings an unwelcome level of scrutiny to a group of people who haven’t sought the spotlight.

“Working on the Hill is an enormous privilege, and for that staffers … are willing to make lot of sacrifices, including long hours, job uncertainty every two years and an understanding of the public disclosure regarding salary information. But unlike members, staffers have not signed up for the public eye in their own personal lives off hours,” the House Democratic chief of staff said. “This action by LegiStorm does nothing to provide greater transparency on Congress. Instead, it is another action — like the sequester cuts — that causes good staffers to wonder if all the sacrifices are worth it.”

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Another House Republican staffer also thought the newest tool went too far.

“I think there’s an expectation as an employee of a public official your actions are watched. That’s true online and offline,” the GOP aide told POLITICO. “But I think the new feature raises a larger question within personal privacy. Staffers aren’t elected officials. Where is that line with regard to personal privacy?”



In Washington, staff tweets you...

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Welcome to the XXIst century.

Hinge of history stuff.


They should have no fear, soon there will be software to block what LegiStorm is doing.

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