Ask Facebook to de-friend Ted Ullyot!

cross-posted at the Oxdown Gazette

Logo for anti-Ullyot Facebook groupThe L.A. Times’ Tech blog* is reporting that Ted Ullyot — a former chief of staff to former AG Alberto Gonzales, a former AOL in-house lawyer and a former Kirkland & Ellis partner — is moving to San Fran to take the top legal job at Facebook.

Facebook Sends Ted Ullyot a Friend Request, Dan Slater, Wall Street Journal Law Blog.

And just in case you were wondering:

As for his stint in the Bush administration, that was something he had long sought and something for which he remains grateful, Ullyot said. Despite the politically charged high drama, he said: “I have nothing but good to say about it.”

Facebook hires general counsel as it continues to grow, Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times Technology blog

Unsurprisingly, there’s a protest group: We demand that facebook fire Alberto Gonzales’ right-hand man, Ted Ullyot.  283 members and counting.

Just like Get FISA Right’s irresistible narrative of using to organize a protest against Obama, there’s a natural logic in Facebook-based protests against Facebook.  Writing in The Nation last December, Ari Melber’s About Facebook highlighted two privacy-related examples: the 700,000-memmber protest in 2006 against the feed, and 2007’s against Beacon, which only grew to 70,000 but got a lot of publicity after MoveOn got involved.

With less press fanfare, a Facebook group petitioning to ban the inviting of friends to applications quickly grew to a million people early this year — and sure enough, Facebook changed their friends policy. Now, as Jessica Guynn reports in another LA Times Technology article, there’s a 2.7 million-person group upset about Facebook’s new design organizing a weekend-long protest for October 18 and 19. It’s a veritable hotbed of activism!

Of course, there are a lot more examples of campaigns that don’t succeed; who knows whether this new group will catch on. Still, a campaign against Ullyot taps into the same kind of desire for accountability that’s spurring a lot of online activism these days, and with blog and media attention, it’s got a good chance.

I mean, really, the guy’s got “nothing but good to say” after his experiences with an administration that’s acknowledged spying on Americans without warrants, authorizing torture, and where the (Republican) Attorney General Mukasey has now appointed a special prosecutor to look into politically-motivated firings.

Is that the kind of person who should be general counsel for a company which handles a lot of email and other communication — and tracks an incredible amount of personal and behavioral information?

I don’t think so.

Ask Facebook to de-friend Ted Ullyot.


* sic.  In fact, it’s Jessica Guynn who’s reporting this, writing in the LA Times tech blog.