Census Nominee’s Full Plate

My print column examines the record of President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Census Bureau, John H. Thompson, a longtime Census employee who departed after the 2000 census to join the NORC nonprofit research organization at the University of Chicago, where he later rose to become president and chief executive.

Thompson, or whoever becomes the new Census chief, will face a host of difficulties, including enabling online responses to census questionnaires without diminishing privacy. Convincing Americans to share personal information with the government online may have gotten even harder after this week, with reports of a National Security Agency program, dubbed Prism, that monitors users’ online activity with major Web companies. [cont.]

Carl Bialik, Wall Street Journal