"Keith Cowing has a message to the "rogue" government employees publishing "alternative" news about their departments on Twitter and elsewhere: "Welcome! Welcome to the revolution. Let the leaking begin!" Cowing has been at it for a long time. His NASAWatch.com is a precursor to Twitter accounts like @RogueNASA, @Alt_CDC, and @AltHHS. They are all trying to do the same thing for their organizations: Protect them. "My website started when there was a threat to downsize NASA by 10 percent," Cowing said. At a National Academy of Sciences meeting, a NASA senior manager referred to "fear as a tool in corporate downsizing," Cowing recalled, "and I said, 'That's it. I'm going to say something.' And that's how it started."
Rogue Webmasters, Government Executive, 1996
"What does RIF really stand for? According to Keith Cowing's NASA RIF Watch Web site, the answer is "Resistance Is Futile." On the site, Cowing cut and pasted NASA Administrator Dan Goldin's face onto the body of a "Borg," the race of villains from television's "Star Trek: The Next Generation" who attempt to destroy Earth and enslave its people. Cowing, a former NASA employee who quit in 1993 because he didn't like the way the agency was being managed, launched the RIF Watch site in April to provide information for NASA employees whose jobs are at risk as the agency's budget shrinks and it is asked to carry out its mission with fewer employees. He's not alone in his effort to supplement--and circumvent--official agency information sources. Rogue webmasters have set up sites for IRS employees and Postal workers. And an online magazine has devoted a section to let federal employees of any agency sound off about what ticks them off."