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The Top Tech-Politics Developments of 2012

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 31 2012

Here's our subjective list of the top events and developments in the world of technology and politics in 2012. It's drawn from our just updated "Politics and the Internet" Timeline, and is built on the work of techPresident's editors and writers along with suggestions from an array of friends. We've added about 35 new items to the overall timeline, by the way. If you think we've left something out, or want to suggest a change to an existing item in the timeline, use this form to let us know. Read More

Did That Really Happen? A 2012 Tech-Politics News Quiz

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 17 2012

It's Friday afternoon and some folks think the world is supposed to end today, so we thought, while we wait for the apocalypse, why not make it fun to relive the highlights of the last year? What really did or didn't happen in the world of tech-politics last year? This quiz covers the hard questions. So, for your pleasure and amusement, try to match your wits against ours. No cheating. Answers at the bottom of the post. Read More

Blue State's Lauren Miller Moving to Elizabeth Warren's Campaign

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 6 2012

Blue State Digital's director of online communications, Lauren Miller, announced yesterday that she is leaving the left-leaning software giant to join U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren's campaign as new media director. Miller starts working for Warren in about two weeks. Read More

Twitter Helps CNN To Scoop Local Fox TV Station

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, November 28 2011

They say in politics that candidates are best served by taking control of stories and addressing any crises before they arise, but Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's denial of an allegation about a 13-year ... Read More

2012 Email is Your Best Friend? Sad Boyfriend? Lost Aunt?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 28 2011

If you're on Barack Obama's email list, you've probably noticed how many of his subject lines seem highly familiar. "Put this on your car," "Frustrated," "This is actually pretty cool," and "How this dinner thing works," ... Read More

Rick Perry, Unconventional Web Candidate?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 12 2011

In the 2010 Republican primary for Texas governor, Rick Perry's campaign spent not one dime on direct mail or yard signs, and instead plowed its money into highly targeted online advertising, marketing and social ... Read More

Is Rick Perry Gay? Googlers Want to Know

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 12 2011

The top search phrase for the query "Is Rick Perry..." is "Is Rick Perry Gay," Google Suggest tells us. It's fun to see how that question matches up against queries about Mitt Romney, courtesy of Web Seer: Read More

Romney 2012: "Corporations are People" Beating "If You Want Higher Taxes, Vote Obama" Online

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 12 2011

Last night, about 90 minutes before the start of the Republican presidential candidates debate in Iowa, the Mitt Romney campaign sent out an email to its list entitled, "Mitt's Iowa Moment." The email had three purposes: ... Read More

Questions John King Didn't Ask Buddy Roemer at the CNN Republican Primary Debate But Roemer Answered Anyway

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Just because someone who may be seeking the Republican presidential nomination doesn't get invited to the big, fancy CNN debate doesn't mean he can't participate. Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer followed along with ... Read More

Election 2012: It's Not Facebook. It's the Data, Stupid.

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 20 2011

Now that President Obama, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty have all declared their intentions to run for President in 2012 and rolled out their initial campaign ... Read More

News Briefs

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Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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