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WeGov

Alec Ross, Leaving State Department for Private Sector, Talks "21st-Century Statecraft"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, March 11 2013

State Department Senior Adviser for Innovation Alec Ross will leave government Tuesday and immediately start work on a new policy analysis and advisory shop to governments, investors, and other kinds of institutions — a company that plans to advise its clients on geopolitics in a globally networked world. In a protracted email exchange and a phone interview, Ross explained to techPresident where he thinks "21st-century statecraft" now stands and discussed his future plans. Read More

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[Op-Ed] How Obama’s Foreign Policy Can Be Savvier about Tech and Democratization

BY Phil Howard | Tuesday, November 13 2012

600,000 Georgians Rally for Democracy, Sept 2012 (Photo from http://www.democracyingeorgia.org)

In this op-ed, author Philip Howard looks at recent events in Georgia, Hungary, Myanmar and Venezuela, countries that are all in flux--some moving toward greater democracy, some less. He argues that "the transportable strategy for all four countries—countries that have actually become archetypes for how a country can open up or close down—involves encouraging open Internet access and competitive media environments. These countries are now ideal points of intervention, where a deliberate US response on information policy reform would not only solve problems in those countries. It would send the right signals to the strongmen in neighboring countries." Read More

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Examining eDiplomacy: Like it or Not, It is Essential and Here to Stay

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, October 30 2012

Secretary Clinton, State Dept Flickr stream

A new paper from the Brookings Institute examines the reach and effectiveness of eDiplomacy. Read More

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The Rough and Tumble of Digital Diplomacy, For Better or Worse

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, October 25 2012

Screenshot from the the State Department's blog

Digital diplomacy is a bit of a buzzword these days. It is practiced widely, both formally and informally, by governments across the globe — the United Kingdom has a particularly extensive site. Brian Fung of the Atlantic explores the impact of direct engagement via social media in an article for the Atlantic: Digital Diplomacy: Why It's So Tough for Embassies to Get Social Media Right. Read More

World Leaders on Twitter and the Unwritten Rules of "Twiplomacy"

BY Nataliya Nedzhvetskaya | Friday, July 27 2012

Almost two-thirds of the 193 UN member states can be found on Twitter according to a “Twiplomacy” survey carried out by public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. While President Obama may have the greatest number of followers in the Twitter realm, he ranks low on engagement: only one percent of his tweets are replies. And the Obama account is only following two other world leaders, Norwegian President Jens Stoltenberg (@JensStoltenberg) and former Russian President Dmitri Medvedev (@MedvedevRussia). Read More

Obama: Network Disruption in Syria, Iran, Facilitates Human Rights Abuse

BY Nick Judd | Monday, April 23 2012

In an executive order signed Sunday and released by the White House on Monday as President Barack Obama spoke at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial in Washington, D.C., the president called for financial restrictions on entities involved in the disruption, monitoring, or tracking of computers and networks by the Syrian or Iranian governments. The order would block property in the U.S. owned by people involved firsthand in network tracking and disruption, as well as people who provided technology, finances or expertise. It calls out Syrian and Iranian Internet service providers by name, but may be inclusive enough to cause problems for the Swedish telecommunications supplier Ericsson, which has supplied Syrian telecommunications firm Syriatel, said the Electronic Freedom Foundation's Jillian C. York. Read More

New Report Gives a Behind-The-Scenes Look at State's "Digital Diplomacy"

BY Nick Judd | Friday, March 30 2012

A new report from the Lowy Institute, an Australian international policy think tank, delivers a remarkably detailed look behind the scenes of the U.S. State Department's digital diplomacy efforts. Read More

State Department Developing Indian NGO Portal

BY Raphael Majma | Monday, March 19 2012

The State Department is in the final stages of creating an online portal to help Indian-Americans donate to non-government entities in India. Read More

State Dept. To Take Questions from Twitter Tomorrow

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 5 2012

Tomorrow, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nelund will take questions chosen from those posed on Twitter using the #AskState hashtag. It's a first for State, although as Alex Howard notes the department has a history of investing itself in engagement over Twitter. Read More

Animating the Debate: "Cyber-Utopianism"

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 21 2011

Have you difficulty wrapping your mind around Evgeny Morozov's criticisms of "cyber-utopianism," a school of thought that, argues disapproving types, holds that technology will necessarily empower the ... Read More