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Virginia youth's YouTube comments caught attention of Taliban recruiter

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, December 14 2009

For all our talk about celebrating the unifying and empowering potential of technology, we can't ignore the fact that sometimes what is being strengthened is violent, dangerous extremism. We pretend that isn't the case ... Read More

Stanton switches from White House to State

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, December 3 2009

A staffing update: Katie Stanton, whose hiring by the White House we covered earlier this year, will be departing the White House new media team headed by Macon Phillips to join the State Department. Read More

"Ask U.S.": State Department 2.0 on Sudan, Darfur and Public Engagement

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, November 9 2009

Tomorrow afternoon at 3:00pm EST, Special Envoy Scott Gration and Samantha Power, NSC Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs, are going to sit down at the White House with the leaders of the largest, most vocal ... Read More

Civil Society, Text by Text

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, November 4 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in conjunction with the office of special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, is about five days into an experiment mobile phones to build civil society in ... Read More

...And Goodwill to Facebook Friends

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 28 2009

Mark Zuckerberg has said that if Facebook were its own country, it would be the eighth largest in the world. Facebooklandia, it seems, is destined to be a peaceful one. Peace.Facebook.com has just launched. The site is ... Read More

The Obama-Clinton One-Two Tech-Powered Public Diplomacy Punch

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 16 2009

If you spent much time reading the commentary around Hillary Clinton's Council on Foreign Relations speech yesterday, you just couldn't get away from the idea that this marked Clinton's attempt to plant her own flag as ... Read More

Revisiting Twitter-gate: Clinton Highlights State's Efforts to "Keep Technologies Up and Going"

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 15 2009

An interesting note jumps out from Hillary Clinton's big speech before the Council on Foreign Relations today. Read More

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

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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