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WeGov

Why Were Kenya's Elections Peaceful? Technology Provides Only a Partial Explanation

BY Kelly Gilblom | Thursday, April 4 2013

Screenshot of the Uchaguzi map of election day events.

When Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga graciously conceded to his opponent, incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, during a Saturday television broadcast that followed a long court battle, the country breathed a sigh of relief. Fears that Kenya would spiral into crisis, as it did after the 2007 presidential elections, did not materialize. In marked contrast to the terrible violence of the last time, this post-electoral transfer of power was, with the exception of isolated incidents, peaceful. Read More

WeGov

Russian State Regulation - and Censorship - of the Internet Begins in Earnest

BY Julia Wetherell | Monday, April 1 2013

Though around 50 percent of the population remains offline, Russian users make up the largest Internet presence in Europe.  There were 67 Russians people online last April, and projections have that number rising to over 90 million by this year.  Yet as the Russian web has grown, so have attempts to rein it in.  Now Russian leadership under Vladimir Putin has made a first major step towards centralized state control of the Internet, by acting on new legislation that will allow the government to selectively censor online content. 

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WeGov

Open Data Day: Lessons for Hacktivists

BY David Eaves | Thursday, March 14 2013

International Open Data Day 2013 in Ghana (credit: Mobile Web Ghana/Flickr)

Now in its third year, Open Data Day events is far bigger than we ever dared imagine. More interesting still is its impact, both expected and unexpected. Read More

WeGov

Rocked by a Corruption Scandal, Spain's Government Limits Media Access

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, March 5 2013

The Congreso de los Disputados, home of Spain's Lower Parliament in Madrid (Wikimedia Commons).

It’s not an easy time to be a journalist in Spain.  Even as the country’s ongoing economic and unemployment woes continue, and a political scandal of unprecedented scale rocks all levels of government, trust in the press – and incentives to produce objective journalism – are at an all-time low. 

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WeGov

EU Court to Determine if People Googling Themselves Have the Right to Censor Search Results

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, February 27 2013

Google Spain.

If an Internet user sees that their reputation is getting tarnished online, should they have the right to request that the data be removed from search results?  That’s the premise of a case from Spain that the European Court of Justice will be deliberating over the next several months, after the country’s highest court ruled that Google was responsible for the spread of the harmful information. 

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WeGov

In Slovakia, Student Developers Open Up the Court System

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, February 21 2013

Screengrab from otvorenesudy.sk, showing a prototype of the dataset.

When two Slovak computer science students couldn’t easily access the information they were looking for about court decisions on the Department of Justice website, they built a solution that made their search easier.  The dataset they created from information about 400,000 rulings since 1997 could be a model for open government practices in eastern Europe. 

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WeGov

Police Surveillance in Sao Paolo is at All-Time High, as Crime Wave Shocks City

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 2 2013

A military police officer with a camera-mounted EagleEye backpack, from BBC Future Video.

BBC Future has a look into the Orwellian surveillance technology that police in Sao Paolo are using to monitor crime in the metropolis of 41 million. An integrated network of databases, tablet technology and mobile cameras are giving law enforcement officials an unprecedented eye on activity in the city streets. Read More

WeGov

The Geopolitics of the Open Government Partnership in Action

BY David Eaves | Wednesday, November 21 2012

While in Burma, President Barack Obama welcomed the country into the Open Government Partnership — an example of the OGP as part of a global U.S. strategy to forge a set of alliances with key partners around the world. It may also advance transparency and anticorruption through collaboration and new technology — but there are other chess games in progress, too. Read More

WeGov

Montreal Hackathon Aims to Combat Government Corruption

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Monday, November 12 2012

Hackons la Corruption (credit: QuebecOuvert)

Canada's first anti-corruption hackathon was held this past weekend in Montreal, which has been rocked by nearly two years of corruption scandals involving construction kickbacks, organized crime and prominent politicians. Read More