Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >
WeGov

Thawing Relations Between Transparency Activists and Government in Russia Yield Results

BY David Eaves | Monday, December 17 2012

The Russian transparency environment is not without both opportunities and innovations. Legally, there are requirements for government transparency encoded in Russian law — they are however infrequently adhered to. But this does give advocates some legal ground to stand on. And politically, there is opportunity as well. The government is talking more and more about fighting corruption, creating room for both advocates and government officials to talk about how transparency could play a role in addressing this issue. Read More

WeGov

Investing in "Crazy" Innovative Ideas to Promote Global Transparency and Accountability

BY Lisa Goldman | Wednesday, October 3 2012

Global Integrity, a Washington, DC-based NGO that works for government transparency and accountability launched two major new initiatives this week — a hub for like-minded NGOs and an innovation fund that provides grants for projects that promote transparency and fight corruption. Read More

Accountability Data, Remixed: White House Launches Ethics.gov

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, March 8 2012

The White House today announced Ethics.gov, a portal the Obama administration is using to consolidate several sets of data related to elections or influence all in one place. This takes several datasets that were previously more difficult to get to and makes them more accessible and easier to use. Firstly, people who may not have known about these data now do, and have a chance to see what each dataset includes. The Sunlight Foundation's John Wonderlich writes, "... the President is acknowledging the role of public oversight, and asserting that the President has a responsibility to create meaningful online disclosure of ethics and influence information. That's a new role for the President, and one we're glad to see the White House struggling through, especially because it's a role Sunlight has tried to play as much as possible." Read More

Using Distributed Media (and People) To Ask Hard Questions

BY Dan Gillmor | Friday, May 8 2009

Ari Melber, at Personal Democracy Forum, explains “Condi Rice’s Tortured Macaca Moment,” in which Stanford University students questioned her Read More

Condi Rice's Tortured Macaca Moment

BY Ari Melber | Tuesday, May 5 2009

Political blog readers know that Condi Rice recently lost it. Asked about her role advancing torture during the Bush administration in a meeting with college students, Rice claimed that no torture occurred in Guantanamo ... 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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More