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In New York, Landmark Open Data Legislation Will Soon Be Up for a Vote

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 28 2012

The New York City Council is expected to vote on a far-reaching open data bill on Wednesday that would codify many of the principles articulated by open government advocates in recent years. If made law, the bill would go further than San Francisco's pioneering 2010 open data law in depth and scope, obliging agencies to provide data online in machine-readable format though a single, citywide portal. But perhaps in a nod to the amount of work involved in working through large volumes of existing data, city agencies won't have to make theirs available through the city's portal until the end of 2018. Read More

San Francisco's Plan: Open Government, Open Data, Open Doors to New Business and Better Services

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, January 24 2012

In San Francisco, city officials have pulled together a core nexus of driven leaders, civic hackers, and big-name investors in the hopes that greater access to the city's inner workings can spur more web 2.0-style startups that solve problems government has, or maybe that citizens have because of government. Is this enough to make local government work better? Read More

San Francisco Publishes New Tool To Interpret Local Lobbying Information

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, January 20 2012

San Francisco's City Hall. Photo: Flickr/http: 2007

The San Francisco Ethics Commission on Thursday published a new tool that enables web developers to more easily access, interpret and mash up local lobbyist filing information. San Francisco follows Chicago, which also offers an application programming interface for its lobbyist database. New York City offers a searchable database online, but doesn't have an API. Read More

Quote of the Day: A Southern Republican View of Twitter

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 21 2011

I use Twitter to talk to mainstream media. I think that Twitter is a place to talk to opinion leaders. That's where you talk to the press, you talk to activists, big donors, other legislators. On both these platforms, ... Read More

NationBuilder Says, 'The Voter File Was Meant to be Free'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 17 2011

NationBuilder and a nonpartisan data firm, Political FORCE, announced a partnership yesterday that promises nationwide voter file access to any of their client campaigns that wants it, with far fewer barriers to entry ... Read More

Adriel Hampton is Joining NationBuilder

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 6 2011

Gov2.0Radio's Adriel Hampton, formerly with the San Francisco City Attorney, will join Jim Gilliam's NationBuilder project as its chief organizer, Gilliam told me in a Twitter direct message. Hampton is a well-known ... 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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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

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