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First POST: Tipping Points

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 16 2014

Mike Bloomberg puts some more muscle into his gun control campaigning; Mark Zuckerberg now likes multiple identities; Airbnb wishes it could collect taxes in New York State; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Intellectuals

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 12 2013

Why you should get off Facebook; where the women tech intellectuals are at; the PCCC gets poked and prodded; NYC's police crime data policy gets stopped and frisked; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Reverberations

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 7 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The NSA vs the Tor Project; was Healthcare.gov just overwhelmed by unexpected demand; China's "maker" movement; the Supreme Court still "doesn't get" email; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Exploitable

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 6 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: How the NSA is breaking the Internet; a peek at the inside of the GOP's new Data Center; campaign contributions in bitcoin; and much, much more. Read More

Google + 'Real Names' Policy Spawns Organized Online Resistance

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 4 2011

and Becky Kazansky Google's latest foray into social networking, Google +, has created more controversy than ever — and the company is confronting a wave of online activism over its insistence that users wear their ... Read More

An EFF-Led Challenge To Boost the Use of Internet Traffic Anonymizers

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 15 2011

The Electronic Frontier Foundation — based in San Francisco and known for its advocacy in support of digital privacy measures — has been encouraging its supporters to aid activists around the world by ... Read More

For Activists, the Syrian Internet Hasn't Gone Dark — It's Just a Dark Place

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 13 2011

Fear of Syrian government retaliation against people who use social media to find and coordinate protests is now keeping Syrians off those platforms, Reuters reports: I am too scared to speak about my political activity ... Read More

OpenWatch, a Citizen Surveillance Tool to Watch the People Watching Us

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 22 2011

Somewhere in California, a man is at a DUI checkpoint. He has left his car and is being asked to take a field sobriety test, which he refuses. The moment is tense. The officers at this checkpoint are clearly not used to ... Read More

Setbacks For Bitcoin, The Anonymized, Digital Cash

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 21 2011

Bitcoin, the anonymized, peer-to-peer system for digital cash transactions, just reached a low point: After mentions in the mainstream press, then reports of trojans and exploits targeting Bitcoin users, followed by a ... Read More

Sex, Turkish Politics, and Anonymous Videotapes

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 23 2011

The New York Times' Sebnem Arsu reports: Just weeks before general elections in Turkey, six leading members of an opposition party were forced to resign from Parliament on Saturday after sexually explicit videos of one ... 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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