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WeGov

Tunisian Youth Activists Dissect Budget Ahead of Parliamentary Elections

BY Rebecca Chao | Wednesday, October 22 2014

The economic frustrations that led to the revolution still linger (Crethi Plethi/flickr)

Amira Yahyaoui is known for her plucky efforts to monitor the National Constituent Assembly -- turning up at private committee meetings, nettling officials with live tweets, taking their attendance and recording their every vote. Now she wants to open up Tunisia's economy too, starting with the state budget. Read More

First POST: Leaking

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 8 2014

Are there now three national security leakers?; Yahoo Mail to get PGP friendly; where young libertarian voters may turn; how small donors and online clickers are making politics worse; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, April 16 2014

2006 story in the Toronto Star (Hossein Derakhshan)

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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WeGov

Can the Internet Help Build Democracy in Tunisia?

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, March 4 2014

The website of the NGO I WATCH (screenshot)

As January 26, 2014 approached, the day Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly would vote on passing a Constitution that had been snarled in debate for two years, rather than feel relief, activist Achref Aouadi tells techPresident he had grown dismayed after his failed attempts to create an online platform that would allow Tunisian citizens to debate, discuss and vote on the provisions of the draft Constitution. A day before the vote, he had not yet found a viable platform nor the funds for a developer. A crucial opportunity would be lost for stirring civic participation, which he sees as a vital step in the building of Tunisia’s democracy. Then, an online search turned the tide in Aouadi’s favor. Read More

WeGov

An Interview with Crypt0nymous On Operation Maryville

BY Carola Frediani | Wednesday, October 30 2013

Last week a crowd of a few hundred peoplegathered at the courthouse square in Maryville, Missouri, along with dozens of reporters and a few people adorned in Guy Fawkes "Anonymous" masks. The international spotlight on this tiny college town would have been unthinkable even ten days earlier. Demonstrators, both in the streets and online, were supporting a teenage girl whose alleged rapist walked out of court without a single charge. Those protesting believed prosecutors dropped the charges because the suspect, a 17-year-old football player, was the grandson of Rex Barnett, a former state legislator. Italian journalist Carola Frediani, the author of an in-depth book on Anonymous, conducted an interview with one of the Anons involved in the Maryville protest, Crypt0nymous, and we present an edited version of their conversation below. Read More

First POST: Precognition

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 30 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: New revelations about the government's "black budget," new warnings about facial recognition technology; and some hints about 2016 and tech from the RNC's CTO and Democratic campaign strategist Joe Trippi. Read More

WeGov

Tunisian Activist Thanks Chelsea Manning For Sparking The Arab Spring

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, August 29 2013

Manning (Wikipedia)

Sami Ben Gharbia, the Founding Director of Global Voices Advocacy and co-founder of the citizen journalism blog nawaat.org, published a tribute to Chelsea Manning, previously known as Bradley Manning, on Medium yesterday. In it he calls her a deity of a “new mythology,” and an inspirational and iconic figure. It is really the story of TuniLeaks and the beginning of the Arab Spring, told by an active participant, but framed as an illustration of the effect that Manning has had by releasing those infamous cables. Read More

WeGov

Yemeni Activist Seeks Refuge in Canada After Announcing "I'm Queer" On His Blog

BY Elisabeth Fraser | Tuesday, July 9 2013

Ala'a Jarban (screenshot from YouTube video)

Ala’a Jarban is a 23-year old activist who participated in the 2011 Yemen revolution and created a blog that allowed LGBT Yemenis to post anonymously about their experiences. While in Montreal for a conference on international human-rights training run by human-rights group Equitas, Jarban took to his blog and came out, declaring, “I’m Queer”. Read More

WeGov

Controversy Over Egyptian Comedian Facing Gov't Prosecution Morphs into a Twitter War

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, April 2 2013

Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef (credit: Hossam El Hamalawy / Flickr)

When the Egyptian prosecutor's office summoned a famous comedian and political satirist for questioning, accusing him of insulting the president and Islam, a war of words ensued on Twitter. On one side was the U.S. State Department, in the form of the U.S. embassy in Cairo, squaring off against the Egyptian president's office and Ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood's official media wing, which has an active Twitter account. On the sidelines ordinary 'netizens queued up to cheer and jeer. Read More

WeGov

In Syria, Can Crowdmapping Technology Help Women Under Siege Find Justice?

BY Anna Therese Day | Tuesday, February 26 2013

Screenshot from Women Under Siege: Syria.

Human rights organizers utilize crowdmapping technology for the first time in history to document sexualized violence in Syria’s ongoing war. Read More