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First POST: Impacts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 9 2015

Why it's a bad idea to ban strong encryption; lessons from the rollout of Google Fiber in Kansas City; lessons from the first five years of Code for America; and much, much more. Read More

DemocracyOS To Launch Online Platform in March

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, February 5 2015

Screenshot of the DemocracyOS live demo

"You are here to make decisions with others." That is the raison d'être of DemocracyOS: to help groups of people come to a decision in a democratic fashion. The team behind the software began working on the code in April 2012, and it has been available on Github for almost as long, but users had to be relatively savvy. The open-source platform they are currently developing, with support from Y Combinator, will allow anyone to launch a “democracy” in minutes, just as someone without any knowledge of code can launch a blog on Wordpress. That platform will launch in March.

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First POST: Bitcoin Agonistes

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 22 2014

Is Bitcoin going to change the world? One of the inventors of the web browser thinks so; Edward Snowden denies being a Russian puppet; the Ukrainian government geolocates protesters and sends them a scary SMS; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Buenos Aires, A Pocket of Civic Innovation in Argentina

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, December 10 2013

Last week, Buenos Aires' Open Government launched an interactive timeline of its 100-year-old subway sytem (Credit: Screenshot)

In only a few years, the government, civil society and media in Buenos Aires have actively embraced open data. The Buenos Aires city government has been publishing data under a creative commons license and encouraging civic innovation through hackathons. NGOs have launched a number of tech-driven tools and Argentina's second largest newspaper, La Nación, has published several hard-hitting data journalism projects. The result is a fledgling but flourishing open data culture in Buenos Aires, in a country that has not yet adopted a freedom of information law. Read More

WeGov

Argentina's Expanding Surveillance State

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, October 30 2013

Screenshot from the SIBIOS promotional video

“If we know more about who we are, we can better take care of ourselves.”

That's the reason the Argentinian government gives for their new Federal System of Biometric Identification (SIBIOS) program in a promotional video they play at border control stations. Privacy rights activists have been up in arms about SIBIOS since Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner created it with an executive decree in 2011. It has been active practice since 2012, with little to no public debate about it. Nothing has slowed down the expanding database of information, which includes fingerprints and photos. Earlier this month, Mendoza became the 13th province to sign the Federal Program Partnership and Security Assistance, a program meant to "harmonize" national and provincial policies, and gives provinces access to databases like SIBIOS.

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WeGov

Civic Hackers Build App to Visualize Votes in Argentina's National Congress

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, July 24 2013

Screenshot of Década Votada at work

Civic hackers have built an application to help Argentinian citizens and journalists track the voting records of Congress members. The app, called Década votada (A decade in votes), was the winning project at a Hacks/Hackers Buenos Aires hackathon in April 2013.

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Argentine Vote Watch Effort Crowd-Scours Primary Election Results

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 24 2011

In Argentina, a group of citizens are distributing the work of poring through election records from Sunday's first national primary election — and finding no shortage of irregularities. Pablo Mancini, writing in ... Read More