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Secrecy in the So-Called "Most Transparent" Administration in US History

BY Jason Ross Arnold | Wednesday, March 18 2015

How much has changed, really? (Eric Draper/White House)

We used to hear more from President Obama about his aspirations to lead the “most transparent” administration in American history. From the 2008 campaign through early 2013, administration officials – including the big guy – continued to beat the most transparent drum, promising the (clear) sky, and insisting they had already delivered, or were on the cusp. The White House has since toned down the lofty, boastful messaging. Perhaps they were chastened by all of the bipartisan criticism and late-night television mockery of the administration’s actions in light of its claims. But Obama’s pledge to create an “unprecedented level of openness” still stands proudly at the top of the White House’s open government webpage, a sign that it remains a priority (or a monument whose removal would be too embarrassing a concession). Sunshine week provides a perfect opportunity to evaluate the record: where between most transparent and “most closed, control-freak” should we place Obama-Biden?

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The Rising Fight Against ISIS on Social Media

BY Onnik James Krikorian | Thursday, March 12 2015

Typical Twitter profile pictures used by ISIS supporters (Photo courtesy J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan)

In 2013, Humera Khan, Executive Director of D.C.-based think tank Muflehun, watched as a teenager was radicalised and recruited on Twitter. “Over the course of two years,” she recently recounted for Foreign Affairs, “that individual went from an activist championing minority rights to supporting Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria), and in a final shift of allegiance, to one of the the largest distributors of ISIS propaganda. He is now in Syria.” Despite reporting the case to the law enforcement agencies in the United States, Khan says her warnings fell on deaf ears. But in the wake of a sophisticated online media campaign that includes a number of gruesome videos of beheadings, governments are starting to take the use of social media by groups such as ISIS more seriously.

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First POST: Violations

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 6 2015

Hundreds of State Department employees had to know Hillary Clinton was breaking email protocol; if Clinton read the State Department employee manual she should have known better; Axelrod calls the mess a "ball of wool"; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Master of their Domain(s)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 4 2015

Hillary Clinton's "homebrew" email server; everything else you wanted to know about Clinton's personal email; a Romanian hacker called "Guccifer"; "Nothing is actually private"; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Revisions

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 27 2015

Tim Wu says we shouldn't be so pessimistic about lobbying; Obama writes a thank you note to reddit; Ted Cruz wants to be the Uber of politics; Llamas!; and much, much more. Read More

"Hypercivility"? Or the "War of All Against All"? Mark Pesce at Civic Hall 2/19

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 16 2015

"VMasks" by hawken king - http://www.flickr.com/photos/hawken/239234587/sizes/z/in/photostream/. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

This Thursday, Civic Hall is welcoming digital ethnographer Mark Pesce, in town briefly from his home base in Australia, to give a talk on "Hypercivility" and I want to give some background on why I am personally so excited to hear what he has to say. In a sentence, it's this: Pesce has been consistently ahead of the curve on how mass connectivity is changing politics and civic life, and I always learn something new when I hear him speak. Read More

First POST: Losses

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, February 13 2015

Why so many media folks are mourning David Carr's death; what to make of Jeb Bush's tech stumbles; more pushback on 'sharing economy' companies Uber, Lyft and Waze; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Oversharing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, February 11 2015

The internal combustion of the New Organizing Institute; why sexist and homophobic tweets are still not a good idea; lessons from John Ellis (Jeb) Bush on how not to do transparency; and much, much more. Read More

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

First POST: Upgrades

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, January 30 2015

Obama tech veterans heading to Hillary 2016?; renewed calls for Obama to stop collecting Americans' phone metadata; FCC upgrades its definition of broadband service, finally; and much, much more. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Waking Up

Hillary Clinton's deleted emails might not be as gone as she thinks; people making decisions about encryption know nothing about encryption; Meerkat is dead (already); finding out that Facebook filters the newsfeed is, to some like waking up in the Matrix; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Clueless

Why boycotting Indiana isn't the greatest idea; but people and companies are still doing it anyway; "Flak for Slack chaps in yak app hack flap"; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Net Effects

Ballooning digital campaign teams; early registration deadlines kept millions of people from voting in 2012; love letters to Obamacare; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Data-Driven

Get to know Clinton's digital team even better; Ted Cruz election announcement-related fundraising offers peak into the coming data-driven campaign arms race; New York City launches online community engagement pilot program called IdeaScale; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Too Much Information

Will Facebook become the Walmart of News?; Hillary Clinton's digital team; how easy it is to get your hands on 4.6 million license plate scans; and much, much more. GO

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