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The Obama Campaign Online, Easter Edition

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 6 2012

President Obama took off the gloves this week and started to attack Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney by name in speeches throughout the week. That freshly confrontational stance manifested itself in the ... Read More

Conservative Grassroots Group To Arm Tea Party Activists With Mobile Canvassing Tool

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012

American Majority Action, a conservative "social welfare" group, is unveiling a new initiative on Thursday that it hopes will help Republicans catch up with Democrats in the political technology arms race in the 2012 ... Read More

Obama Loves You Back

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 16 2012

We don't think it's a coincidence that just days after the site ObamaLovesYouBack.com appeared online, the Obama '12 team sent out an email from Michele Obama titled "I Love You Back" and reading: Dear _____ I see this ... Read More

Romney Campaign Hijacks Obama Campaign Manager's Fundraising E-Mail Again

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 14 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent out a fundraising e-mail Tuesday night, but most of the writing in the note was done by Jim Messina, President Obama's campaign manager. Rhoades had forwarded Messina's ... Read More

Yes They Can: What Voters Have Lost and Campaigns Have Gained From 2008 to 2012

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 13 2012

The Short-Form Birth Certificate Obama 2012 Coffee Mug (from his Facebook Timeline)

Is the Internet empowering voters as much as it did in 2004 and 2008? Or have campaigns regained the upper hand, with their sophisticated use of data-mining? That was the question we debated Sunday afternoon in Austin, at the annual South by Southwest Interactive conference. Read More

San Francisco, Organizational Hub for a New Class of National Politicos

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 8 2012

From left to right: Chris Kelly, Christine Pelosi and Fred Davis at Rally's Super Tuesday party. Photo: Rally.

What was unusual about an evening Super Tuesday gathering in San Francisco was that many of the people there aren't working in a startup aimed at making some commercial aspect of life easier, faster and more fun. Instead, they are part of a generation of people with both political and tech savvy, using the web to fundamentally alter politics in general and specific campaigns in particular. For these people, the promise of a networked world and a new, networked politics — where people connecting outside the by-all-accounts-flawed and scandal-fraught party apparatus are starting to make an impact — is coming into focus. And rather than using their knowledge of the technology world to start the next Facebook, they're building a cadre of Silicon Valley companies that work in public affairs — not just non-profits, government, and civic life, but politics and campaigns. Read More

GOP Campaign Vet Leaves CRAFT Media/Digital to Start a Firm Focused Outside the "Partisan Arena"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 29 2012

Longtime GOP digital and communications strategist Michael Turk is branching out on his own after having spent the past two years with his partners and colleagues at the Republican-leaning political media consulting firm CRAFT.

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Team Obama's Questlove Endorsement

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 16 2012

In a video, Questlove, the drummer and joint frontman of the The Roots, the in-house band for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, endorsed Barack Obama's reelection as part of the campaign's African Americans for Obama effort. "When I started supporting Barack Obama in 2008 he promised to bring real change and hope to our country and community as a whole," he says in the video. "This is not a quick fix. It's not like you can take a wand, 'BING,' and just make magic overnight. He needs eight years to finish the mission and we need to have his back." Read More

How Low Can You Go? Why the $3 E-mail Ask is Working

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, February 16 2012

Panhandler in San Francisco, February 2008. Source: Wikimedia Commons

All of a sudden, campaigns everywhere are literally begging for as little as $3 in their email fundraising pitches. Are Americans tapped out? Or is something else going on here? Read More

Team Obama's West Coast "Technology Field Office"

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 16 2012

The San Francisco Chronicle's Joe Garofoli writes that Barack Obama's re-election campaign has launched a "technology field office" in San Francisco, the better to attract the ideas and talent of geeky Left Coast supporters. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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EU Court Rejects Data Retention Law, But Data Retention Won't End Overnight

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg struck down a data retention law Tuesday that required telecoms to keep customers' communications data for up to two years, declaring it violated privacy rights. However, experts warn that the ruling will have no automatic effect on relevant laws in member states, which could lead to “messy consequences.”

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