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First POST: Collective Hallucination

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 25 2014

Is bulk collection of Americans phone metadata about to end?; more of Upworthy's secret sauce; what the change of ICANN's governance actually means; and much, much more. Read More

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

First POST: Drip, Drip

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 11 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The NSA releases new documents showing it violates its own privacy rules on a daily basis; cryptoparties are springing up again in Germany; gun control supporters are recalled in Colorado; and much, much more. Read More

What the Early 20th Century and the SOPA/PIPA Fight Have In Common

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, September 26 2012

As it happens, there's a connection between the SOPA/PIPA fight and sexuality and politics in 1920s Austria. That's the argument Beth Noveck made Monday at New York Law School, during an evening book event Personal Democracy Media hosted to discuss Steven Johnson's new book, "Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in the Networked Age." Noveck spoke alongside Tina Rosenberg, co-writer of the Fixes online column for the New York Times, Internet thinker Clay Shirky, and our editorial director, Micah Sifry. Read More

Coming Up: "The Rise of the 'Peer Progressive'" Monday 9/24 7pm in NYC

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 19 2012

We're looking forward to this Monday night's conversation on "The Rise of the 'Peer Progressive'" with author Steven Johnson that we're hosting along with NY Law School's Institute of Information Law & Policy. We'll ... Read More

Expert Labs: Putting The 'Public' Into Public Policy Wasn't Easy

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012

The closing down of an effort known as Expert Labs this month acted as a marker of sorts in the open government movement. Epitomizing the general ethos of the time, here was a group of Internet-famous hipster technologists and personalities who had decided to storm the barricades and focus their collective attention on helping the federal government to break out of the Beltway bubble to connect better with the public when making policy decisions. Why shouldn't the world be excited about what kind of change they could potentially bring about? As the organization closes up shop, here's a look at what it did after launching in 2010. Read More

Beth Noveck's Transparency Suggestions For Bringing Better Data Through the DATA Act

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

Two competing initiatives from the House of Representatives and White House respectively fall short of their stated goal to increase transparency around government spending, former White House Deputy Chief Technology ... Read More

U.S.'s Noveck to Help Open British Government

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

Photo credit: Joi Ito Beth Noveck, until January the Obama administration's point person on open government, has been recruited to the British government to help in its "open-source policy making" efforts, ... Read More

WeGov

"The Two Tribes of Open Government"?

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 9 2011

The Project on Government Oversight's Danielle Brian takes issue with former White House Deputy CTO Beth Noveck's breaking down of the open government space into "Good government reformers who focus on a certain ... Read More

Why "Open Government" is Terrible Branding (Or, Whatever Happended to Participation and Collaboration?)

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 14 2011

Looking back, "open government" was a dumb thing to call the Obama administration's early forays into innovative online work (as in, the White House's "Open Government Initiative") writes Beth Noveck, ... Read More

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

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