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First POST: Gearing Up

BY Nick Judd | Friday, October 7 2011

  • The Obama 2012 campaign looks to be reactivating its YouTube channel.

  • Neal Ungerleider breaks down the power structure of Zuccotti Park's "leaderless" protesters.
  • Occupy Wall Street as historic moment: the protest gets a Wikipedia page.

  • Here are Naomi Klein's prepared remarks from her visit there Thursday.

  • And Anne-Marie Slaughter in the New York Times yesterday:

    In the past month, it has been odd to read Twitter and blog posts from the Middle East taking the Wall Street protests far more seriously than anyone here has. My reflexive response was to explain that they didn’t understand our politics; after all, that is so often what citizens of other countries tell Americans when we opine oh-so-knowingly about their politics.

    But in this case, I am beginning to suspect that people abroad with long experience of disenfranchisement and trampling of their dignity may in fact understand the fissures in our society better than we do ourselves.

  • Lead of a New York Times story on an order to revise computer security rules: "The White House plans to issue an executive order on Friday to replace a flawed patchwork of computer security safeguards exposed by the disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified government documents to WikiLeaks last year."

  • Remember those new Federal Election Commission rules for Internet politicking? Rick Hasen notes they're moving forward, and likely to take effect after 2012.

  • The federal government says "to the cloud" is on the cheap, announcing Thursday that it expects to save about $5 billion on consolidating federal data centers.

  • The DATA Act, a bill that would reinvent the way the federal government reports its spending, makes progress on Capitol Hill.

  • Danielle Gould writes that new startups are changing the food system:

    How do you re-imagine the architecture of the food supply chain when its blueprints are locked up in proprietary databases?

    Statups. A growing number of startups such as Real Time Farms and Foodtree are hacking the system to meet people’s growing demand for more information about who and how their food is produced. They are crowdsourcing previously unavailable data and packaging it in a format that helps consumers make more informed food choices.

  • Mark Headd of Tropo has a roundup of resources for civic hackers, including pointers to a new video series from Reno's Kristy Fifelsky on how to host a civic hackathon.

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

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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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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