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First POST: Pickets

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, December 9 2011

  • Hillary Clinton gave a foreceful speech on the need for Internet freedom at a ministerial conference in The Hague yesterday. As part of her speech she stated:

    So right now, in various international forums, some countries are working to change how the internet is governed. They want to replace the current multi-stakeholder approach, which includes governments, the private sector, and citizens, and supports the free flow of information, in a single global network. In its place, they aim to impose a system cemented in a global code that expands control over internet resources, institutions, and content, and centralizes that control in the hands of governments.
    [...]
    In effect, the governments pushing this agenda want to create national barriers in cyberspace. This approach would be disastrous for internet freedom. More government control will further constrict what people in repressive environments can do online. It would also be disastrous for the internet as a whole, because it would reduce the dynamism of the internet for everyone. Fragmenting the global internet by erecting barriers around national internets would change the landscape of cyberspace. In this scenario, the internet would contain people in a series of digital bubbles, rather than connecting them in a global network. Breaking the internet into pieces would give you echo chambers rather than an innovative global marketplace of ideas.

  • A group supporting Mitt Romney accidentally leaked an ad critical of Newt Gingrich on Youtube before taking it down.

  • The Obama campaign goes behind the scenes of its new website.

  • Staffers of Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) were fired after tweets about unprofessional behavior.

  • Occupy Wall Street protesters take down a "Law & Order SVU" set in Foley Square made to emulate occupied Zuccotti Park.

  • New York University will offer a course on Occupy Wall Street next semester.

  • A murder conviction in Arkansas was thrown out in part due to tweets from a jury member. In the U.K, a judge warned that juries could be inappropriately looking information up online.

  • Hollywood companies will be running an ad campaign in support of anti-piracy legislation. At the same time, technological entrepreneurs and innovators have formed a group of their own to represent their interests in Washington.

  • At a hearing, senators expressed concerns about ICANN's expansion of new top-level domains.

  • New England police departments participate in training on using data to fight crime and car crashes.

  • Kashmir Hill at Forbes is skeptical of the journalistic practices employed by the "Oregon blogger."

  • CNN looks into the secrecy surrounding the opening of new Apple stores, including the one opening in New York City's Grand Central today. (via @noelrk)

    Interviews with nearly two dozen people involved in the development of upcoming and recently opened U.S. Apple Stores, including the one in Grand Central, provide a look at Apple's unusually furtive way of doing business. These people say Apple sometimes employs uncommon legal tactics, refuses to name itself in public documents and hearings, and has sworn city government officials to secrecy.
    [...]
    When reached by phone in October, MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders told CNN in response to a question about the soon-to-open Apple Store, "We're not talking about that." Why? "Because Apple doesn't want us to." Is this typical?
    "No, but Apple is not typical," Anders said. Further questions, she said, would need to be submitted in a formal Freedom of Information request, a government process that can take months to yield documents.

  • New York open government bill remains held up in legislature.

  • Mainland Chinese residents watched a Taiwanese presidential debate online even as China sought to censor access, and one Chinese resident attempted to make his way to Taiwan on a flotation device.

  • Chinese activists are also recording pollution levels and posting them online.

  • A German state lawmaker steps down after making contact with a 15-year-old on Facebook (in German).

  • News Briefs

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    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.

    GO

    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.

    GO

    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.

    GO

    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.

    GO

    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.

    GO

    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.”

    GO

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