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Random Notes from YearlyKos

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 2 2007

...Overheard and not understood: 60s icon and antiwar activist Tom Hayden looked at the schedule of the dozens of workshops happening here and said to my colleague Andrew Rasiej, "I can't believe that there's nothing about Iraq." Actually, there is a session on public opinion, Iraq and the 2008 campaign, but it does appear there isn't a specifically antiwar session on the agenda. Curious.

...Barack Obama is apparently winning the wristband poll among registered attendees, who have to pick one of the candidates' bands when they sign in, so they can get into the one-on-one sessions that each of the presidentials attending will be doing Saturday afternoon, after the main presidential forum. I'm told that Obama's session is full, in fact, and latecomers are being asked to choose among the other candidates attending.

...Three interesting exchanges with Markos Moulitsas at his 3pm press conference:
Q: What do you make of the fact that 6 of the 8 presidential candidates are here when none of them went to the Democratic Leadership Council meeting last week?
A: The problem with the DLC is that they haven't built a movement. If they had a list of 3 million people, you can bet the candidates would be there. We have a much more activist audience that provides troops on the ground, they just like to scold.
....
Q: Do you worry that any of the leading candidates are co-opting you at all, such as Hillary Clinton defending you from O'Reilly's attacks and thus getting a pass on the war?
A: She has a funny advantage because everything she does is seen as politically calculated, but what she did recently with O'Reilly is a sign of growing respect. It's good that she's defending our medium. And they're realizing that while they may not win the blogosphere primary, there's a lot of hostility that they want to reduce. And that's a good thing for the party.
....
Q: Why isn't there a DailyKos of the right? Do you think that now that they're out of power and frustrated, perhaps we'll see something like that arise? Or is there a deeper cultural difference at work here?
A: There's a lot of debate among Republicans over whether they should be more grassroots and embrace new technology, but you can see that with the YouTube debate they're afraid of new technologies and anything that they can't control. Apparently they are afraid of a question from a snowman. On the right, most of the blogs follow the pundit model, instead of the community model. They don't even allow comments on most of them. They all want to be O'Reilly or Ann Coulter. What community sites have done for the left is to take one of our traditional weaknesses, our reluctance to take orders and argue, and make that a strength. There's clearly a different culture on the right than on the left.

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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