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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 >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

GO

monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

GO

The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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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.

GO

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