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In Red Hook, Mesh Network Connects Sandy Survivors Still Without Power

BY Becky Kazansky | Monday, November 12 2012

A Red Hook Houses resident accesses mesh network-provided wifi using a smartphone. Photo: Becky Kazansky / techPresident

Offered through Personal Democracy Plus: A mesh networking experiment in Brooklyn turned into an exercise in 21st-century disaster relief this weekend when an innovation fellow with the Federal Emergency Management Agency teamed up with neighborhood activists and tech volunteers to bring Internet access back to Red Hook Houses after Hurricane Sandy. Read More

A New Project to Score Politicians With Klout

BY Becky Kazansky | Thursday, July 28 2011

This week, Timothy Hathaway – CEO of political technology firm Activist Manager – pointed me to his company's nascent project to comprehensively track Klout scores for advocacy groups, senators, presidential ... Read More

Anonymous And LulzSec Are At It Again, and This Time, It's Legal

BY Becky Kazansky | Wednesday, July 27 2011

Lulz Security and Anonymous, better known for illegal data breaches and acts of 'hacktivism,' today called for supporters to engage in a new protest against their old nemesis PayPal — but participants in this ... Read More

Do Facebook and Twitter Followers Reflect a President's Popularity?

BY Becky Kazansky | Monday, July 18 2011

As momentum around the 2012 presidential elections here in the U.S. begins to build, eyes are turning to social media again and its impact on politics — but that's also true around the globe. TechPresident is ... Read More

An EFF-Led Challenge To Boost the Use of Internet Traffic Anonymizers

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 15 2011

The Electronic Frontier Foundation — based in San Francisco and known for its advocacy in support of digital privacy measures — has been encouraging its supporters to aid activists around the world by ... Read More

Hackers from Anonymous Claim Booz Allen Hamilton Raided, 90,000 Military Emails Released

BY Becky Kazansky | Monday, July 11 2011

On a day flooded with news of hacks and hacking, #Antisec, a faction of the larger Anonymous collective that exposes and exploits weak cybersecurity measures, announced that it had released account names and password ... Read More

From Tracking Fires to Fixing Potholes, a Roundup of Open Data Projects in Russia

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, July 8 2011

After our post on the open data contest Apps4Russia late last month, we received an email from Gov 2.0 proponent Alena Popova, the chief executive officer of Gov2Project.ru, an incubator that invests in and consults with ... Read More

A Tweet Experiment for All Involved: My First Hand Account of the White House Twitter Town Hall & Tweetup

BY Becky Kazansky | Thursday, July 7 2011

President Barack Obama and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey during a Twitter-hosted, town hall-style event Wednesday. Photo: Becky Kazansky / techPresident Yesterday I was at the White House to participate in the first ... Read More

We're Live From the White House As #AskObama Is Set to Begin

BY Becky Kazansky | Wednesday, July 6 2011

Hello readers — I'm currently at the White House, one of a small group of @whitehouse Twitter followers chosen to attend the first-ever Twitter Town Hall and White House Tweetup today. I got in by submitting an ... Read More

Inspired By Apps for Democracy, 'Apps4Russia' Prepares to Launch

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, June 24 2011

Yesterday, a group of Russian bloggers, developers, and transparency proponents let slip the news of a new open data app competition they've organized, Apps4Russia. The official announcement is slated for Tuesday, June ... Read More

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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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

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