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Now The Democratic National Committee Is Looking For A CTO Too

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 8 2013

The Democratic National Committee's Chief Technology Officer Bryan Whitaker is joining the Democrats' de-facto voter file management software vendor NGP VAN as its chief operating officer, the company announced Monday. Read More

What Does 'Innovation' Mean In Local Government? A New America Foundation Report Tries To Figure That Out

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 5 2013

High profile politicians such as Gavin Newsom might talk a lot about public-private partnerships, e-government and civic engagement projects, but the most important innovations in the minds of government workers are ... Read More

Scott Zumwalt Joins Bully Pulpit Interactive

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 3 2013

Scott Zumwalt at a press conference for the It Gets Better Project. Photo: Flickr/Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del)

Scott Zumwalt, most recently the chief digital strategist for the "It Gets Better Project", has joined Bully Pulpit Interactive as a senior director. Read More

Who Is Ro Khanna?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 3 2013

Some of President Obama's key 2012 re-election campaign staff and a top Silicon Valley fundraiser have jumped into a 2014 cycle Congressional race to oust longtime Silicon Valley Democrat Mike Honda, and to replace him with the former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Ro Khanna -- even though Obama and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have already endorsed the incumbent. Read More

ElectNext Scores $1.3 million To Bring Contextual Political Information To News Sites

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, April 2 2013

ElectNext, a political data startup, has just raised $1.3 million. Brooklyn Bridge Ventures in New York City led the round, which also includes Comcast Ventures, The John S. and James L. Read More

You Spend How Much on Gas?!? New Congressional App Aims To Fuel Policy Conversations On Energy

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, April 2 2013

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee have taken the adage "a picture is worth a thousand words," and applied that to the process of discussing energy policy in the United States. Rep. Ed Markey of ... Read More

'Reinventors' Seeks To Spark Off New Ideas, Through Group Video Discussions

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 1 2013

Peter Leyden, a speaker and entrepreneur in San Francisco, and former managing editor for the original Wired magazine, has founded Reinventors, an "anti-think-tank" that relies on online video conferencing technology to record roundtable discussions about big policy issues among innovators in the areas of public policy and technology. Leyden is also an alumni of the Global Business Network, a highly-regarded think tank that helps governments and corporations to strategize and position themselves for the future based on current trends. Read More

Organizing for Action Tries To Guilt Members Into Donating

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 1 2013

President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action stepped up its campaign to raise money online last week by blasting the subscribers of its e-mail list at least seven times over the course of five days asking them ... Read More

Markey Courts Online Progressives In Senate Bid

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 28 2013

Long-time House Democrat Edward J. Markey spent Thursday morning courting online progressives, re-assuring them of his bona fides in a conference call, and saying that he's not taking anything for granted in his run to succeed John Kerry in the Senate. Read More

Democrats Won't Necessarily Have A Tech Lead in 2016, Says Former Obama Campaign CTO

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 26 2013

Presidential candidates on both sides of the partisan aisle will face similarly difficult challenges when building their technology infrastructure in the 2016 election cycle, despite the advantages that President Obama's campaign enjoyed in 2012, predicted Harper Reed, the Obama 2012 campaign's chief technology officer during a talk Monday in Sun Valley, Idaho. Read More

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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