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High Tech Volunteering Blooms With National Day of Civic Hacking

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 31 2013

It's almost upon us: The National Day of Civic Hacking -- well the national weekend of civic hacking really. It's a series of co-ordinated events across the country that asks civilians to get together to create useful ... Read More

Barry Diller and Steve Chen Join FWD.us, Group Places Ad On Rush Limbaugh Show

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 31 2013

There's been a lot of skepticism about the Silicon Valley advocacy group FWD.us, and its lobbying methodologies, but that hasn't put off media mogul Barry Diller and YouTube Co-Founder Steve Chen. The group's Founder and ... Read More

How A Trio Of Feminists Persuaded Facebook To Unfriend Rape "Humor" Groups

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 30 2013

Beyond a joke: Facebook recently admitted that its flagging system is flawed

A global campaign to alert advertisers moved Facebook to take action against groups flagged as promoters of "gender-based hate" after several years of repeated attempts to persuade the company to change the way it evaluates requests for take-downs. Read More

OpenOakland Invites Citizens To Create An 'Ask Jeeves' for City Services

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 28 2013

A group of civic hackers in Oakland is calling on the city's residents to come help it launch a variation of an "Ask Jeeves," kind of search engine for city services this Saturday as part of the National Day of Civic ... Read More

Organizing for Action Says It Can’t Move Climate Change Legislation In Congress

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, May 24 2013

Beleaguered on one side by pressure to take a stand on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and hoping, on the other, to hang on to the activist energy of the president's progressive base, Organizing for Action leadership and partners aren't holding out much hope for the power of grassroots organizing to motivate action in Congress. Read More

Anthony Weiner Launches NYC Mayoral Campaign Online With An Image of Pittsburgh

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, May 23 2013

Former Congressman Anthony Weiner waxed lyrical about New York City in a YouTube video as he launched his bid to be the city's next mayor on Wednesday, but he did it against a backdrop that turned out to be the skyline ... Read More

Honda Campaign Rolls Out Endorsements From Asian American Stars

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 21 2013

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) rolled out several additional endorsements from Asian American leaders and celebrities Tuesday, with one of them vouching for his high-tech bona fides. Read More

Change.org Lands $15 Million From Omidyar

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, May 21 2013

Change.org CEO Ben Rattray: "We'd never sell. We'd never go public." Photo: Personal Democracy Forum

Change.org capped an extraordinary few years of growth Tuesday with the announcement that it has landed a $15 million investment led by the Omidyar Network. Read More

In Tumblr, Yahoo Acquires an Audience and an Activist Edge, Too

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, May 20 2013

David Karp, May 16, 2013. Photo: Flickr/Digitas Photos

With a sticker price of approximately $1.1 billion, Yahoo's Tumblr acquisition doesn't just come with an audience CEO Marissa Mayer expects will grow Yahoo's footprint by 50 percent. Whether Yahoo knew it or not, the struggling Internet ur-company has also bought itself an activist constituency. Read More

Will Silicon Valley "Disrupt" Politics With a Candidate for Congress?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, May 20 2013

Sean Parker, of Napster fame and now executive general partner at venture capital firm Founders Fund, has invested in political startups before. But last week, he went a step further — co-hosting a fundraising event for a candidate for Congress. Parker and SV Angel co-founder Ron Conway organized a crowd of Internet industry luminaries to support Ro Khanna, a former assistant deputy secretary in Barack Obama's Commerce Department. Khanna is preparing a challenge to Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), whose newly redrawn congressional district encompasses Silicon Valley. 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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