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On Rob Ford's Facebook Page, Wisecracks Don't Last Long

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 28 2013

Even as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford faces increased pressure over his alleged crack use, his staff is trying to maintain order on his Facebook page, according to Vice. Closer to techPresident headquarters, a candidate for mayor of New York City is taking a more hands-off approach as Facebook visitors crack wise in comments on his posted photos. Read More

Code for America Launches International Partnerships in Mexico, Germany and the Caribbean

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, May 24 2013

Code for America today announced the launch of its first official international partnerships in Mexico, Germany and the Caribbean. After several years of recruiting technologists to spend a year in city halls across America, the organization will bring programmers and designers into close contact with governments in each of those three places to work on a specific problem area. Read More

Revamped Data.gov Includes API Catalog

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 23 2013

(Source: Data.gov)

Federal officials are now offering a list of all APIs that have been released across the federal government as part of the Digital Government Strategy and a new data catalog that allows users to more easily search, sort and tag datasets, according to a post by Hyon Kim, deputy program director at the U.S. General Services Administration. With the announcements, the team behind Data.gov, a central public repository of machine-readable federal government data, is marking its fourth anniversary and the one year anniversary of the release of the Digital Government Strategy. Read More

WeGov

Facebook Becomes Full Member of Global Network Initiative

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 22 2013

Facebook announced today that it has opted to become a full member of the Global Network Initiative, a group founded by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to address the challenges technology companies face when dealing with governments about issues like freedom of expression and data privacy. Read More

Here Are The People President Obama Hopes Will Repair American Elections

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 21 2013

The Presidential Commission on Election Administration established by President Obama after problematic 2012 elections now has a web presence at SupporttheVoter.gov. Obama established the commission by executive order on March 28 "to identify best practices in election administration and to make recommendations to improve the voting experience." Read More

What German Politicians Think of Google Glass

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 21 2013

Philipp Rösler. Screenshot via @KaiDiekmann on telly.com

The German government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel has not had the easiest relationship with Google. The company launched a public campaign against a law backed by her coalition that would require search engines to pay to show news articles in search results, with mixed results. What's more, Google has long had to navigate the privacy waters in Germany and throughout the European Union. But that has not stopped her federal minister for economics and technology, Philipp Rösler, from giving Google Glass an enthusiastic test run as he leads a delegation of German technology companies and politicians on a trip to Silicon Valley this week as part of German Valley Week. Read More

DATA Act, Promising to Increase Federal Spending Accountability, Rises Again

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, May 17 2013

Rep. Eric Cantor & Rep. Darrell Issa at Data Demonstration Day (Flickr/Majority Leader)

Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif) plans to reintroduce the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, which aims to open up and standardize the federal government's spending data. The House passed an earlier version of the bill in April of 2012, but it had not moved forward in the Senate. The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Issa chairs, has now posted a discussion draft of a new version of the legislation. The committee will begin marking up the legislation this coming Wednesday, according to Daniel Schuman, policy counsel at the Sunlight Foundation. Read More

The New Yorker Hopes "Strongbox" Is a Wiretap-Proof Sieve for Leaks

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 16 2013

The New Yorker yesterday became the first outlet to implement DeadDrop, a new system for sources to submit information to journalists online in a more secure and anonymous way than, for example, email. Read More

Fighting Fires With Data, New York City Launches New Safety Inspection System

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 15 2013

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces a new inspection system. Photo: NYC Mayor's Office

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that New York City has implemented city-wide a new risk based inspection system focused on fire safety that is driven by analytics from multiple city agencies. Read More

Website Imitation is Flattery in New York City Council Race

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, May 14 2013

A New York City Council candidate who had made his name as a technology consultant and spearheaded an open government initiative several years ago found parts of his website copied by another City Council candidate in a different borough, as Politicker first reported. 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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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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