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The Future of Development Includes a Data Revolution, UN Panel Says

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 10 2013

Grassroots data collection should play an increasing role to meet global development goals, according to a recently released United Nations report. Read More

Elections Officials Could Improve Voting With Better Tools, TurboVote and Reboot Find

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, June 7 2013

Kate Krontiris explains research results at PDF 2013. Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Forum

Many American election officials are already trying take make their own attempts to innovate election procedures, but lack the funding and access to technological know-how to effectively implement wider-spread change, according to new research by Reboot and Turbovote. Kate Krontiris, principal at Reboot, and Kathryn Peters, co-founder of TurboVote, presented the findings Friday at the Personal Democracy Forum. Read More

The New York City Comptroller Built a Fiscal Transparency Website, and Now It's Open Source

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, June 6 2013

Comptroller John Liu Photo: Esty Stein / Personal Democracy Media

The source code of New York City's Checkbook NYC platform is now available for other governments to download, modify and reuse, New York City Comptroller John Liu announced during Thursday's Personal Democracy Forum. Read More

Online Voter Registration Bill Passes in Illinois, But Funding's Yet to Come

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, June 5 2013

Illinois lawmakers this past week passed legislation that would establish online voter registration in the state, but then ended their session without voting to allocate funding to implement the system, the Pantagraph reported. Illinois State Board of Elections Rupert Borgsmiller said he and his staff members would now be taking on the challenge of figuring out how they could work on mounting the system without the funding, the newspaper reported. Read More

House Republicans' "Citizen Cosponsor" Lets Anyone Support Any Bill Before the House

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 4 2013

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced today a relaunch of the Citizen Cosponsor project, which allows members of the public to express support for House legislation online. The new version includes all legislation introduced in the House by both Republicans and Democrats and exists on its own domain. Read More

No "Big Yellow Ducks" on Chinese Microblogs for Tiananmen Square Anniversary

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, June 4 2013

Weibo via @RichardBuangan

Chinese microblogging platform Weibo has banned searches for "big yellow duck" after online activists posted doctored images of the famous Tiananmen Square "Tank Man" photo, replacing the tanks with a row of yellow ducks like the one currently in Hong Kong's Victoria Harbor, the Wall Street Journal reported. Read More

WeGov

Protests in Turkey: Lies, Damn Lies, and Social Media

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, June 3 2013

Mapping tweets around Istanbul. Source: NYU SMaPP

If Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to be believed, ongoing protests in Istanbul are thanks in no small part to lies and exaggerations spreading online. "There is now a menace which is called Twitter," Erdogan said on TV, according to the Guardian. "The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society." While some have suggested that Erdogan has cracked down on Internet access in response, there's no evidence his government has limited connectivity. In fact, initial research suggests that the Turkish protests have spawned a record number of Tweets compared with other protests, spreading not just real-time information about protests, but encouraging others to participate. The uncomfortable truth is that while it's unsurprising to hear a government official denouncing his detractors as misinformed or dishonest, Erdogan isn't entirely wrong. Unverified and in some cases clearly inaccurate information about the protests is spreading fast, and in some cases too rapidly for reliable information to counteract. Read More

EU Needs One Telco Market to Rule Them All, Says EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 30 2013

EU Commissioner Neelie Kroes called on the European Parliament to pass legislation to guarantee net neutrality and end mobile roaming costs within the next year as part of an effort to achieve a true European single market and engage EU citizens politically. Read More

A Recent Internet History of Michele Bachmann

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 29 2013

Michele Bachmann on the campaign trail in Iowa. Photo: Gage Skidmore

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced her intention not to run for reelection Wednesday in a nearly nine-minute-long video linked to in an email to supporters — a fitting choice for a political figure with a long and complicated history of using, and being used by, the Internet. Read More

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

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In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

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