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Running for Mayor in Tech-Driven New York, Christine Quinn Launches an App

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 2 2013

Quinn announcing her app at an Apple Store. Photo: @Quinn4NY

Leading New York City mayoral candidate City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has launched a mobile web and smart phone application that promises to offer updates on her proposals and campaign and a way for supporters to share their own ideas. Read More

More Grassroots Maps Come to Google Earth

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 30 2013

Public Lab Map of Orchid Hill. Charlotte, North Carolina.

Google Earth now includes over 100 new images from the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science*, many of which are in the public domain. Read More

How the Human Rights Campaign Responded to Jason Collins on Twitter

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 30 2013

The Human Rights Campaign responded to NBA center Jason Collins' announcement Monday that he is gay with a promoted tweet celebrating his choice to be the first active NBA player to come out, as Bridget Coyne from the Twitter Government team pointed out on Twitter. Read More

The British Government's "Twitter Exclusives"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, April 29 2013

As Britain slowly gears up for its 2015 general election, the government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has begun a more aggressive Twitter strategy, the Guardian reported. Read More

Can Tweets Predict the Vote?

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, April 25 2013

Analyzing nearly 800 competitive races in the 2010 and 2012 congressional elections, researchers have found that the frequency with which a Republican is named correlates with the Republican vote margin the subsequent election, independently of other factors such as incumbency, media coverage, partisanship and demographics. Read More

Why Twitter Didn't Believe the "Hacked" AP, But Bought False Facts About Boston Manhunt

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 24 2013

When the Associated Press' Twitter account caused a brief stir Tuesday by posting a false report that President Barack Obama had been injured in a fictitious bombing at the White House, stocks plummeted — but only for a few minutes. That response differed significantly from the situation late April 18 and early the next morning, a Friday, as the first reports emerged of the manhunt that would bring Boston to a halt for a full day. It's an example of how quickly misinformation can spread online in the absence of rapid action to roust it away. Read More

NRCC Plans "Digital College" for Hill Staffers

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, April 18 2013

The National Republican Congressional Committee plans to start a "digital college" training program for Hill staffers, Campaigns and Elections reported. Under the program beginning in May, staffers will learn about setting up webpages, e-mail outreach and Google Adwords, with a special focus on accountability metrics, according to C & R. Read More

WeGov

French Ministers Disclose Country Homes and Cars on New Website

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, April 18 2013

French government ministers and the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault are now publishing a list of their assets on a special government website. The news comes just weeks after Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac resigned following a report on an investigative French website, Mediapart, that he had an undeclared Swiss bank account. Read More

National Design Service? Gov.uk Wins Design of the Year Award

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 17 2013

The website of the British Government Digital Service, GOV.UK, last night won the London Design Museum's Design of the Year Award. "The jury unanimously agreed that GOV.UK was the overall winner for Design of the Year 2013 for its well thought out yet understated design, making the user experience faster and easier. The website is regarded as one of the leading government websites in the world," the museum stated in a press release. Read More

Aaron Swartz and Anonymous in "The Good Wife"

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, April 16 2013

Anonymous on The Good Wife (CBS Publicity)

Mass media imitated life in a new way last weekend, as an episode of CBS's The Good Wife invoked the memory of the late, troubled programmer Aaron Swartz as it explored the lines between Anonymous, Internet activism and idealism. The Good Wife has already drawn attention for its writers' tendency to use recent events as material. The episode, which first aired Sunday, also evoked Steubenville rape case and that of a Kentucky teenager who was charged in 2012 for naming her alleged attackers on Twitter. Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

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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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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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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