Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Enthusiasm and Challenges for Making NYC Local Government More Tech-Friendly

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 28 2014

Gale Brewer, Noel Hidalgo and Ben Kallos at Code Across NYC (Twitter via @ppolitics)

Last weekend, around one hundred members of New York City's civic hacker community came together to help develop tools that would be useful for City Council and local Community Board members as part of Code Across NYC, organized by Code for America brigade betaNYC. As part of the event, open government advocates Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and City Council member Ben Kallos discussed their transparency advocacy. With input from five Community Board members and New York City officials, the weekend program resulted in the creation of 20 projects, of which 12 were submitted for five awards. But even with all the enthusiasm, many challenges remain to making technology more accessible to local government, as participants and subsequent City Council hearings this week indicated. Read More

Initiative Seeks to Reform RFP Process

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 25 2014

In Atlanta, one of the "craziest HTML layouts we’ve seen?"

The government procurement process hasn't had the best publicity lately, coming under criticism in the context of the federal and state health care roll-out and also in the context of election reform. A new effort from the Department of Better Technology, the non-profit focused on making available improved government technology, hopes to help lead the way to innovate that process by improving access to government request for proposals data on the state and the local level. Read More

Digital Engagement Starting to Be New Normal in New York City Council and City Hall

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 21 2014

Google Hangout with Ben Kallos

Public officials in New York City, from the mayor down to newly elected members of the City Council, are starting to make digital engagement more of an integrated part of their daily routine, as Miranda Neubauer reports. Read More

NYPD Commissioner Bratton Appoints Tech Deputy Jessica Tisch

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, February 13 2014

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton announced Wednesday night that he was naming Jessica Tisch as Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology. Her previous positions were Counsel to the Police Commissioner and Director of Policy and Planning in the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau. The previous Deputy Commissioner of Information Technology and CIO was James Onalfo. Read More

Open Survey Data from Mayoral Transition Initiative Helps Interpret State of NYC

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 12 2014

Talking Transition data on housing in NYC

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio delivered his State of the City address Monday, but coders and developers have the chance to present alternative takes on the State of the City with the help of data now provided by Talking Transition, a community engagement effort that sought to crowdsource New Yorkers' opinions about the future direction of the city on the occasion of the mayoral transition. Read More

More Transparency on Agenda for NYPD and New York City Council

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, February 11 2014

NYPD Commissioner Bratton at a CompStat Meeting (Bratton/Twitter)

While there was a lot of hype about a report that the NYPD is testing Google Glass, in the short-term a policy-shift toward more accessible NYPD data has the potential to be more consequential for New Yorkers at large. Read More

Ready to Launch, A New Platform to Ask Elected Officials Anything

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, February 7 2014

Last week, the White House made something of a splash with its Big Block of Cheese Day, encouraging internet users to ask members of the Obama administration and the White House staff questions on social media. A new platform officially launching Monday hopes to provide voters with the opportunity to pose questions to elected officials and other prominent figures every day of the year, in some ways echoing an ongoing Ask Me Anything concept. Read More

For Democrats, Imitation Not Exactly a Form of Flattery

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, February 5 2014

Democrats created a website mocking republicans' attempt at an in-house tech incubator (screenshot)

Democratic organizers are not impressed with a new Republican National Committee effort to catch up with the Democratic data advantage. They have responded to the Republican's new in-house technology incubator called Para Bellum Labs with a parody website at a similar web address. Read More

Obama Virtual Road Trip Touches on Net Neutrality, Euromaidan, Surveillance, Economy and Obamacare

BY Miranda Neubauer | Saturday, February 1 2014

In a virtual "road trip," or series of Google hangouts across the United States, President Obama participated in Friday, he at one point answered a question about how he viewed the democracy protests in the Ukraine. But his answer said as much about the mindset behind the online post-State-of-the Union Q & A session as it did about the protesters in the Ukraine. Read More

After Snowden, Columbia J-School Panel Sees Renewed Need for Legal Framework Protecting Journalists

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, January 31 2014

The editors of the Guardian's U.S. edition and the New York Times, a First Amendment lawyer and a member of the Obama-appointed surveillance review panel called for a renewed legal framework to protect the privacy and security interests of journalists in the wake of the unprecedented surveillance revelations from Edward Snowden at a panel at Columbia University Thursday night. Noting varying degrees of government pressure on both sides of the Atlantic, Guardian U.S. editor Janine Gibson and New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson stressed that respecting the right of news organizations to report on sensitive materials was in the government's interest as well, since otherwise the material would simply find its way out in a completely haphazard way without regard for any journalistic responsibility, which was also the outcome Edward Snowden hoped to avoid. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

Germany Releases Open Data Action Plan Amidst Grassroots Enthusiasm and Pirate Party Turmoil

The German government on Wednesday unveiled its open data action plan to implement the open data charter established by the G8, now G7, countries. But while German open government advocates welcomed its release, for them it does not go far enough. Even as the open data movement is taking new hold in Germany on the local level with encouragement from the new Code for Germany effort, in the national Pirate Party, the supposed German net party, internal leadership disputes are overshadowing its digital agenda. GO

friday >

First POST: Scotched

Why conservatives should back net neutrality; how big data may damage civil rights; the ways Silicon Valley start-ups are exploiting freelance workers; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Resets

Apple's new iOS8 promises greater user privacy; Occupy Wall Street three years later; how tech may tilt the Scotland independence vote; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Connecting the Dots

Take Back the Tech grades Facebook, Twitter, et al, on transparency; MayDay PAC founder Lawrence Lessig talks about getting matched funds; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Splits

USA Freedom Act divides Internet activists; Julian Assange's Reddit "Ask Me Anything"; New York's pro-net-neutrality protest; and much, much more GO

More