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Blumenthal Plans Bill Banning Employers From Demanding Access To Job Applicants' Social Media Accounts

BY Raphael Majma | Thursday, March 22 2012

Senator Richard Blumenthal is standing up for Facebook users, promising to end the practice of employers requesting social media passwords from prospective employees. Over the course of the week, reports have come out ... Read More

Brits Reexamine Open Data Policies

BY Raphael Majma | Wednesday, March 21 2012

The UK government has commissioned an independent Data Strategy Board to guide and accelerate future government data releases. The board is tasked with not only determining what data should be released, but will work ... Read More

State Department Developing Indian NGO Portal

BY Raphael Majma | Monday, March 19 2012

The State Department is in the final stages of creating an online portal to help Indian-Americans donate to non-government entities in India. Read More

Knight News Challenge Seeks to Leverage Networks

BY Raphael Majma | Friday, March 16 2012

The Knight Foundation has sponsored the Knight News Challenge since 2006, but this year’s first contest has departed from recent years. Instead of building a new network, applicants are tasked with leveraging current ... Read More

Indian Govt Admits Websites Were Hacked

BY Raphael Majma | Friday, March 16 2012

In a blow to confidence in India's online infrastructure, a federal minister revealed that over the course of three months over 112 Indian government websites were hacked. Read More

Chile’s transparency laws are being challenged

BY Raphael Majma | Thursday, March 15 2012

Juan Jose Soto Cortes, manager of Fundacion Ciudadano Inteligente, has filed an appeal over the denial to disclose email correspondence between public officials. Under Chile’s transparency laws officials are required ... Read More

The Federal Reserve is on Twitter

BY Raphael Majma | Wednesday, March 14 2012

The Federal Reserve Board can now be followed on Twitter, but don’t expect Chairman Ben Bernanke to respond to your Tweets just yet. The Twitter account is the latest measure taken by Bernanke to increase visibility ... Read More

The White House's First 40 Days

BY Raphael Majma | Wednesday, March 14 2012

Brook Colangelo, the Chief Information Officer of the Executive Office of the President, realized shortly after President Obama’s inauguration that the current IT assets “were in pretty bad shape.” ComputerWorld ... Read More

Malware Targets Anti-Putin Protestors

BY Raphael Majma | Tuesday, March 13 2012

Days after President Vladimir Putin won the Russian presidential election, Russian Internet users began receiving spam emails targeting anti-Putin protesters. Symantec first reported on the spam emails, which contained ... 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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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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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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