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WeGov

Near 3-Year Mark, Open Government Partnership Success Still Unclear

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, May 29 2014

Hillary Clinton speaking at an OGP meeting in 2011 (Wikipedia)

In a blog post earlier this week, Martin Tisne called the progress made by the Open Government Partnership “one of the best returns on investments we've had.” Bold words from the man who helped found the Open Government Partnership in 2011, and who now works as the Director of Policy for the Omidyar Network's Government Transparency initiative, which committed US$1,480,000 to the initiative in 2012.

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First POST: NotEveryManUp

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, May 29 2014

Edward Snowden looking for a plea bargain and a return home?; Comcast tries to do good but it's not enough; Google and diversity (or lack thereof); and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Bodyguards

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, May 28 2014

How the 2015 British election is exposing a split among top Obama campaigners; the FTC wants improved protection for consumers' data; how Skype Translator might change world politics; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Thai Coup Selfies: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, May 28 2014

Screenshot of a Thai Coup Selfie

A selfie may not be worth a thousand words, but it seems as if they are doing more in Thailand than might be immediately apparent. Based in part on this CNN article, I wrote in a techPresident post last week that the selfies were evidence that Thais were “taking the news [of martial law] in stride.” It seems I did not give the selfies or indeed the selfie takers enough credit.

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WeGov

Understanding Evidence: How Tech Is Complicating Law for the Better

BY Tin Geber | Wednesday, May 28 2014

Eyes on Darfur is a project that uses technologies, like satellite, to document atrocities that can be used as legal evidence

Collecting and presenting evidence for legal processes is a highly complex matter, especially in cases of crimes against humanity. Advancements in technology are providing human rights advocates with unprecedented power to bring forth proof of wrongdoings. But is civil society — let alone loose networks of advocates — ready to embrace the new complexity? Are legal institutions able to process it? Is it only about evidence, or should technology play an even larger role?

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WeGov

Weekly Readings: Masterclass

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, May 27 2014

Wikipedia and digital democracy; Pirate Party's dismal performance in the European parliamentary elections; a spate of censorship around the globe; and more. Read More

Uber Drivers Organize Themselves in Seattle, Other Drivers Look to Do Same

BY Sam Roudman | Tuesday, May 27 2014

Seattle. Credit: Bala Sivakumar, Flickr.

About 9 months ago, Daniel Ajema, a 33-year-old law student moonlighting as a driver for Uber, ran into a fellow driver in a gas station parking lot. The man had just been fired for getting poor ratings from passengers. But as a private contractor, like every other driver for the app based transportation network, he had no recourse to the company. What could he do? Two Sundays ago, a couple hundred Uber drivers provided an answer, by forming a labor group with the help of the local Teamsters union, called the App-Based Drivers Association. The group won’t have the full powers of a union, for instance leadership can’t vote to make its entire membership strike. But with about a third of Seattle drivers signed on, the group hopes to use its leverage to advocate for greater transparency and responsiveness from the $12 billion company. Read More

First POST: Hashing it Out

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 27 2014

How the #YesAllWomen hashtag erupted in response to the Santa Barbara killings; the Internet's broken business model; why tech companies are (mostly) losing in Congress; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

For British UKIP, Twitter Mentions May Not Translate to Votes

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, May 23 2014

As techPresident reported yesterday, a Pew study of tweets around the European elections found that in all three languages studied, English, German and French, most of the discussion appeared to focus on the parties most ... Read More

First POST: Trucking

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, May 23 2014

The USA Freedom Act advances but reformers are not happy; net neutrality fails to get print or TV coverage; Thais are using Twitter to mock their new military rulers; and much, much more Read More

News Briefs

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NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

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