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Monithon, a Government “Monitoring Marathon” in Italy

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, May 14 2014

One of the layers of the Monithon Map shows government-confiscated real estate that once belonged to the mafia

In Italy, an independently developed initiative called "Monithon" is trying to foster online citizen observation and reporting on the development of projects funded by the European Union, a topic of particular interest at the moment given it is only a week from the European Parliamentary elections. Read More

#PDF14 Here Come the Breakouts! [UPDATED!]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, May 14 2014

The breakout scene at PDF 2012 (Photo credit: Esty Stein)

In addition to three dozen fantastic main hall keynoters, Personal Democracy Forum 2014 (#PDF14) is proud to offer the following amazing array of breakout speakers. Breakout sessions take place after lunch on both days of PDF, back-to-back from 2:00 to 3:00pm and then, after a coffee break, from 3:30-4:30pm. They will be held upstairs from NYU's Skirball Hall in the Kimmel Center on the 8th and 9th floors. Read More

First POST: Our Surveillance Society

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, May 14 2014

Senate mavericks Udall and Wyden take on the government's "culture of misinformation" about surveillance; all the private ways companies track individuals will curl your hair; how the European high court ruling against Google may change journalism and free speech; and much, much more. Read More

Calling All Writers, Organizers, Students, and Activists: Personal Democracy Forum 2014 Wants You!

BY Sonia Roubini | Tuesday, May 13 2014

We are now accepting volunteer applications for our 11th annual conference, an internationally recognized tech/politics event that convenes the best and brightest in their fields. Every element of the conference, from ... Read More

#PDF14 Preview: An Interview with Shauna Dillavou of CommunityRED

BY Sonia Roubini | Tuesday, May 13 2014

This #PDF14 speaker preview features Shauna Dillavou. Shauna is the executive director and cofounder of CommunityRED, an organization whose mission is to improve the digital security of journalists and activists in ... Read More

WeGov

EU Court Rules Google Must Remove Search Listings Under "Right to Be Forgotten"

BY Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, May 13 2014

A European court ruled today that citizens have the "right to be forgotten" or that they can request that certain private information be removed from online searches. The ruling comes amidst an EU proposal to reform data protection laws that began in 2012. Read More

WeGov

British Police Officers Ask Blogger to Delete Politically Critical Tweet

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 13 2014

This weekend two Cambridgeshire police officers called upon the blogger Michael Abberton at his home residence. After asking to come in for a chat they asked Abberton to delete a certain tweet, even though they clearly said no laws had been broken. According to Abberton, who wrote about the exchange on his blog Axe of Reason, the complaint had come from the political party mentioned in the offending (although not in any way illegal) tweet. The exchange has raised questions about censorship, police intimidation, and the influence of this political party.

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First POST: Having It All

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 13 2014

How the NSA hacks into some computer networks the old-fashioned way; the early notices on Glenn Greenwald's Snowden book; how 18F is pioneering a better way of building US government websites; and much, much more. Read More

X-Lab Prepares for Tech Policy Battles in the Far Future, Three Years Off

BY Sam Roudman | Tuesday, May 13 2014

Sascha Meinrath, thinking about the future, presumably. Source: Peretz Pertansky, Wikimedia Commons

For the past seven years Sascha Meinrath and his team at the New America Foundation have made the Open Technology Institute a force for promoting a more open, accessible internet. He has informed internet policy, and built innovative tools, like the Commotion mesh network. He has also found that much of the work of being a tech policy guru comes in reacting to crises–from Snowden’s leaks to the potential death of net neutrality. “Bad things happen and then we leap into action and do the best we can,” he says. “Then all of the sudden everyone is like ‘Oh my god. This is so horrendously bad.’ And then we’re trying to fix what’s clearly broken.” To set the tech policy agenda rather than react to it, Meinrath is starting up a new program under the New America foundation called X-Lab. Read More

WeGov

Guatemala Wants Citizens to Pick Up Slack on Sky High Crime Rates

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, May 12 2014

To say Guatemala struggles to curb crime rates would be an understatement. Per the official numbers, only two percent of crimes are prosecuted (meaning a whopping 98 percent are not, not at all). Could a new citizen-driven crime reporting tool help change that?

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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