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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

WeGov

Even For Censorship Savvy China, ICTs Can Cut Through Corruption, Study Finds

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, May 23 2014

Just how much can China's Great Firewall take? (credit: 阮_先生/Weibo)

In a few years from now, or perhaps it has already happened, mention “human flesh search engine” to a Chinese netizen and they may get glossy-eyed with nostalgia -- the good old days when a digital probe into the life of a politician or wealthy businessman could potentially uncover a trail of corruption: illegally obtained houses, hidden wealth, shady transactions. Now that these searches have largely fallen out of use -- and one can safely assume, due to the intimidation and jailing of those who have spread online “rumors” -- is the fight against corruption lost? A new study conducted by two Taiwanese scholars concludes, perhaps not. Read More

News Briefs

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NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

Responding to Ferguson, Activists Organize #NMOS14 Vigils Across America In Just 4 Days

This evening peaceful crowds will gather at more than 90 locations around the country to honor the victims of police brutality, most recently the unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, on Saturday. A moment of silence will begin at 20 minutes past 7 p.m. (EST). The vigils are being organized almost entirely online by the writer and activist Feminista Jones (@FeministaJones), with help from others from around the country who have volunteered to coordinate a vigil in their communities. Organizing such a large event in only a few days is a challenge, but in addition to ironing out basic logistics, the National Moment of Silence (#NMOS14) organizers have had to deal with co-optation, misrepresentation, and Google Docs and Facebook pages that are, apparently, buckling under traffic.

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