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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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WeGov

Weekly Readings: Joining the Amish

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Monday, May 12 2014

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. Read More

First POST: Nerds Biting Back

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, May 12 2014

The latest on the FCC's rulemaking on net neutrality; tracking the details of the USA Freedom Act; Ecuador's push toward a commons-based peer production economy; 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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