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First POST: Hoodwinking

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 18 2015

Marco Rubio on net neutrality; advocating for an easier path for third-party presidential candidates; the state of the free software movement; the sentencing of a blogger in Tunisia; and much, much more. Read More

Secrecy in the So-Called "Most Transparent" Administration in US History

BY Jason Ross Arnold | Wednesday, March 18 2015

How much has changed, really? (Eric Draper/White House)

We used to hear more from President Obama about his aspirations to lead the “most transparent” administration in American history. From the 2008 campaign through early 2013, administration officials – including the big guy – continued to beat the most transparent drum, promising the (clear) sky, and insisting they had already delivered, or were on the cusp. The White House has since toned down the lofty, boastful messaging. Perhaps they were chastened by all of the bipartisan criticism and late-night television mockery of the administration’s actions in light of its claims. But Obama’s pledge to create an “unprecedented level of openness” still stands proudly at the top of the White House’s open government webpage, a sign that it remains a priority (or a monument whose removal would be too embarrassing a concession). Sunshine week provides a perfect opportunity to evaluate the record: where between most transparent and “most closed, control-freak” should we place Obama-Biden?

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[#PDF15 Theme] Imagine All the People: The Future of Civic Tech

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 17 2015

Edward Snowden and John Perry Barlow, "A Conversation Across Cyberspace" at PDF 2014.

Announcing the theme for this year's Personal Democracy Forum, our twelfth since 2004: "Imagine All The People: The Future of Civic Tech." We want to take you into a future where everyone is participating, a future that we build together using technology appropriately, powering solutions to shared civic problems. The future is what we make it; at this year's PDF we'll gather to hear from the people who are making civic tech that genuinely matters, and fighting to ensure that everyone gets to benefit. Register now to attend--this is the last week to save $100 on conference registration, our early bird rate has been extended through Sunday March 22nd.

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New Organization, Data Justice, to Work on Society's Big Data Problem

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, March 17 2015

Lady Justice (LonPicMan/Wikipedia)

Yesterday saw the public launch of Data Justice, a new organization dedicated to promoting economic justice in our data-driven society. Simultaneous with the announcement, the organization released its first report, “Taking on Big Data as an Economic Justice Issue,” written by Data Justice director Nathan Newman.

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First POST: Modern Times

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 17 2015

Oregon is automatically registering people to vote; study says almost 9 in 10 Americans have heard something about gov't surveillance; a spam filtering service had full access to Hillary Clinton's email, unencrypted; and much, much more. Read More

Interest is Rising in Cooperative Alternatives to the "Sharing Economy"

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 17 2015

Trebor Scholz, Sara Horowitz, Nathan Schneider, Saket Soni, Caroline Woolard, Douglas Rushkoff (l-r) at Civic Hall

If last week's turnout at Civic Hall is any indication, a lot of people--technologists as well as organizers--are interested in figuring out how the 21st century economy can be built on more cooperative and less exploitative principles than the libertarian "gig economy" exemplified by companies like TaskRabbit and Uber. Folks came out for a panel discussion called "Think Outside the Boss: Cooperative Alternatives to the Sharing Economy," which was triggered by a thought-provoking essay by New School for Social Research scholar Trebor Scholz in Medium. Watch the video below the jump... Read More

First POST: Reaching

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 16 2015

The FBI makes communities sign nondisclosure agreements if they want to use this cellphone tracking tool; police really like their automated license plate readers; edits to Wikipedia pages for Eric Garner, Sean Bell and Amadou Diallo traced to the New York City Police Department; it's Sunshine Week; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Shredding

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, March 13 2015

Official net neutrality rules are here; Governor Andrew Cuomo 90-day deletion policy is an "electronic shredder"; the FBI's Terrorism Task Force was tasked with a #BlackLivesMatter protest; take this stop-and-frisk data and run with it; and much, much more. Read More

Next-Generation Political Crowdfunding Platforms Reimagine Small Dollar Giving

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, March 13 2015

Pennies can add up. (Wikipedia)

At a Social Media Week event held at Civic Hall last month, Benjamin Yee, a former Democratic campaign fundraiser, asked a conference room full of people if they had ever donated money to a political campaign. Nearly everyone raised a hand. When asked if they felt it had ever made a difference: not a one. Even if someone does feel like they have been a part of something bigger—one of the many small donors who helped carry Barack Obama to victory, for example—that in no way means that the candidate you back knows why you contributed or what you hope they will do once in office. Money talks, but only if you have enough to get a phone call or an invite to a fundraising event. Everything else is just chatter.

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First POST: Finessing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 12 2015

We're supposed to believe Hillary Clinton never emailed classified material when gov't classifies practically everything; transparency theater; the new definition of deleting is "not saving"; and much, much more. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

First POST: Targeted

The digital humanitarian response to the earthquake in Nepal; the NYPD monitors children as young as age ten on social media; how Wikileaks crossed the line between transparency and an invasion of privacy by posting the Sony Pictures emails; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Overreaching

Why the FCC balked at the Comcast-TimeWarner deal; Sheryl Sandberg wants Hillary Clinton to lean into the White House; the UK's Democracy Club brings a lot more information to election season; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Ownership

"Tell us more about your bog"; the shrinking role of public participation on campaign websites; "Aaron's Law" has been reintroduced in Congress; is the Comcast-TimeWarner merger on its last legs?; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Bush League

Presidential candidates hiding behind Super PACs; what this means for American democracy; demos at the White House; a demand for Facebook to be more open about news in the newsfeed; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Glass Half Full

A new Pew study on open government data in the US; the FOIA exemption ruffling transparency advocates' feathers; social media bot farms; and much, much more. GO

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