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Web Index Sees Impact of Net Neutrality, Surveillance and Copyright Laws

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, December 11 2014

Denmark, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom and Sweden have come out on top of the Web Index, a ranking of the Web Foundation measuring the economic, social and political benefit that countries gain from the web. The United States is at number six. For the authors of the report accompanying the index, the results reflect how inequality has an impact on access to the web. "Nordic policy-makers have been quick to adopt and promote the free Internet - and open access to information - as a 21st century public good," the report states. " Others, as this year's findings show, need to move fast to catch up." The report attributes the Scandinavian countries' advantage to the countries' broader efforts to invest in public goods and establish a welfare and acting against " excess concentrations of wealth and power." With the lower inequality in those countries than in others, "the skills, means and freedoms to benefit from new technologies are widespread, which helps to explain why Scandinavian countries score highly on the political, social and economic impact of the Web Read More

Bad News Bots: How Civil Society Can Combat Automated Online Propaganda

BY Sam Woolley and Phil Howard | Wednesday, December 10 2014

Clever Script Kiddies (by DeNovo Broome, CC BY 2.0)

t’s no secret that governments and political actors now make use of social robots or bots—automated scripts that produce content and mimic real users. Faux social media accounts now spread pro-governmental messages, beef up web site follower numbers, and causeartificial trends. Bot-generated propaganda and misdirection has become a worldwide political strategy. In this guest post, Sam Woolley and Phil Howard suggest some ways to fight back. Read More

First POST: Listicalization

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 10 2014

The FCC warns police agencies that jamming cell phones is illegal; Emily Bell chides the journalistic elite for piling on Chris Hughes; Change.org pulls in funding from some of Silicon Valley's richest; and much, much more. Read More

A Behind the Scenes Look at Expunge.Maryland, Your Automated Expungement Paralegal

BY Jason Tashea | Tuesday, December 9 2014

The Expunge Maryland app (Jason Tashea)

This past summer my colleague Jon Tippens and I forked Smart Chicago’s Expunge.io to create ExpungeMaryland.org. Since ExpungeMaryland’s launch in July, there has been interest in how we created the app. This post provides background to other jurisdictions looking to replicate the expungement app model. Read More

First POST: Frauds

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 9 2014

The right's ForAmerica "digital army" claims 7 million members; how the 2012 presidential campaigns used Twitter; more fallout from the New Republic mess; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Platforms

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, December 8 2014

How #BlackLivesMatter and #ICantBreathe are spreading worldwide; why users shouldn't trust Uber; platform cooperativism vs sharing economy; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Omens

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, December 5 2014

Turmoil at Chris Hughes' New Republic; why police cameras could help improve police behavior; why people put hashtags on signs at physical protests; and much, much more Read More

First POST: Phubbing

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 4 2014

How the NSA taps worldwide cellphone networks (and makes them more vulnerable); why Uber-fans should stop beating up on government; how NYC's new free Wi-Fi program might accentuate inequality; and much, much more. Read More

[Op-Ed] Your In-Box is Personal, and That's What Makes Email Powerful

BY Martha Patzer | Wednesday, December 3 2014

Joe Rospars recently wrote in Time about the perceived “creative crisis" in the Democratic Party, a debate about online fundraising, and the responsibility writers, digital directors, and even candidates have to the creative direction of a campaign. Joe's answer -- “Don’t be lame” -- is a great place to start. But it doesn’t answer the why: Unlike those TV ads, email is personal. Read More

First POST: Heavy Lifts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 3 2014

Making the 4.799 page Ferguson grand jury transcript into a web-friendly document; Lyft's privacy issues get Senator Al Franken's attention; the Sierra Club's new activism platform; and much, much more. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

First POST: Jargon Busters

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Stalking

How the DEA tracks millions of America motorists; will the Senate enter the 21st century?; Obama veteran Jeremy Bird's role in the upcoming Israeli election; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Moneyballed

The Gates Foundation's new "global citizens" email database, and why it's a terrible idea; why young people like the NSA more than older people; using open data about NYC taxi drivers to ID Muslims; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Monkeying

Net neutrality proponents call foul on the GOP's plans; StandUnited.com seeks to be the right's Change.org; tons of civic tech news from mySociety, Chicago and Civic Hall in NYC; and much, much more. GO

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