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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

The Rising Fight Against ISIS on Social Media

BY Onnik James Krikorian | Thursday, March 12 2015

Typical Twitter profile pictures used by ISIS supporters (Photo courtesy J.M. Berger and Jonathon Morgan)

In 2013, Humera Khan, Executive Director of D.C.-based think tank Muflehun, watched as a teenager was radicalised and recruited on Twitter. “Over the course of two years,” she recently recounted for Foreign Affairs, “that individual went from an activist championing minority rights to supporting Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria), and in a final shift of allegiance, to one of the the largest distributors of ISIS propaganda. He is now in Syria.” Despite reporting the case to the law enforcement agencies in the United States, Khan says her warnings fell on deaf ears. But in the wake of a sophisticated online media campaign that includes a number of gruesome videos of beheadings, governments are starting to take the use of social media by groups such as ISIS more seriously.

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First POST: Transparency Theater

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, March 11 2015

Hillary Clinton's press conference on emailgate; theater reviews of said conference; White House digital team starts using HTTPS by default; police body cam fails; and much, much more. Read More

Inbox Zero: Why Hillary Clinton's Email Mess Isn't Over

BY Alex Howard | Tuesday, March 10 2015

Today's press conference at the United Nations will not quell the controversy raised by a report from the New York Times that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account for government business at the State Department from 2009 to 2012. If you missed the political event of the day and want to watch or read it for yourself, unvarnished and unspun, on-demand video is available from C-SPAN and the Washington Post has published a full transcript.

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First POST: Failures

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 10 2015

The CIA tried to undermine iPhone and iPad security; Wikipedia, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International USA, the ACLU and others sue the NSA; the White House's new $100 million tech initiative; and much, much more. Read More

Even in the "Birthplace of Democracy" Holding Parliament Accountable Is a Challenge

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, March 10 2015

“Once a symbol of democracy, the Greek Parliament in particular represents to the majority citizens a painful systemic failure,” wrote Antonis Schwarz and Panagiotis Vlachos shortly after they launched the political monitoring and accountability website Vouliwatch in March 2014. Read More

First POST: Long Games

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 9 2015

House Republicans knew about Clinton's personal email last year; Jeb Bush opposes the new net neutrality rules; the latest in augmented and artificial intelligence; why you should be wary of the Internet of Things; and much, much more. Read More