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AskTheEU: Spreading The Word On Freedom of Information

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, October 12 2011

Today about 89 countries in the world have laws allowing for freedom of information. But in many of them, even Western countries, citizens are often entitled to know more than they think they do about the public ... Read More

Quote of The Day: iPads Are Not Presidential

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, October 7 2011

I can carry those iPads with me, dabbing at them with my finger, but this is not worthy of a president. — President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko explained to Russian journalists that touchscreen technology is ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Introducing OpenData.cz

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, October 7 2011

Czech Republic | Introducing OpenData.cz Open data babysteps in the Czech Republic: a group of academics institutions are contributing to the creation of OpenData.cz. "It is a state of mind," says Jindřich Mynarz ... Read More

What if Wikipedia disappeared?

BY Antonella Napolitano | Thursday, October 6 2011

Dear reader, at this time, the Italian language Wikipedia may be no longer able to continue providing the service that over the years was useful to you, and that you expected to have right now. As things stand, the page ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Come Hack4Transparency At The European Parliament

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, October 4 2011

EU | Come Hack4Transparency at the European Parliament  The first hacking event in a European institution will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels next November 8th and 9th. As the website's ... Read More

A Polish Twitter Election

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, September 27 2011

Polish parliamentary elections will take place next October 9th. Here's the account of what is happening online thanks to Michal Kolanko, a political reporter specializing in online politics in Poland. His personal ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Gdansk Roadmap For Digital Inclusion

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, September 26 2011

EU | Gdansk Roadmap For Digital Inclusion The European Commission is launching Gdansk Roadmap, an initiative aimed at gathering practical solutions to common problems and providing practical help to ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Not only in crisis: making the most of crowdsourcing platforms

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, September 23 2011

Russia | Not only in crisis: making the most of crowdsourcing platforms In the summer of 2010, when fires spread across Russia, Internet activists got organized and created the Help Map, the first use of Ushahidi ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: Avast ye timbers! German Pirate Party Wins Piece of Eight in Local Elections

BY Antonella Napolitano | Tuesday, September 20 2011

Germany | Avast ye timbers! German Pirate Party Wins Piece of Eight in Local Elections One of the Pirate Party poster. Yesterday the German Pirate Party saw a victory in Berlin state elections, as the internet activist ... Read More

The Europe Roundup: A Good Week For Open Data

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, September 16 2011

Germany | Berlin Data Portal Image: Epsi Platform (CC BY 2.0) Earlier this week the German state of Berlin launched a data portal, the first of its kind in Germany. Ulrich Freise, Secretary of State for Home Affairs, ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

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

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

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Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

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monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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