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Did The White House Turn OFA Into Microsoft?

BY Ari Melber | Friday, January 15 2010

My new report on the first year of Organizing for America is yielding some interesting responses, including notes from politicos who want to remain anonymous. Here is an email from a seasoned Democrat that suggests a ... Read More

Obama's Cocaine, Clinton's Pot and The Facebook Generation

BY Ari Melber | Monday, May 25 2009

The New York Times convened several tech experts this weekend to debate online privacy and the "overuse of social networking tools." Professor Clay Shirky stole the show, recounting a college tequila run that ended with ... Read More

Bill Clinton Gets Webbier

BY Ari Melber | Monday, May 25 2009

Hillary Clinton has been talking up online diplomacy, as Micah Sifry and Nancy Scola reported in this space, and her husband is getting in on the act, too. Read More

Obama's Online Health Care Drive: Epic Fail?

BY Ari Melber | Tuesday, May 12 2009

OFA launched a new email and petition drive on Tuesday afternoon, ratcheting up pressure on Congress to pass the President's health care plan. Huffington Post's Nico Pitney reports on the move's political significance: A ... Read More

Elites Blasted at Elite Summit

BY Ari Melber | Tuesday, May 5 2009

"I don't want to be an apologist, especially not for this zip code," said Joshua L. Steiner, co-president of the Quadrangle investment firm, as he scanned the well-heeled crowd gathered in lower Manhattan for The New ... Read More

Condi Rice's Tortured Macaca Moment

BY Ari Melber | Tuesday, May 5 2009

Political blog readers know that Condi Rice recently lost it. Asked about her role advancing torture during the Bush administration in a meeting with college students, Rice claimed that no torture occurred in Guantanamo ... Read More

Future Historians: Blogs Drive U.S. Foreign Policy

BY Ari Melber | Sunday, April 12 2009

For Internet politics, the controversial becomes conventional very quickly. Until recently, there were heated disputes over whether political blogs had any impact on American government. While academics still debate the ... Read More

Study Finds Bias in 2008 Campaign -- Among Men Only

BY Ari Melber | Friday, April 3 2009

Maybe there weren't that many "P.U.M.A.s" after all. A new Harvard study -- from some PDF friends at Berkman -- reports that male voters displayed "in-group" bias for people who shared their candidate preference in the ... Read More

White House Reignites Never-Ending Virtual Town Hall

BY Ari Melber | Friday, April 3 2009

The White House released a new video on Friday, tackling another question from last week's virtual town hall with President Obama. White House aides had indicated they would continue to engage citizen questions, as I ... Read More

From the White House to the Next Open for Questions

BY Ari Melber | Monday, March 30 2009

Just about everyone has weighed in on the President's first virtual town hall, and my report from a day at the White House is here. Looking forward, here are three thoughts on the next Open for Questions, and picking up ... Read More

News Briefs

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Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

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The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

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The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

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Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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