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WeGov

Facebook a Top News Source in the Middle East

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 28 2013

A report released earlier this month on media consumption in the Middle East revealed that Facebook is the most popular social media site and the third most popular news source in the region. Read More

WeGov

Protests in Brazil Turn Digital

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 28 2013

While protests continue in streets, hacktavists retreat for a day indoors (Euqueriaser/Flickr)

Inspired by protests in the streets, hacktivists in Brazil are taking to their computers. Organizers drew around 200 engineers, journalists, lawyers and activists to a June 16 event in Sao Paolo. These hacktivists brainstormed on how to make protests more efficient, from tear gas-resistant masks to easier access to public data. Another group of hacktivists met on June 19 in Rio de Janeiro to do their digital part for protesters. Read More

WeGov

Build Your Own Disaster Relief Drone

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 26 2013

The OpenRelief Drone (carrierdetect/Flickr)

Anyone with a thousand bucks and some engineering know-how can now build their very own drone. Unlike those controversial ones used in the “drone war,” these are made for disaster relief.

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WeGov

In Kenya, a Gov't Initiative to Give First Graders Solar Powered Laptops

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 25 2013

Next January 400,000 free, solar powered laptops will be handed out to Kenyan first graders in a government initiative to catch up with the quickly digitizing world. Although the administration claims that, when fully implemented, the program will eventually reduce the costs that come with purchasing textbooks, critics complain that it is expensive and that what schools need are more teachers, desks, books and even buildings.

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WeGov

A Plug & Play Anti-Corruption Tool for All

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 24 2013

Poderopedia at work: mapping connections

The Chilean anti-corruption project Poderopedia launched a free, open source version of their web platform last Friday. Plug & Play 1.0 can be used to make searchable databases and visualizations of politicians and their associates and associations or follow the flow of money from foundation to project, or public donor to candidate, etc. The Poderopedia blog also suggests someone “map links between NSA, Prism and Silicon Valley” or “create a NPApedia, Baseballpedia or Soccerpedia.”

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WeGov

How To Report From Censored Environments

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 24 2013

Iran ranked just below China on the Press Freedom Index this year at spot 174 (of 179), only slightly better than Somalia, Syria and North Korea. Considering the restraints on local journalists and the red tape being put up for foreign reporters covering the presidential election, Reporters Without Borders (RWB) published advice for reporting on censored elections. Turns out the article contains sound advice for any journalist or even traveler venturing into censored environments.

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WeGov

UN Program Tests Cell Phone Surveys in Africa

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 21 2013

The UN World Food Programme will soon start collecting food security data from mobile phone surveys in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia. The pilot program is funded by a grant from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. Read More

WeGov

As Protests Continue, the Brazilian Gov't Scrambles to Surveil Social Media

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 21 2013

Brazil trying to control protests on the street, and online (Rui Rodrigues/Flickr)

As the protests in Brazil continue – aided and abetted by social media – the government has been scrambling to put together an Internet surveillance system to track and monitor protests both on and offline.

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WeGov

Russian SOPA Passed First Reading

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 18 2013

Wikipedia protested SOPA (Wikipedia)

A first draft of a law nicknamed “Russian SOPA” was approved by the Russian parliament last Friday, June 14. Like the original Stop Online Piracy Act, the bill will establish penalties and procedures for online copyright violations.

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WeGov

Czech Prime Minister Resigns Following Corruption and Surveillance Scandal

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 17 2013

Prime Minister Petr Necas (David Sedlecky/Wikipedia)

The prime minister of the Czech Republic resigned yesterday, irreparably damaged by a corruption scandal and the possibility of impropriety in his personal life. According to the Czech constitution, his entire government will also have to relinquish office.

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