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WeGov

Brazilians Protest Forced Evictions on YouTube and in Mock World Cup

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 14 2013

Screenshot from a YouTube video about forced evictions

Tomorrow Brazilians who have been forced out of their housing in advance of the 2014 World Cup will stage their own “People's Cup” in Rio de Janeiro to draw awareness to forced evictions.

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WeGov

Crowdsourced "Danger Maps" Track Air, Soil and Water Pollution in China

BY Jessica McKenzie | Friday, June 14 2013

Sunset in the smog, Shanghai, China (Suicup/Wikipedia)

Chinese citizens are exposing sources of pollution and other environmental problems by contributing to the partially crowdsourced website 'Danger Maps'. So far, the Chinese government is letting them get away with it.

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WeGov

New Russian Law Makes Publication of Information on Gay Rights Illegal

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 12 2013

Would this constitute "gay propaganda"? (Wikipedia)

On June 11 the Russian parliament passed a bill against “homosexual propaganda” that effectively outlaws gay rights rallies and bans informational or pro-gay rights material from publication in the media or on the Internet. Violators of the law will risk heavy fines and censorship and, in the case of a media outlet, risk being shut down. It had near unanimous support, passing in a 436-to-0 vote, with only one abstention.

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WeGov

Macedonia Draft Law to Regulate and Restrict the "Last Arena for Freedom of Speech"

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 12 2013

Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, (Wikipedia)

The draft of a media regulation law in Macedonia has journalists and press freedom watchdogs up in arms. The proposed Law on Media and Audiovisual Media Services was written by the government behind closed doors and without input from the media or NGOs. It has been interpreted as a decisive move on the part of the government to limit speech online in a country where press freedoms are already limited. Until now, Internet-based news sites were not regulated like print media.

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WeGov

In Kenya, Apps Fizzle Out After Winning Competitions

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 11 2013

Nairobi (Sam Stearman/Wikipedia)

This spring, Kenyan tech blogger Kennedy Kachwanya left the regional Microsoft Imagine Cup competition thoroughly underwhelmed by the quality of the apps presented. He then wrote an impassioned post (in his words, a rant) on his website Kachwanya.com about the decline of the Kenyan mobile app. He is also outraged because even winning apps seem to fall off the map – basically fail – after the competition is over and media coverage dies down.

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WeGov

Canada Has its Own Version of PRISM, Reveals Toronto Newspaper

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 11 2013

President Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper (Pete Souza via Wikipedia)

While it may not have a Bond film-worthy name like PRISM, it turns out Canada has a surveillance program of its own. Canadian news outlet The Globe and Mail learned about the program through Access to Information requests filed with the government. They sifted through hundred of records, although extensive passages were redacted for reasons of national security so there are still lingering questions and concerns.

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WeGov

In Singapore, OneMap is One Stop Shop for Public Services and Gov't Agencies

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, June 10 2013

Screenshot of the OneMap showing traffic speeds, incidents and alerts

The government agency Singapore Land Authority launched OneMap – “Singapore's very own version of Google Maps, but with a difference” – in April 2010. The platform was designed so government agencies could share geospatial information with the public. Over time, the platform has been adapted for more diverse uses by NGOs and other government organizations.

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WeGov

Tajik President Covers Up Embarrassing Video By Blocking YouTube

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, June 6 2013

Screenshot from the infamous YouTube video

A video from 2007 has come back to haunt Tajikistan President Emomalii Rahmon, and he had to go and block YouTube because of it. The video shows President Rahmon singing and dancing (perhaps drunkenly) at his son's wedding, and some say illustrates the excesses of the ruling family. Uploaded on May 18, it has emerged at a politically tense time: the presidential election – “the most important political event of the country in the past seven years” – will take place in November.

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WeGov

Does Mobile Technology Exacerbate Wartime Violence?

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, June 5 2013

After watching one video of the war in Syria, YouTube suggests many more, all in the same vein.

You might have heard of 'conflict minerals' making their way into your cell phone, but has it occurred to you that cell phones could be fueling violent conflicts? A recent article in the American Political Science Review by Jan Pierskalla and Florian Hollenbach argues just that.

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WeGov

Jordanian Government Commences Blocking Websites

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, June 4 2013

Four of the sites blocked by the Jordan government

What do Time Out magazine, Al Jazeera, Penthouse and the Muslim Brotherhood all have in common? Their websites were all blocked this weekend by the Jordan government for failing to register for a license.

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