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WeGov

Google's Eric Schmidt Is Going to North Korea

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 3 2013

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt (Wikimedia Commons)

Reports that Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt will be taking a trip to North Korea sometime early this year have led many to speculate how information technology will play a role in the isolated nation’s future. Read More

WeGov

Women Make Their Mark on Kenya's Expanding Tech Sector

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, January 3 2013

What’s the best way to get women engaged in tech? In Nairobi, a burgeoning African Silicon Alley, it’s to have women implement tech culture in the first place. A NPR story from late last month dropped in on the Akirachix, an all-female collective of programmers and technologists who are collaborating to tackle social issues in Kenya. Read More

WeGov

Police Surveillance in Sao Paolo is at All-Time High, as Crime Wave Shocks City

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 2 2013

A military police officer with a camera-mounted EagleEye backpack, from BBC Future Video.

BBC Future has a look into the Orwellian surveillance technology that police in Sao Paolo are using to monitor crime in the metropolis of 41 million. An integrated network of databases, tablet technology and mobile cameras are giving law enforcement officials an unprecedented eye on activity in the city streets. Read More

WeGov

Putting Rights Violations on the Map in Iran

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, January 2 2013

Screengrab of the Mapping Iran's Human Rights, from iranhumanrights.org

A new interactive map from the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran will track rights violations in the country by region. The Mapping Iran's Human Rights project geographically situates violations in four categories — perpetrators, victims, prison corruption, and regional trends — while generating new knowledge about corruption from sources in Iran. Read More

WeGov

Cambodia Could Worsen Its Digital Divide By Banning Internet Cafés Near Schools

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, December 21 2012

An order from the Cambodian government to keep students out of Internet cafés could spell inaccessibility for many in a country where few have personal computers. Read More

WeGov

Twitter Could Stop the Next Great Fire of London

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, December 21 2012

Screengrab of the London Fire Brigade's official Twitter page

London emergency responders are piloting the world’s first Twitter-based fire reporting program, the city’s Fire Brigade announced earlier this week. While officials cautioned this is not a replacement for dialing 999 – that’s British English for 911 – Rita Dexter, the Deputy Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, explained that implementing social media-based emergency calls is simply looking forward. Read More

WeGov

The Ayatollah Is On Facebook, Even If Iran Isn’t Supposed to Be

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, December 20 2012

Screengrab of The Ayatollah Khamenei's new Facebook page

A Facebook page for Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khameini,appeared online last week. The apparently state-sanctioned page has garnered over 18,000 likes, though the popular social network has effectively been banned in the country since dissidents gathered online to power protests after the 2009 reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Read More

WeGov

EU Fines Turkey for Blocking Google Sites

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, December 19 2012

An EU court has ruled against a blocking of the Google Sites service in Turkey, in a case filed by a Turkish citizen. A 2009 ruling by a regional court in the southwestern city of Denizli blocked all pages hosted on sites.google.com, apparently after a single page was found to insult Republic of Turkey founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Defamation of Atatürk or Turkish identity is illegal in the country. Read More

WeGov

Years In the Making, India Delivers an Open Data Portal

BY Julia Wetherell | Tuesday, December 18 2012

Screengrab of Data Portal India homepage

India has joined in on the open data movement with Data Portal India, an initiative to provide transparency across a diverse array of governmental agencies. The new site comes on the tails of the National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy, which was announced by the nation’s Department of Science and Technology earlier this year, and the 2005 Right to Information Act, a transformative piece of legislation that made government records accessible to ordinary citizens. Read More