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Social Network Analysis of 2008: Is America Polarized or Just Really Impressionable?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 2 2008

Buyers of political books on Amazon are clearly divided between people who favor liberal titles vs people who favor conservative titles, with little cross-buying occurring. But a new study of consumer behavior suggests ... Read More

In Which I Partially Eat My Hat (Crunch, Crunch)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, December 23 2007

OK, so I've now heard from a bunch of friends, including several wiser and cooler heads with many years of experience in the trenches, and they've convinced me that I overstated things in my previous post attacking ... Read More

In Which I Partially Eat My Hat (Crunch, Crunch)

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, December 23 2007

OK, so I've now heard from a bunch of friends, including several wiser and cooler heads with many years of experience in the trenches, and they've convinced me that I overstated things in my previous post attacking ... Read More

TechCrunch Commits Identify Theft

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, December 23 2007

The announcement last Thursday by the TechCrunch blog that it is organizing a "Tech President" online primary and "Tech President Endorsement" is a violation of our copyright and an abuse of our name and reputation. ... Read More

TechCrunch Commits "Identify Theft" [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, December 23 2007

The announcement last Thursday by the TechCrunch blog that it is organizing a "Tech President" online primary and "Tech President Endorsement" is a violation of our copyright and an abuse of our name and reputation. ... Read More

The Non-Story of BarackOsama2008.org

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, December 20 2007

Someone is trying to play a trick on the press, to the detriment of both the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigns. Read More

It's Time to Wikify Government

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 19 2007

Beth Simone Noveck has written a seminal piece on "Wiki-Government" for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, and I recommend you read the whole thing. Noveck is Professor of Law and director of the Institute for Information ... Read More

It's Time to Wikify Government

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 19 2007

Beth Simone Noveck has written a seminal piece on "Wiki-Government" for Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, and I recommend you read the whole thing. Noveck is Professor of Law and director of the Institute for Information ... Read More

My Favorite Tech-Politics Books of 2007

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 18 2007

On any given day, I've got about four or five books that I'm currently reading--or trying to finish--and I can understand why some people try to take a "reading week" (or month) where they do nothing but catch up with ... Read More

My Favorite Tech-Politics Books of 2007

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, December 18 2007

On any given day, I've got about four or five books that I'm currently reading--or trying to finish--and I can understand why some people try to take a "reading week" (or month) where they do nothing but catch up with ... Read More

News Briefs

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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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tuesday >

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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monday >

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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wednesday >

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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