Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Beyond Bill Clinton's Internet Truth Squad Idea...

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

Bill Clinton is getting attention for floating the idea that what the Internet might need is some sort of NGO dedicated to assessing its truthfulness: Well, I think it would be a legitimate thing to do. But if you wanted ... Read More

MoveOn Debuts SignOn, Its Petition Tool-Slash-Farm League

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

SignOn's petition creation tool. MoveOn formally rolls out SignOn, a D.I.Y. petition hub we previewed back in April. As far as basic functionality goes, the site works much like fellow petition site Change.org. But ... Read More

When Rwanda's Kagame Says No One Has the Right to Criticize Him...

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

He's willing to enforce it. Over on the Independent, Rob Hastings writes up this weekend's "Twitter spat" between Rwandan President Paul Kagame and former Independent deputy editor Ian Birrell. What set up the ... Read More

Toward a Digitally Literate America, Whatever That Might Mean

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

New in the federal website family: DigitalLiteracy.gov, a place for people to "share and enhance the tools necessary to learn computer and Internet skills needed in today’s global work environment." (via ... Read More

U.S.'s Noveck to Help Open British Government

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

Photo credit: Joi Ito Beth Noveck, until January the Obama administration's point person on open government, has been recruited to the British government to help in its "open-source policy making" efforts, ... Read More

Hitting Issa's Wall to Call for FCC Commish Investigation

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

House oversight chief Darrell Issa is getting harangued on his Facebook wall over FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker's announcement that she's going to work at Comcast a few months after voting to approve the ... Read More

Gates: Sit Room Photo Fakes Gave Pause When It Came to Bin Laden Photo

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

Defense Secretary Gates reluctance to support the release of photos of Osama Bin Laden was influenced by the altered photos of the Situation Room that were floating around the Internet, reports Politico's Josh Gerstein: ... Read More

How You Be Bin Laden and Still Email Folks

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

The AP's Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo report: Holed up in his walled compound in northeast Pakistan with no phone or Internet capabilities, bin Laden would type a message on his computer without an Internet connection, ... Read More

The Sun Sets on Staged Presidential Photos

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

White House photo by Chuck Kennedy Remember last week's mini-debate over whether the time had passed on the staging of presidential photos? The White House said it is ending its long-running practice of having ... Read More

NationalField: The Private Social Network That's Reinventing the Ground Game

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

NationalField's Dupont Circle office in Washington DC; photo credit: NationalField

Our growing public interest in how technology is re-inventing modern politics threatens to obscure the fact that, in many ways, the stuff of campaigning is still the hard, often sweaty work of knocking on doors, cajoling neighbors, making phone calls, and wrangling volunteers. In 2008, the Obama campaign dabbled in using social data to upgrade political field organizing. In 2012, they're ready to see how far the practice can take them. Read More

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

tuesday >

Weekly Readings: What the Govt Wants to Know

A roundup of interesting reads and stories from around the web. GO

Russia to Treat Bloggers Like Mass Media Because "the F*cking Journalists Won't Stop Writing"

The worldwide debate over who is and who isn't a journalist has raged since digital media made it much easier for citizen journalists and other “amateurs” to compete with the big guys. In the United States, journalists are entitled to certain protections under the law, such as the right to confidential sources. As such, many argue that blogging should qualify as journalism because independent writers deserve the same legal protections as corporate employees. In Russia, however, earning a place equal to mass media means additional regulations and obligations, which some say will lead to the repression of free speech.

GO

Politics for People: Demanding Transparent and Ethical Lobbying in the EU

Today the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) launched a campaign called Politics for People that asks candidates for the European Parliament to pledge to stand up to secretive industry lobbyists and to advocate for transparency. The Politics for People website connects voters with information about their MEP candidates and encourages them to reach out on Facebook, Twitter or by email to ask them to sign the pledge.

GO

monday >

Security Agencies Given Full Access to Telecom Data Even Though "All Lebanese Can Not Be Suspects"

In late March, Lebanese government ministers granted security agencies unrestricted access to telecommunications data in spite of some ministers objections that it violates privacy rights. Global Voices reports that the policy violates Lebanon's existing surveillance and privacy law, Law 140, but has gotten little coverage from the country's mainstream media.

GO

More