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How Hill Staffers Deal with Bosses Who Tweet

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

A report from Politico's Scott Wong on the Twitter nervousness sweeping Capitol Hill in the wake of the, well, Weiner underwear situation, contains this gem: To stay just a few seconds ahead, staffers have set up email ... Read More

It's About That Time

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

A few years back, as a Washington DC transplant eager to make the move from a life working in politics to the writing life, I met Micah Sifry and, shortly after that, Andrew Rasiej. They took me into this exciting ... Read More

The United States of Twitter, 2011

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

New from Pew on the rate of Twitter adoption in the U.S.: 13% of online adults use the status update service Twitter, which represents a significant increase from the 8% of online adults who identified themselves as ... Read More

Gruesome Video of Alleged Syrian Torture Victim Back Up on YouTube

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

A graphic video showing the body of a 13 year-old Syrian boy allegedly tortured and killed by the Assad government was pulled down from YouTube for a short time, reports the Nation's Ari Melber, but has since been ... Read More

Weiner Wants to Move on from Twitter "Hack"

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 1 2011

Ben Smith digs into the rather odd Anthony Weiner Twitter situation: After a long weekend’s fuss over a photograph of a man’s crotch, sent over his Twitter account, Weiner appears to have decided not to pursue an ... Read More

Zittrain Appointed FCC Distinguished Scholar

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

Jonathan Zittrain, a leading academic voice on the future of the Internet, has been named the Federal Communication Commission's "Distinguished Scholar." Zittrain will serve in the agency's Office of Strategic ... Read More

An iPad or 50 Amid a Sea of BlackBerrys

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

iPads, iPhones, and other non-Blackberry personal tech devices are gaining traction in official Washington, reports the Washington Post's Michael S. Rosenwald -- though your call on whether the fact that 50 iPads or ... Read More

Mitt Romney Wants to Be President of This Great County

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

An unfortunate typo found its way into copies of the email just sent out by Mitt Romney's campaign letting it be known that, this Thursday, the former Massachusetts governor will formally announce his presidential ... Read More

The Official Herman Cain Music Video

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

Also engaging on the video front is Republican candidate Herman Cain, who's out with a spirited, homegrown video that ends with Cain supporters repeating the campaign slogan "Raising some Cain," as in both ... Read More

Pentagon Report: Digital Attacks Can Mean War

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 31 2011

A new Pentagon cyber strategy document will establish that digital sabotage can rise to the level of an "act of war," report the Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes. From the Defense ... Read More

News Briefs

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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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