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Lessig Opts Out, Citing Compressed Schedule

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, February 25 2008

Stanford professor Larry Lessig just announced via a short video on his personal blog that he's reached a decision on whether or not to launch a campaign for the open seat in California's 12th congressional district. ... Read More

"In Canon" Voter-Generated Content

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, February 22 2008

Trolling the Internets today in an attempt to make some sense of last night's perplexing Lost episode, I came across an idea that made me think, naturally, of a new way of understanding the tremendous amount of ... Read More

Lessig Asks: Can You Build a Movement from Capitol Hill?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, February 20 2008

Larry Lessig is tying a possible congressional run to the question of whether or not launching a campaign and/or actually serving as a member of Congress is the best way to advance a national "grassroots" ... Read More

Why "Lessig for Congress" Might Not Be as Crazy as It Sounds

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, February 15 2008

There's a playful drive afoot to draft law professor, free-culture guru, and PowerPoint maestro Larry Lessig to run in the April 8 special election for the open seat in California's 12th congressional district. Thing is, ... Read More

Kenyans Turn to Robust SMS

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, January 16 2008

Studying the post-election action in Kenya, I'm finding myself awed by how activists have seized upon a unique text-messaging tool to route around a government-imposed news blackout. Read More

Generic Emails from Strangers Not Exactly What People-Powered Politics is About

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 17 2007

Josh Levy's been doing great work covering the competition between candidates to send bulk "personal" emails that seem like the candidate him or herself is firing them off via Blackberry. But I got a note from one of the ... Read More

Blogging's Stuck in the Now (More on the Jena Six)

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 2 2007

At the risk of introducing what might seem superficial into a highly charged debate over the lack of blog coverage of the Jena Six, I'd highlight one factor that hasn't yet been discussed: political blogging's obsession ... Read More

Newt Gingrich Does Second Life

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, September 28 2007

The way things stand today, doing politics in Second Life is a lot like having sex in a car. Just when things hit a groove, something falls out of whack. Still, when all is said and done, you're glad you did it. Read More

The Huge Jena 6 Protest: Powered by Social Networks, Social Leaders, or Both?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, September 21 2007

Is there any chance that in the pre-Internet age several thousand people would have found themselves in Jena, a tiny speck of a town in central Louisiana, yesterday? The New York Times has estimated that a crowd of about ... Read More

A Real Tech President Would Implant a Tracking Chip in Your Kid

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, August 9 2007

Here's something else that Hillary Clinton said at Yearly Kos, something that had nothing to do with lobbyists but was a similiar peek into her governing psyche. In her morning breakout session, Clinton warmed my little ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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