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Apps Contests Are "Alive and Well"

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

Open government developer Mark Headd objects to Government Technology's recent article on the future of municipal apps contests, the one that I wrote up here. Headd suggests that some of the assumptions and observations ... Read More

The Time That Andy Carvin, Mark Lynch, and Twitter Interviewed the White House's Ben Rhodes

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

From left to right, Marc Lynch, Andy Carvin, and Ben Rhodes. From a journalistic perspective, the idea of a White House teaming up with two media figures to produce a White House event can be discomforting. But even ... Read More

@WhiteHouse: Twitter Talk with Andy Carvin and Marc Lynch

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

Just a reminder that right at the moment the White House is hosting a Twitter-based conversation on the Middle East between national security advisor Ben Rhodes, NPR's Andy Carvin, and Foreign Policy's Marc Lynch. Read More

The Long Campaign

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

Over on the Wall Street Journal, deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger floats the idea that team Obama is eager to get the '12 campaign started because, in short, David Plouffe "saw early on that no ... Read More

Can't. Log-in. To. The. Secret. Service. Twitter. Account. Anymore.

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

The new-to-Twitter U.S. Secret Service calls an "our bad" on a staffer tweeting out, on their official @SecretService account, "Had to monitor Fox for a story. Can't. Deal. With. The. Blathering." The ... Read More

David Plouffe's Latest Digital Campaign

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 19 2011

"President Barack Obama meets with Press Secretary Jay Carney, left, and Senior Advisor David Plouffe, center, before an interview with Ben Feller of the Associated Press, in Chicago, Ill., April 15, 2011;" ... Read More

W.H. Organizes Post-Speech Twitter Conversation on the Middle East with @carvin and @abuaardvark

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

NPR's Andy Carvin (@acarvin) and Foreign Policy's Marc Lynch (@abuaardvark) will be facilitating a Twitter conversation with Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes shortly after President Obama delivers a speech ... Read More

Citizens, Lend CFPB Your Design Chops

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

Over at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that agency-in-the-works headed up by Elizabeth Warren, they're rolling out a especially creative approach to citizen feedback. Over on ConsumerFinance.gov, they're ... Read More

Obama '12 Email Offer: Get Your $15 "Long Form" Mug

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

The Obama '12 operation hit some portion of its email list with a fundraising ask that can probably fairly be called rather cheeky: for $15, according to one version of the email, you can get yourself a mug featuring ... Read More

A Bucketful of Transparency Papers

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

Just a heads up on a potentially valuable resource: Rutgers Newark's School of Public Affairs and Administration has posted a slew of academic research papers on transparency in conjunction with its 1st Global Conference ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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