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The State of Digital Political Satire

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

Politico's Byron Tau reports on how online shenanigans -- like snatching up ExploreNewt2012.com, and pointing it to, say, Buddy Roemer's exploratory site, or that fake Jane Corwin campaign site -- are shaping up for ... Read More

Secret Service Questions WA Boy about Obama Facebook Post

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

The U.S. Secret Service questioned a 13-year old Tacoma boy after he posted on Facebook a note that referenced Osama Bin Laden's death, Barack Obama, and suicide bombers. The boy's mom is upset that law enforcement ... Read More

"YouTube Town Hall" Launches for Congressional Clips

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 18 2011

The company's new head-to-head video platform officially rolls out this morning, via Morning Tech: YouTube Town Hall is an online platform for members of Congress to debate and discuss the most important issues of the ... Read More

"We Will Use the Technology that Kaczynski Railed Against"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 17 2011

The U.S. Marshal Service has posted a Flickr photo set showing some of the Unabomber's effects that will be auctioned online this week; slidshow created with Flickr Slideshow by Softsea. Starting tomorrow, the U.S. ... Read More

The Petering Out of Apps Contests

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 17 2011

Looking at civic apps that haven't gone much of anywhere, Government Technology's Andy Opsahl asks what the future holds for "Apps for X" contests that were, until recently, all the rage. He interviews some of ... Read More

A Fiery Twitter Debate About Race, Obama, Bin Laden, Gingrich, and Salon. Umm, Right?

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 17 2011

Reading Kevin Drum, one learns that Salon's Glenn Greenwald all worked up about the supposed "about 30 obsessive, truly unstable Obama cultists who sit on Twitter all day, literally, smearing with vile, rancid ... Read More

On Twitter, We're All Don Rumsfeld. And Vice Versa.

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 17 2011

James Fallows considers the career path that led Donald Rumsfeld from member of Congress to White House chief of staff to Secretary of Defense -- twice --to now being the guy who tweets out updates on how many people ... Read More

Washington Times Not Pleased President is on the Phone

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

The paper's editorial board makes the argument you knew was coming: the new mobile presidential push-notification alert system represents "Obama's 300 million new Twitter followers." Read More

Data.gov, Now More Social

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

O'Reilly's Alex Howard points us to the news that there's a "next generation" Data.gov on the way, one designed to make it easier for people to stumble upon and explore data. Socrata, the social data platform ... 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.

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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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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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