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Vivek Kundra is Leaving the White House [Updated]

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Vivek Kundra speaking at Personal Democracy Forum 2011 on June 7. Photo: Esty Stein / PdF White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will leave the White House in August, Politico's Kim Hart reports. The details ... Read More

Obama Campaign Now Recruiting 'Analysts and Data Geniuses,' Among Others

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

President Barack Obama's re-election campaign recently sent an email to selected people on its lists, seeking paid staffers to bolster its new media and web development operations. From the email, signed by Obama's chief ... Read More

Saxby Chambliss, On Your iPhone

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) today released a mobile app compatible with iPhones and other Apple devices. A press release from Chambliss' office claims this is the first official application offered by a U.S. Senator. ... Read More

For Facebook, A White House Press Secretary -- But Not A @PressSec

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

Joe Lockhart (center) at Tulane University in November 2009. Photo: Tulane University / Flickr The Atlantic reports that Joe Lockhart, who was White House press secretary during President Bill Clinton's second term, will ... Read More

The Time Sarah Palin's Sudden Celebrity Crashed Alaska's Website

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

Flash back to 2008, when John McCain named Sarah Palin his vice presidential nominee. She was a relative unknown in national politics, and the sudden deluge of interest about her focused especially in one place — ... Read More

Is the Country You're In Safe For Your iPhone? Find Out ... On Your iPhone

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

From Bloomberg News: The State Department released a phone application for Apple Inc. (AAPL) devices today that gives globe- trotters access to travel alerts, maps, U.S. embassy locations and other details about ... Read More

'Twitter Hacking' Goes Local

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

William G. Batchelder, Republican speaker of the Ohio House. Source: Ohio House of Representatives The Columbus Dispatch reports that William Batchelder, the Republican speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, had ... Read More

Happening Now: #140conf

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 15 2011

At the 92nd Street Y here in New York City, 140 Characters Conference is getting into gear. A conference about the real-time web's impact on business and society, this year it will feature a few names that might be ... Read More

House Bill Would Subsidize Broadband Access for Low-Income Americans

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Ca.) today introduced legislation that would subsidize broadband Internet access for low-income Americans by having service providers discount their monthly bills. The legislation, the Broadband ... Read More

Questions John King Didn't Ask Buddy Roemer at the CNN Republican Primary Debate But Roemer Answered Anyway

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Just because someone who may be seeking the Republican presidential nomination doesn't get invited to the big, fancy CNN debate doesn't mean he can't participate. Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer followed along with ... 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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