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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

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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