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New York Gov. Introduces Bill for Web-Ready Health Insurance Exchange

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

A press release from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, via the New York Daily News, announces that the governor has introduced a program bill to the state legislature that would create the Empire State's own state-run, ... Read More

Andy Carvin, 'Gay Girl in Damascus' Get CGI Treatment

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

NPR's Andy Carvin, "Gay Girl in Damascus" hoaxster Tom MacMaster and the unmasking of fictional Syrian blogger Amina Arraf get the Taiwanimation treatment in this video from NMA.tv. That, you may remember, is the ... Read More

With Last Night's GOP Debate, the 2012 Social Media Campaign is On

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Writing for The Atlantic's website, techPresident now-alumna Nancy Scola picks the use — and misuse — of Facebook and Twitter at last night's GOP debates in New Hampshire, from CNN's seemingly half-hearted ... Read More

Oversight Committee Hearing Explores the Future of Transparency in Federal Spending

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.) at today's hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Screen capture from oversight.house.gov The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform just concluded a ... Read More

Senate Staffer Says Hackers Knocked, But Didn't Get Far

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Hackers gained access to files on Senate.gov over the weekend, but gained access to no sensitive information, Deputy U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Martina Bradford said in a statement emailed to reporters last night. ... Read More

Updated: Hackers Say They've Broken Into Senate.gov

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 13 2011

LulzSec, the same people who hacked PBS.org, announced today that they've hacked into Senate.gov, the website of the U.S. Senate. A spokeswoman for the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the office responsible for the senate's ... Read More

State Department Subsidizes Disruptive Tech for 'Freedom to Connect'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 13 2011

From the in-case-you-missed-it department, the New York Times on Sunday prominently featured a dive into the world of "liberation technology" — hacked-together solutions to avoid or subvert control of ... Read More

The Political Fight Over Public Broadband Arrives in Wisconsin

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 13 2011

Ars Technica has an in-depth look at a legislative battle now in progress over the fate of a public broadband network for Wisconsin's state schools and libraries: As we go to press with this story, WiscNet is negotiating ... Read More

White House Social Media Survey Results: The State of Our Twitter is Strong

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 13 2011

Most people who follow the White House on social media are over the age of 35, the administration announced Friday, on its blog. Fifty percent of Facebook survey respondents were over the age of 50, while on Twitter, ... 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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