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First POST: Mobilization, or Not

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 3 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Organizing for Action's gun-control woes; a new source for Bitcoin news; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

Can TurboVote "Disrupt" Voter Registration? Knight Gives $1 Million to Find Out

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 2 2013

Photo: Chris Phan / Flickr

A New York-based non-profit will announce Thursday a new $1 million investment, part of a "sustainability round" its founders hope will raise the cash it needs to build a solution to America's voter registration problems. Thursday, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will announce that it is investing $1 million in TurboVote over three years. The money will go to help TurboVote develop a new line of business working with elections officials in counties across the country — and a platform to help officials manage the millions of data points they must track to make sure citizens can cast their vote. Read More

First POST: Confusing Moves

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 2 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Deciphering Republicans' data plans; understanding FWD.us; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

First POST: Gen-Xers

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, May 1 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Understanding the likely new head of the FCC; preparing for TransparencyCamp; and wondering if the Internet is bringing younger people into local politics — this and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

First POST: Regressions

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 30 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: Using advanced statistical analysis to drive public policy; understanding the citizen who participates; tough times for Mark Zuckerberg's immigration lobbying effort; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

Ender's Game: The Problem With "The End of History" In Technology Debates

BY Nick Judd | Monday, April 29 2013

Why do some writers insist on treating the end of the 20th century like an intellectual black hole, capturing all ideas that enter and preventing new ones from escape? A more interconnected global society, influenced by Internet communications technology, is now part of the world — but a virulent strain of bad rhetoric seems set on preventing anyone from leveling a genuine critique about what that might mean. Read More

First POST: Arguments

BY Nick Judd | Monday, April 29 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: A call for a "more nuanced debate" on technology in society; understanding what social media can do to the stock market; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

First POST: Engagement

BY Nick Judd | Friday, April 26 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: New information about civic life in the U.S.; new tools for citizen science; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

Four Surprising Things About Civics and Politics in America

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 25 2013

The Pew Internet and American Life Project today released the results of a broad survey about civic life and the Internet. There are some obvious findings: People who are better educated and make more money are more likely to be politically active, for instance, and, as we've known for a while, people who find out about a political topic online can be motivated to seek out more information. But buried beneath the survey's top-line results are some surprising, and still statistically significant, results — things that tell us about the role of the Internet in politics that we did not already know. Read More

First POST: Fakery

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 25 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: What lies spread on Twitter and which ones are caught; a new study shows the rise of civic engagement online; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

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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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