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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

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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