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The +Newt Gingrich Google Hangout: How'd That Go?

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 13 2011

Last weekend, you may recall, Newt Gingrich had promised to host a group video chat on Google's new social networking service, Google +. Well, it happened — and the Gingrich campaign has posted the video to ... Read More

Dueling D.C. Events Happening Now: House Republicans and White House Websites

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Two events in Washington, D.C., with big online components, are about to get started: a Facebook event with the House Republican New Media Caucus, about how members of Congress are using social media to connect with ... Read More

Russian Writer's 'Bloggers Against Garbage' Initiative Picks Up Steam

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

France 24 International News carries this item from late last week about "Bloggers Against Garbage," an initiative founded by Sergey Dolya that seeks to use the power of social networks to mobilize clean-ups in parks and ... Read More

Social Media Solves Tennessee Governor's Newsletter Kerfuffle

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Tennessee state legislators are reacting to Gov. Bill Haslam's recent decision to slash nine out of ten recipients of a daily early-morning news roundup by distributing the news themselves, the Associated Press reports. ... Read More

Alan Grayson Vows a Return

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson, who came to office in 2008 with the support of the online left and whose term was an experiment in the ability of the Internet to keep a candidate viable who does not quite toe the party ... Read More

Public Broadband May Be Coming to Harford County, Maryland

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Harford County, Maryland, may get a low-cost community wireless network, GovtTech reports: The $8 million proposal would consolidate existing networks into a single, secure high-speed IP network providing Internet, ... Read More

WeGov

U.S., Brazil To Lead International Open Government Partnership

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 12 2011

Ask the State Department and it is a return to a challenge President Barack Obama issued at the last U.N. General Assembly, encouraging other countries to embrace open government. Ask some observers, and it is a return to the American practice of democracy building, just under a different name. Either way, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota this morning announced international partnership to promote transparency, citizen participation, and accountability in participating countries. The event was streamed live on State.gov. Read More

An Apps Contest for the MTA

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 11 2011

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the entity responsible for the New York City Subway and commuter transportation in the city's metropolitan area, is hosting an apps contest for developers to build on top of the ... Read More

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Joins Twitter

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 11 2011

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has joined Twitter: Governor Pat Quinn today launched official Twitter and Flickr pages to provide Illinois residents with yet another way to access and communicate with state government. Governor ... Read More

Things For a 2012 Election Infrastructure: a High-Tech Tracker Operation

BY Nick Judd | Monday, July 11 2011

The New York Times' Michael Shear has a look inside American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic organization following Republican candidates running in 2011 and 2012, searching for their "macaca" moments: Combined with a ... 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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