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Beth Noveck's Transparency Suggestions For Bringing Better Data Through the DATA Act

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

Two competing initiatives from the House of Representatives and White House respectively fall short of their stated goal to increase transparency around government spending, former White House Deputy Chief Technology ... Read More

#AskObama: How'd That Go? [UPDATED]

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 6 2011

Watch the entire Twitter town hall event with President Barack Obama on C-Span.org Today's Twitter event with President Barack Obama highlighted the White House's ongoing struggle to be engaging, stay on message, and ... Read More

Celebrities, Unions, Members of Congress All #AskObama

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 6 2011

Representatives John Boehner, who is the House speaker, Darrell Issa, Patrick McHenry, Bill Johnson, Adam Kinzinger and others in the House and Senate are using the #askObama hashtag to pepper President Barack Obama with ... Read More

A Lobbyist Database for Chicago

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 6 2011

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is set to introduce an ordinance today that would create a wide-reaching lobbyist disclosure database, according to a press release. The ordinance makes good on a promise Emanuel made in the ... Read More

The Long Arm of American Copyright Enforcement Efforts Reaches Across the Atlantic

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

The U.S.'s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is going after website owners on piracy charges if they are using a .com or .net domain, regardless of where they are in the world or where their sites are hosted, ... Read More

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Mainstream Media Are Not the Best of Friends

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is taking to campaign-style tactics to improve his public image, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports — a 2010-style campaign, one that avoids editorial boards and mainstream media — ... Read More

Meet Your Obama Town Hall Tweet 'Curators'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

In a blog post on the official Twitter blog, the company explained that questions during the live town hall-style event it's hosting with President Barack Obama will be selected algorithmically and by a team of curators ... Read More

Stephen Colbert's Square-Powered Super PAC

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

When Stephen Colbert walked out of a Federal Elections Commission meeting where the FEC gave him permission to form a "super PAC" and promote it on his show, he had a credit card swiper on hand, ready to collect ... Read More

The Office of the Vice President Is On Twitter

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

A day before President Barack Obama is slated to field questions posed via Twitter in a town hall-style event to be streamed online, Vice President Joe Biden's office has joined Twitter. (Via David Zylberberg.) Read More

After Hacking Attack, Fox News Twitter Account Falsely Claims Obama 'Assassinated'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

The Fox News Twitter account @foxnewspolitics was hacked over the weekend, and Fox News has said the hackers were behind a series of tweets sent on Monday that falsely said President Barack Obama had been assassinated. ... 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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