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In Latest Foray Online, President Obama Will Take Questions From Twitter [UPDATED]

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

Source: askobama.twitter.com On July 6, the President of the United States will answer questions about jobs and the economy selected from those submitted via a Twitter hashtag, the White House announced on Twitter. On a ... Read More

USA.Gov Wants You to Hack On What You Click

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

Federal officials announced yesterday that they'll be hosting a hackathon on July 29 around using the data produced by the federal URL shortening service, 1.usa.gov. All the data produced by clicks on links from ... Read More

White Boards and Goolsbee vs. Obama and Babies

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 29 2011

The White House, too, sweats pageviews, Macon Phillips revealed yesterday. At a Brookings event event on Tuesday, Phillips, the White House new media director, fielded a question about engaging more than 10 percent of ... Read More

On the Importance of Bridging the 'Data Divide'

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 29 2011

Writing in Wired, Jesse Lichtenstein observes the proliferation of open data initiatives around the world is not all rainbows and unicorns: Take the case of the Bhoomi Project, an ambitious effort by the southern Indian ... Read More

Biz Stone Talks About Twitter and the State Department

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 29 2011

Writing for The Atlantic from the Aspen Ideas Festival, Alexis Madrigal has a gem from Biz Stone, the Twitter co-founder, in which Stone expresses unease at how "cozy" the State Department is with Twitter. "... I ... Read More

Teen Texts May Be Preserving Endangered Languages

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 29 2011

McClatchy Newspapers' Tim Johnson writes that teenagers using regional languages in text messages may keep them from "forsaking their native tongues for dominant languages:" Linguist Samuel Herrera said he was elated to ... Read More

Egyptian Economic Development Exec Says Internet Shutdown Was One-Time Thing

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 29 2011

The chief executive officer of Egypt's Information Technology Industry Development Agency, Yasser Elkady, promises that the whole Internet blackout thing "will never happen again," Computerworld reports: Elkady says the ... Read More

A Twitter Debate for Republicans Seeking Their Presidential Nomination: How Does That Work?

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 28 2011

Organizing a Twitter debate for Republican candidates is harder than it might seem. The technology the easy part — it's the rules that are difficult to write. On July 20, the Tea Party group TheTeaParty.net will ... Read More

Pope Benedict XVI, Twitter User

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 28 2011

Pope Benedict XVI has composed and sent his first-ever papal tweet, the Associated Press reports: Benedict's tweet on Tuesday read: "Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers ... Read More

Chicago CTO Says Senior Municipal Staff are Changing the Way Cities Work

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 28 2011

Chicago at night. Photo: Rhys Asplundh / Flickr Mayors across the United States are tasking senior staffers with changing the way their cities work, Chicago Chief Technology Officer John Tolva said during an interview ... 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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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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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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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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