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How Different Are Twitter Users From Average Americans?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 5 2013

NodeXL graph of a Twitter conversation. Flickr/Marc Smith

A Pew Research Center study confirms what everyone suspected: People who use Twitter to share their opinions don't reflect the general public's opinion as a whole. Read More

White House: "It's Time To Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, March 4 2013

Photo: Flickr/Yutaka Tsutano

The White House agrees that it shouldn't be a crime to unlock your cell-phone. Activists praise their response, and use it to kick off effort to fix a landmark digital copyright law. Read More

New Leaders Council Honors Young Innovators In Politics And Tech

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, March 1 2013

The San Francisco chapter of the Democratic leaning New Leaders Council feted four of their under-40-year-old peers Thursday night for their contributions to progressive causes in the past year. Read More

Organizing for Action Solicits Stories On Impact of Sequestration

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 27 2013

The Obama administration is trying to mobilize the public with a push to tell them about the impact of the looming automatic budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect Friday. But the public doesn't seem to be listening. Read More

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte Outlines Panel's Agenda

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 27 2013

Curbing 'frivolous' patent litigation, ensuring the safety of the nation's digital infrastructure, and taking another look at an outdated electronic data storage law are all at the top of the agenda for the House Judiciary Committee, said its chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, on Wednesday. Read More

Illinois 2nd District Primary: Robin Kelly Thanks The Netroots

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 27 2013

Robin Kelly, a former state representative in Illinois who won the special Democratic primary Tuesday night, made sure to thank the members of the DailyKos community during her acceptance speech for helping her to win the race against former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson. Kelly won the primary with 52 percent of the vote compared to 25 percent for Halvorson. Turnout was low at around 15 percent. Read More

Gavin Newsom On the Meaning of "Citizenville:" A Q&A

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 26 2013

Sergey Brin helps Gavin Newsom put on a pair of Google glasses. Image: Current TV

California's lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, has just published "Citizenville," a light volume at around 240 pages that urges American citizens and their local governments to re-imagine how the process of governing might work in the digital age. In an edited Q&A, Sarah Lai Stirland asks Newsom to explain the meaning behind his manifesto. Read More

Friday Was Organizing For Action's First 'Day of Action'

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, February 22 2013

Organizing for Action volunteers were scheduled to swing into gear Friday in 80 congressional districts to promote President Obama's push to enact new legislation to crack down on gun violence. Read More

With Online Petition, Activists Hope to Open a New Front For Copyright Reform

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, February 20 2013

A growing fight over what you are legally allowed to do with the electronic devices you buy is making strange bedfellows. Read More

Silicon Valley Libertarians Cling to Their Guns: "Gun Control is Technology Control"

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 19 2013

Calguns Foundation Chairman Gene Hoffman on his semi-automatic AR-15: "It's normal." Photo: Sarah Lai Stirland

Gene Hoffman, an affable Silicon Valley entrepreneur, speaks rapidly and logically, and his hands whiz expertly around the weapon as he attaches the lower receiver into the rest of his LCW-15, a type of AR-15 rifle. At 38, he is the CEO of Vindicia, a digital subscription payments processing firm. But he's also chairman of the non-profit Calguns Foundation, which is part of a national network of gun-rights activists that are defending Second Amendment rights in court and fighting legislative battles in statehouses.

"It's weird for me to hear about technologists in the wake of Sandy Hook saying that we should ban guns -- gun control is simply technology control," Hoffman says.

I am in Hoffman's office to understand how he, and Calguns, have come to sit at the center of a network of activists that are baffling efforts to roll back the nation's gun culture and stem the spread of deadly assault weapons. Here is what I found out.

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