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[BackChannel] Unequal Participation: Open Government's Unresolved Dilemma?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Friday, February 15 2013

In this post for Backchannel, our ongoing conversation between practitioners and close observers at the intersection of technology and politics, participatory budgeting researcher Tiago Peixoto writes that research in New York has revealed a way to involve people in governance that is far more inclusive than the way city decision-making currently operates. Read More

New Data: Democrats and Republicans, Who Shows us the Stimulus Online?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Friday, January 29 2010

A few days ago I posted the results of an assessment of a report from July 2009 by Good Jobs First, a study on the effectiveness and transparency of state websites devoted to tracking stimulus money. The results of my ... Read More

Transparency on the Web: a Democrat(ic) Virtue?

BY Tiago Peixoto | Tuesday, January 26 2010

The study Show Us the Stimulus (July 2009, Good Jobs First) is one of the most comprehensive and systematic assessments of US state "recovery" websites. The authors of the report analyze the effectiveness and ... Read More

From Australia, An E-Participatory Budgeting Experiment

BY Tiago Peixoto | Wednesday, September 23 2009

The government of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn and stimulate local economies, has allocated the equivalent of US$30 million to the ... 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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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

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