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India's Election Commission Lays Down Last Minute Laws For Online Campaigning

BY Jessica McKenzie | Wednesday, November 6 2013

Screenshot of PM Manmohan Singh's Twitter page

India's Election Commission recently published a set of guidelines for the use of social media in political campaigns, requiring that candidates declare the amount of funds spent on social media campaigning and pre-certify their political advertisements, among other requirements. The new rules, sprung on political campaigners less than a month before the scheduled elections, have had mixed reception, with some saying that the rules do not go far enough.

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It's Like Craigslist for People Who Hate Government Spending

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, March 28 2013

The National Republican Congressional Committee has launched "Waste List," a web-friendly collection of all the things Republicans think the federal government shouldn't be spending money on. A chief source for the list is "Wastebook," an annual effort by the office of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), most recently released in in October 2012. Read More

Rapid @-Response

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 21 2011

House Speaker John Boehner tries to bust the breaking news. Read More

The Europe roundup: Petition Your Council. Easily.

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, July 6 2011

UK | Petition Your Council. Easily. Yesterday mySociety.org launched a new project called PetitionYourCouncil.com: the website has been built to make it easy to petition your local council using their official online ... Read More

Sen. Carper Warns E-Gov Cuts Could Cost Too Much

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 22 2011

In case you haven't been following the saga of cuts in federal funding for digital projects, let's try it this way: The federal government has a piggy bank called the Electronic Government Fund. In it last year Congress ... Read More

New DCCC Web Ad: "Republicans Voted to End Medicare"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 19 2011

The DCCC went there. In a new web ad out today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee puts visuals to the worst nightmare we all share: grandpa will turn to stripping when things get tight. The ad is based on ... Read More

Issa Says Life Will Go on for Open Government Sites

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 18 2011

In his update on the state of play for open government funding, the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe captures one objection to cuts in the electronic government funds -- things are just getting warmed up: Steven Aftergood, a ... Read More

US Uncut Gets AP to Run Story on GE's Supposed $3.2B Gift to America

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 13 2011

US Uncut, the burgeoning "grassroots movement taking direct action against corporate tax cheats and unnecessary and unfair public service cuts" has pulled off a real doozy. Rather incredibly, the AP and ... Read More

Budget Agreement Shrinks Open Data Funding Pool

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 13 2011

The Sunlight Foundation's* Daniel Schuman has the latest details on how funding is shaping up for the E-Government Fund in H.R. 1473, the FY2011 budget bill currently working its way through Congress. What it looks like ... Read More

Whither Open Gov? The Latest on Dollars for Data

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 5 2011

An update on the situation where funding for open government projects like Data.gov and the IT Dashboard would be cut down to the bone as part of budget negotiations happening on the Hill: the Sunlight Foundation's* ... 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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