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First POST: Big Things

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, April 2 2015

"The 2016 election will be live-streamed"; 64% Americans now own a smartphone; proposal to classify third-party analytics tools as communications tools; female-run VC funds; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Jargon Busters

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, January 28 2015

Changes in the RNC's tech team; big plans for digital democracy in the UK; how people in Cuba are making their own private Internet; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Cheers

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, December 24 2014

How to not overreact to the Sony hack; the FCC admits it lost nearly 680,000 open internet comments; a great civic app wish-list; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Weekly Readings: Masterclass

BY Antonella Napolitano and Rebecca Chao | Tuesday, May 27 2014

Wikipedia and digital democracy; Pirate Party's dismal performance in the European parliamentary elections; a spate of censorship around the globe; and more. Read More

WeGov

[Op-Ed] Tech, Democracy and USAID

BY Katrin Verclas | Thursday, April 10 2014

Among a myriad of controversies surrounding ZunZuneo is the illicit collection of millions of cell phone numbers (teleyradio)

There has been much debate about the ill-fated "Cuban Twitter" program funded by USAID, the US development agency, and administered by Beltway contractors Creative Associates and MobileAccord. While "Cuban Twitter" was indeed completely mismanaged, USAID is involved in a myriad of other projects that are supporting democracy efforts, citizen oversight over institutions, political party development, and fair elections. Many of these purport to have a technology component as well. So how do they fare? Read More

First POST: Cockamamie and Catastrophic

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, April 9 2014

More fallout from the "Cuban Twitter" misfire; Snowden explains how he is not like Assange; the benefits of open data; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Stunts

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, April 8 2014

USAID pushes back in defense of ZunZeneo; Indian candidate copies from Obama data playbook; cities from Boston to Philly to San Francisco roll with the web; and much much more. Read More

First POST: USAID's Exploding Cigar

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, April 7 2014

Why ZunZeneo, the "Cuban Twitter" funded by USAID, was such a bad idea; some hard questions about the Comcast-TimeWarner merger; tech's "man problem"; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: The Problem with ZunZuneo and "Cuban Twitter"

BY Anne Nelson | Monday, April 7 2014

Rock painting of the "Cuban Five" (Photo copyright: Anne Nelson, 2013)

On April 3, the AP broke the story of ZunZuneo, a USAID-funded text messaging service in Cuba designed to circumvent government censorship and build a platform for dissent. Latin America expert and new media scholar Anne Nelson explains why the covert project was such a bad idea. Read More

WeGov

The View From Inside Cuba's Not-So-Worldwide Web

BY Anne Nelson | Friday, April 5 2013

"Palacio" Joven Club de Computacion in Havana (credit: Anne Nelson)

The “Palacio Central de Computacion” lies in the heart of central Havana, amid battered monuments and the crumbling shells of grand hotels. Despite its “palace” billing, the design of the squat blue two-story building recalls its origins as a pre-revolution Sears box store. At the entrance, a government employee sits at a desk, with two uniformed guards standing by. No, she states firmly, foreigners may not enter the facility, and no, photographs are not permitted. What are those intent young Cubans doing at the desktops behind her? “Computing,” she answers, that is, writing school essays and emails to their Cuban friends on the Cuban “Intranet.” Read More