Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

An Interview with Craig Fugate, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 24 2009

Hurricanes might gather force, low-lying areas pool with water, and wildfires rage much as they long have. But today they rise as a challenge to a different American people. From mobile phones to Twitter, the ... Read More

Foods Liberals Like

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, November 13 2009

And conservatives, too. But that flowed better. Hunch, a newish site from the folks behind Flickr that wants to help you make decisions, has dug into the cache of social data they've amassed thus far to take a look at ... Read More

Defending Clunkers with a Data Dump

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, November 9 2009

CARS.gov, the Department of Transportation's online home for its Cash-for Clunkers program, has posted the raw data on the nearly 700,000 cars that were traded in during the course of the month-long program. Read More

Four-Fifths of U.S. States Still Not Releasing Structured Election Data

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 3 2009

Here's a neat little civic engagement project to get started on tomorrow. Google and the Pew Center on the States have been working for years now on something called the Voting Information Project, aimed a solving one ... Read More

Googling Virginia's Vote

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 22 2009

The Google Voting Information Project, an effort we've geeked out over in the past for its attempt to organize election information in a way most useful to citizens, is rolling out a widgety thing on the occasion of the ... Read More

Membership Data Becomes Newest Weapon Against Britain's Far-Right BNP

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 21 2009

Why might the British National Party not exactly be thrilled that its membership list was revealed to all the world on Wikileaks, that online clearinghouse of sneaky bits created by Chinese dissidents and geared towards ... Read More

Q&A on Federal Register XML

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, October 7 2009

Over on O'Reilly Radar, Carl Malamud has a chat with Federal Register director Ray Mosley and the Government Printing Office's Michael Wash, based on questions on the new Federal Register in XML that Malamud collected ... Read More

And Then There Were 102: NYC's DataMine Glitch

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 6 2009

(By Nancy Scola and Micah Sifry) Read More

BigApps: Build a Better Gotham [UPDATED]

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, October 6 2009

The New York Times stole the best headline for this post, "New York City Wants You to Create an App For That." Sigh. Anyho, the Big Apple is indeed kicking off its Big Apps contest this very afternoon. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

tuesday >

Ruck.us Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like Democracy.com

Ruck.us launched with big ambitions and star appeal, hoping to crack the code on how to get millions of people to pool their political passions through their platform. When that ambition stalled, its founder Nathan Daschle--son of the former Senator--decided to pivot to offering political candidates an easy-to-use free web platform for organizing and fundraising. Now the new Ruck.us is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and Democracy.com. And strangely enough, Ruck.us seems to want its early users to ask Democracy.com for help. GO

Armenian Legislators: You Can Be As Anonymous on the 'Net As You Like—Until You Can't

A proposed bill in Armenia would make it illegal for media outlets to include defamatory remarks by anonymous or fake sources, and require sites to remove libelous comments within 12 hours unless they identify the author.

GO

monday >

The Good Wife Looks for the Next Snowden and Outwits the NSA

Even as the real Edward Snowden faces questions over his motives in Russia, another side of his legacy played out for the over nine million viewers of last night's The Good Wife, which concluded its season long storyline exploring NSA surveillance. In the episode titled All Tapped Out, one young NSA worker's legal concerns lead him to becoming a whistle-blower, setting off a chain of events that allows the main character, lawyer Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), and her husband, Illinois Governor Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), to turn the tables on the NSA using its own methods. GO

The Expanding Reach of China's Crowdsourced Environmental Monitoring Site, Danger Maps

Last week billionaire businessman Jack Ma, founder of the e-commerce company Alibaba, appealed to his “500 million-strong army” of consumers to help monitor water quality in China. Inexpensive testing kits sold through his company can be used to measure pH, phosphates, ammonia, and heavy metal levels, and then the data can be uploaded via smartphone to the environmental monitoring site Danger Maps. Although the initiative will push the Chinese authorities' tolerance for civic engagement and activism, Ethan Zuckerman has high hopes for “monitorial citizenship” in China.

GO

The 13 Worst Bits of Russia's Current and Maybe Future Internet Legislation

It appears that Russia is on the brink of passing still more repressive Internet regulations. A new telecommunications bill that would require popular blogs—those with 3,000 or more visits a day—to join a government registry and conform to government-mandated standards is expected to pass this week. What follows is a list of the worst bits of both proposed and existing Russian Internet law. Let us know in the comments or on Twitter if we missed anything.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More