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With Business Atlas, NYC Analytics Office Looks to 2014

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 2 2014

A recently released tool from the City of New York seeks to level the playing field for small businesses looking to learn more about economic conditions of neighborhoods and possible business locations. The NYC Business Atlas is a project from the NYC Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA), and the Departments of Small Business Services. Read More

Under Open Data Law, New York City Begins Herding Its Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 11 2013

New York City had until last Thursday to meet the first deadline set in its now year-old open data law by making data already published on nyc.gov available in machine-readable format, rather than in PDF format. According to a city press release, there are now over 1,000 data sets available on New York City's Open Data platform. The platform launched in October of 2011 with 750 data sets, 250 of which were new at the time. Since the law was signed in March of last year, New York City's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) has been working with agencies to add 350 new data sets to the platform and worked to add regularly updated feeds to existing data sets. Read More

Once Relics of a City's Past, Now in Plans for a Digital Future

BY Sam Roudman | Tuesday, February 5 2013

In the 1900s, these tunnels hauled freight under downtown Chicago. Will they carry fiber-optic cable next? Photo: Wikimedia

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus: As leading city governments across the country consider how to approach the Internet age, they're taking the concept of "adaptive reuse" to a new frontier by thinking of new ways to turn old standbys like payphones or disused rail tunnels into new pieces of digital infrastructure. Read More

City CIOs See Inspiration for Civic Hackers in New Federal Portal for City Data

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, August 3 2012

With the launch of a new U.S. City Data Portal housed online by the federal government, a group of the nation's largest city chief information officers are hoping that some day developers will take the records New York City keeps on restaurants and combine it with other cities' comparable data to create new applications that could be of use to both the public and people in government. Read More

In New York, Landmark Open Data Legislation Will Soon Be Up for a Vote

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 28 2012

The New York City Council is expected to vote on a far-reaching open data bill on Wednesday that would codify many of the principles articulated by open government advocates in recent years. If made law, the bill would go further than San Francisco's pioneering 2010 open data law in depth and scope, obliging agencies to provide data online in machine-readable format though a single, citywide portal. But perhaps in a nod to the amount of work involved in working through large volumes of existing data, city agencies won't have to make theirs available through the city's portal until the end of 2018. Read More

New York City Announces BigApps 3.0

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 12 2011

A $10,000 grand prize is now on offer for the third NYC BigApps competition, announced last night. Launched in 2009 as of the earliest contests challenging developers to build applications specifically for denizens of a ... Read More

Seeing the Snow for the Blizzard: Using Mobile for Government Oversight

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, January 11 2011

Over on his company blog, Mobile Commons*' Jed Alpert has a quick Q&A with the digital editor of WNYC's program The Takeaway, Jim Colgan, about a project the public radio station did to allow New Yorkers to document ... Read More

News Briefs

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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