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Tech In Obama’s 2013 Budget Proposal: Still High Hopes For Gov 2.0

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, February 14 2012

The Obama Administration hopes that its Gov. 2.0 efforts will inspire other efforts around the world

The White House on Monday announced a 2013 budget proposal of $16.7 million for its e-government operations, and an additional $5 million for a government-wide fund that will enable agencies to reap the knowledge gained from lab-testing emerging technologies without having to conduct duplicative tests themselves. The $16.7 million is far lower than the $34 million per year that the administration had allocated for e-government initiatives in 2009 and 2010, but it’s more than the $12.4 million that congressional appropriators approved late last year for fiscal 2012. The administration and open government advocates had to vigorously fight off appropriators’ efforts to slash the funds for e-government initiatives during last year's budget battles. 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

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

A Plea to Keep on Funding E-Gov

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 28 2011

Here's an update on the dollars for open government front: the Sunlight Foundation* has just pushed out an open letter calling on congressional leaders to avoid slashing the budget for the E-Government Fund from $34 ... Read More

Open Government: "Free" as in Someone-Still-Needs-to-Appropriate-Funds-for-It

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 28 2011

Open government advocates are freaking out about what the continuing budget resolutions being considered in the House and Senate would do to federal transparency projects like Data.gov, USASpending.gov, and online ... 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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