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Israel Gets a Chief Information Officer

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 15 2012

The brand-new Times of Israel reports that Israeli officials have named Carmela Avner to the post of Chief Information Officer:

The decision places Avner in charge of information systems in all government ministries — the first time that one person would be responsible for that level of government data. According to the government decision, the CIO will consult with officials of all government ministries on the ease of use, convenience, and accessibility of their sites.
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Should You Bring Your iPad to the City Council Meeting?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 19 2011

The Boston Globe's Kathy McCabe has a smartly done enterprise story today about the intersection of public meetings and "e-government." Popping around Massachusetts towns, she compiles a list of anecdotes that sum up the ... Read More

Defense Department Launches Web Campaign for "Real Warriors" Dealing with Psychological Wounds

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 27 2009

Via NextGov, the Department of Defense has launched a new online campaign aimed at destigmatizing the mental health struggles for active duty and reservist soldiers. Read More

Job Description Woes: Oregon County No Longer Asking "Do You Tweet?"

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 14 2009

Multnomah County, Oregon, won't be getting its very own Twittering, Facebooking, and blogging social media coordinator after all. After getting heat for advertising the job at a government salary of $60,000 to $70,000 a ... Read More

EFF, CDT Propose Nuanced Alternative to Government Cookie Ban

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 12 2009

In a report released today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology are advancing the idea that the federal government's near-blanket ban on persistent cookies -- imposed by OMB ... Read More

What Scares CRS About Going Public

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 12 2009

Here's how you know that open government absolutists and CRS, the internal research wing of Congress, are so far apart that the entire Library of Congress plus the states of Connecticut and Arizona could fit comfortably ... Read More

An Open Government Paradigm Being Built Behind Closed Doors

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 12 2009

This whole thing is something like a leather-bound edition of Diet for a Small Planet. Holding an AA meeting at a bar. Passing around a charity box at an Objectivist conference. The Obama Administration's process for ... Read More

WhiteHouse.gov: Moving Into Advanced Work Before Mastering the Basics

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 12 2009

The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas does his second round of grading WhiteHouse.gov, the White House's main online home, and a salient criticism peeks through the comments of the various graders. On the plus side, ... Read More

Can Uncle Sam Balance Privacy and Engagement?

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 11 2009

The set-up for tomorrow's "Privacy and Analytics on Government Web Sites" event in Washington DC promises a refreshing blend of techno-utopianism and cyber conspiracy thinking. The Center for Democracy and ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

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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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.

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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.

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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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