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Michelle Obama's Name Loaned to DNC in its First Use of OFA Email List

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, July 25 2013

The Democratic National Committee directly reached out to Obama for America supporters with emails sent early this week in what appears to be the first time the full, storied Obama email list has been pressed into service by the DNC, at least since the end of the 2012 campaign. Some recipients saw emails sent on the DNC's behalf with First Lady Michelle Obama's name in the "Sender" field. Read More

What Congress Might Do With All Those Emails

BY Nick Judd | Friday, June 15 2012

The Republican House leadership is experimenting with tools that might make it easier for members of Congress to more easily understand what all the emails they get in a day really mean. There are also tools that track messages headed outbound towards Congress, like PopVox, that hope to give perspective on what representatives are hearing from the outside looking in. In this video, Dan Beckmann from the technology firm ib5k describes how his company's platform, Correlate, is designed to solve one aspect of the problem. It is now in use by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer — a Democrat — and may appear elsewhere within House leadership soon, Beckmann says. Read More

Mitt Romney's Gubernatorial Email Trail Has Been Erased

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, November 17 2011

The Boston Globe reports: Just before Mitt Romney left the Massachusetts governor’s office and first ran for president, 11 of his top aides purchased their state-issued computer hard drives, and the Romney ... Read More

Palin Emails Will Be a Searchable Database

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 1 2011

Alaska will release thousands of pages of Sarah Palin's emails from her time as governor. Wait, what? Pages? Emails are electronic — why should there be pages at all? Turns out that the Alaskan state government ... Read More

State GOP Cheesed Off Over Email Request Criticisms

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 29 2011

Remember the case of William Cronon, the University of Wisconsin history professor who wrote about the state's recent labor battles and then found his university email records being requested by the state's Republican ... Read More

Stacks and Stacks of Emails

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 2 2010

One reason your inbox might have felt a bit swamped by election emails in the last twelve hours: Blue State Digital, just one of the digital firms on the Democratic-slash-progressive side of things, reports having sent ... Read More

Just How Big is John Boehner?

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 28 2010

Experience tells us that efforts to spice up yet-another-fundraising-email can lead to some curious word choices. Today's example comes from House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. In his note to the DCCC list, Hoyer warns ... Read More

From the Greatly Exaggerated Senate Email Files

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, July 7 2010

Capitol Police are looking into email spoofs engineered to look like they were coming from the offices of Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that announced their respective ... Read More

"Cyber Dissidents Make Headlines, Mrs. Laura Bush Launches New Website

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 13 2010

File that one under "Subjects of Emails I Didn't Expect to Get from George W. Bush Center Mailing List." The Center's recap of its recent cyber dissidents conference is here, and Mrs. Bush's book-focused new ... Read More

Ghosts of Iowa

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 1 2010

We should probably just go ahead and completely hand this day over to April Fool's jokes, Anyway, here's one that's circulating around amongst former Iowa staffers for the 2004 John Kerry campaign, it's a (fake) note ... 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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