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Twitter Grows Public Policy Team With Former FCC Staffer Colin Crowell

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 29 2011

Twitter's public policy team grows with the addition of former FCC senior counselor Colin Crowell, whose hiring was announced Monday. Photo: Andy Melton / Flickr A top former staffer at the Federal Communications ... Read More

In San Francsico, The FCC Is Watching

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 15 2011

Federal Communications Commission spokesperson Neil Grace just sent along this statement about the developing situation in San Francisco, where the public transit authority, BART, has staked a claim on the right to shut ... Read More

House Bill Would Subsidize Broadband Access for Low-Income Americans

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Ca.) today introduced legislation that would subsidize broadband Internet access for low-income Americans by having service providers discount their monthly bills. The legislation, the Broadband ... Read More

Tech-Savvy FCC Managing Director Wraps Up Stint, Heads to USAID

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, June 9 2011

Steve VanRoekel Today's the last day in the office for Steve VanRoekel, the managing director of the Federal Communications Commission. Appointed by FCC chair Julius Genachowski, during his two year stint VanRoekel ... Read More

The National Broadband "Map to Nowhere"?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 3 2011

The National Broadband Map Over on Slate, New American Foundation's Benjamin Lennett and Sascha Meinrath are having a little back and forth with the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau's chief data officer Steven Rosenberg ... Read More

Reel Grrls Tweet Freely, Won't Pay for It

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 20 2011

Comcast says it won't, after all, pull its funding from Seattle's Reel Grrls over a tweet that expressed outrage over FCC commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker's new job at the company. Read More

Washington Times Not Pleased President is on the Phone

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 16 2011

The paper's editorial board makes the argument you knew was coming: the new mobile presidential push-notification alert system represents "Obama's 300 million new Twitter followers." Read More

Hitting Issa's Wall to Call for FCC Commish Investigation

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 13 2011

House oversight chief Darrell Issa is getting harangued on his Facebook wall over FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker's announcement that she's going to work at Comcast a few months after voting to approve the ... Read More

U.S. Enters Age of Location-Aware Mobile Emergency Alerts

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 10 2011

White House photo by Pete Souza If you're a customer of one of the big four mobile carriers and live in New York City, you could soon see a public safety announcement from President Obama pop up on your mobile phone. At ... Read More

Broadband Ambitions, One Year In

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 14 2011

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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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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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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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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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