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BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 17 2009

There was one illuminating exchange in yesterday's otherwise vapid Senate confirmation hearing of Julius Genachowski. Read More

Waiting for Genachowski

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, June 11 2009

Let's see...carry the one...adjust for the short month...and, yep, it's been 103 days since Barack Obama nominated his campaign technology advisor Julius Genachowski to serve as the chair of the Federal Communications ... Read More

Republican Nominations Inch Genachowski Closer to the FCC Chair's Desk

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 3 2009

Some good news for those of you eager to see Julius Genachowski finally installed at the FCC sometime before a draft of the national broadband plan is due on the president's desk in April 2o10. Reuters is reporting that ... Read More

The Reform Era. The New Deal. Obama's FCC?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 15 2009

The most salient reason Julius Genachowski's Senate confirmation hearing on his nomination to be chair of the Federal Communications Commission has been delayed seems to be an understanding by congressional Republicans ... Read More

Broadband's Way Ahead: DC's Tech Crowd Gathers to Plot Hands-On Approach

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 14 2009

Sure, it might look like a standard-issue DC tech policy event. But it's also something of a ritual cleansing. Today, the Free Press Summit is taking place in Washington to focus conversations around the future of the ... Read More

FCC Nominee Genachowski to Get His Day Before the Senate

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, May 7 2009

It's been more than two months since President Obama picked Julius Genachowski to serve as chair of the Federal Communications Commission. Obama heaped high praise on his former campaign advisor at the time, saying of ... Read More

Grumblings Over Obama's Little-Known FCC Pick with a Famous Last Name

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, May 4 2009

As far as big Washington jobs go, a famous last name can be a blessing or a curse. Sure, carrying the last name of, say, Pelosi is probably going to get your requests for an interview responded to with alacrity. But ... Read More

The Need for Speed: Defining Up "Broadband"

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 9 2009

"Broadband can be defined in myriad ways." That bit of bureaucratic understatement comes courtesy of the FCC, in yesterday's big announcement that it has kicked off the process for crafting a "National ... 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.