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WeGov

Helsinki App Challenge Provides Developers With Hand Holding and Advice

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, August 12 2013

Courtesy: DotOpen

Already considered one of the least corrupt countries in the world, Finland continues to lead by example in open data and government transparency. An initiative in Helsinki, sponsored by organizations like Apps4Finland and Helsinki Loves Developers, encourages app developers to take advantage of the treasure trove of open data available.

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WeGov

In Finland, A Citizens' Initiative to Protect Privacy and Whistleblowers

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, July 18 2013

Parliament of Finland (Wikipedia)

The Finns would help Edward Snowden if they could. Unfortunately, the law in Finland requires an asylum seeker to be in the country when applying, according to foreign ministry spokeswoman Tytti Pylkö. Some see the requirement as an unfortunate gap in their laws, and have petitioned to have it closed. On July 8, Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi) submitted a citizens' initiative to close the loopholes regarding whistle-blowers, and to protect the privacy of Finnish citizens.

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WeGov

Finnish Parliament Must Vote on Citizens' Petition for Same Sex Marriage Law

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, March 25 2013

Helsinki Cathedral in Midnight Sun (credit: Visit Finland/Flickr)

Over the course of a single day last week, Finnish advocates of equal marriage rights gathered 50,000 signatures for a petition that proposes granting legal recognition to same sex couples. According to the Citizen's Initiative Act, a modification of the Finnish constitutionthat was passed last year, this is the minimum number of signatures required for a legislative vote: the proposal has therefore been submitted to parliament. Read More

WeGov

In Finland, "Open Ministry" Brings Legislation From the Crowd

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, September 28 2012

Tech entrepreneurs in Finland have created Open Ministry, an open-source platform for citizens to discuss proposals and collect the necessary signatures online. Read More

The Europe Roundup: A FixMyStreet Milestone for mySociety

BY Antonella Napolitano | Monday, January 30 2012

Photo: Todd Mecklem / Flickr

Another milestone for FixMyStreet, open data in Finland and privacy issues in Germany. And don't miss today's tweetchat with Commissioner for Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes Read More

The Europe Roundup: A Privacy Code of Conduct

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, September 9 2011

Germany | A Privacy Code of Conduct German data protection advocates often take aim at Facebook: most recently the Facebook button “Like” has been made illegal by the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The state ... Read More

Nordic Techpolitics - Oslo, September 2nd

BY Antonella Napolitano | Wednesday, August 31 2011

Here's a preview of Nordic Techpolitics, a conference that will focus on how technology is changing politics, government and societies in the Nordic countries. The conference will take place in Oslo, next September 2nd. ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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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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