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WeGov

France Outlines Open Data Plans

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, November 12 2013

On Friday the French government released their Action Plan for France to enact the guidelines and practices outlined in the G8 Open Data Charter, adopted in June of this year at the Lough Erne Summit by the President of the French Republic and the other G8 Member States.

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First POST: Touchy

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, October 24 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:The NSA scandal is having repercussions now in Germany; How to successfully launched a government website; Why "big government" can't be agile; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Not Clapping

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, August 14 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: How to protect your online communications; Bitcoin comes under federal scrutiny; Booker rises; Chicago wants to know if you're sick; and much, much more. Read More

WeGov

Obeying French Courts, Twitter Hands Over Identities of Users Who Employed Anti-Semitic Hashtag

BY Jessica McKenzie | Monday, July 22 2013

Screenshot of a #UnBonJuif tweet by @mafiacorsica

On July 12, Twitter gave the French authorities the necessary data to identify the authors of anti-semitic tweets accompanied by the hashtag #UnBonJuif (#AGoodJew). The decision officially ends a lengthy legal battle with France's Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) and several anti-racism groups. The case pitted hate speech laws against free expression and privacy on the Internet. Hate speech laws triumphed, but the outcome has reignited public debate on the subject of rights and responsibilities of both Internet users and companies.

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WeGov

New Mobile App Tags Racist Graffiti For Removal

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, May 28 2013

Innocuous French graffiti via Wikipedia

Racism is reportedly on the rise in France, but an anti-racism organization has developed a mobile app that allows users to upload photos of racist graffiti and geo-locate them, making it easier for authorities to find and remove the offending tags from public buildings. LICRA, the International League Against Racism and Anti-semitism, says the app will be available June 11, and that they will work with local authorities to get the graffiti removed.

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WeGov

French Authorities Want to Tap (and Tax) Skype Calls

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, May 23 2013

Paris, France ( Wikipedia)

In spite of repeated requests from the French telecommunications authorities ARCEP, Skype has refused to classify itself as an electronic communications operator in France, which would require them to route emergency calls and allow the French police to intercept conversations. ARCEP has informed the Paris public prosecutor of Skype's refusal, and criminal charges might be brought against the company for failing to comply. This is yet another instance in recent months of France making things difficult for tech companies. Some worry that the overzealous government is discouraging technological progress in France, hindering business and economic growth.

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WeGov

French Ministers Disclose Country Homes and Cars on New Website

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, April 18 2013

French government ministers and the French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault are now publishing a list of their assets on a special government website. The news comes just weeks after Budget Minister Jerome Cahuzac resigned following a report on an investigative French website, Mediapart, that he had an undeclared Swiss bank account. Read More

WeGov

To Fund a Political Rally, French Politician Turns to the Crowd

BY Julia Wetherell | Wednesday, March 20 2013

Patrick Mennucci, on the Ulule page for Pour Marseille 2014.

Platforms like Kickstarter have gotten citizen activist movements off the ground around the world. Yet in Marseille, France, this week, a local official started a funding campaign for a political engagement rally in the city, in what may be the one of the first instances of a political office using a commercial crowdfunding site. Read More

WeGov

Secret Raytheon Software is a Search Engine For Spying on Social Media Activity

BY Julia Wetherell | Thursday, February 14 2013

Screengrab from a video obtained by the Guardian, of a Raytheon employee demonstrating the uses of RIOT.

Earlier this week The Guardian broke the news that US-based defense contractor and security firm Raytheon has developed software over the past two years that can comprehensively track activity across social media platforms.  Across the web, people have weighed in on how this “Google for spies” will affect the future of surveillance – and the US government’s infiltration of the lives of foreign citizens. 

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WeGov

France Orders Twitter to Identify Users Posting Hate Speech

BY Julia Wetherell | Friday, January 25 2013

Twitter has been ordered to provide identifying information for French users participating in racist and anti-Semitic discourse on the social network. The ruling was handed down Thursday by a Paris court in response to a lawsuit brought on by several rights groups. The American company,which maintains a policy of not screening content posted by its users, has yet to articulate its response. Read More