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Boston's Street Bump coming to Britain

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 26 2012

The smartphone app Street Bump, which allows users to report potholes and was first tested in Boston last year, is now also coming to Bristol in the United Kingdom, the BBC and the Sunday Times (of London) reported. The idea behind the application, as CNN recently reported, is that a smartphone's accelerometer senses potholes while driving, and then sends that data with a GPS coordinate to a city database, to create a "real-time" map of road conditions, and catch critical road conditions earlier. Read More

New York Releases 'Road Map for the Digital City'

BY Nick Judd | Monday, May 16 2011

Watch live streaming video from nycgov at livestream.com New York City will develop an open government framework featuring APIs for city data, relaunch its website and make a host of changes to the way it presents ... Read More

Who's Who on DC's Tech Scene

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, April 26 2011

Washingtonian names its "Tech Titans 2011," and in the Gov 2.o and Politicos category we have GSA's Sheila Campbell, Engage DC's Mindy Finn and Patrick Ruffini, and TSA's Blogger Bob, among other familiar ... Read More

In Boston, City Hall Pursues Innovation In-House

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 21 2011

Nigel Jacob, co-chair of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics. Photo: Nick Judd / techPresident

Cities across the country seek to lay the groundwork for innovative third parties to build on, based on the premise that city government is too inflexible or narrow-minded to be the best host for ground-breaking work. ... Read More

Talk Notes: The Invention That Is American Democracy

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, February 7 2011

Engraving of George Washington taking the presidential oath of office on the balcony of the Senate Chamber at Federal Hall; via Life.com. Read More

A Local Gov 2.0 Primer

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 29 2010

Fast Company's Anya Kamenetz rounds the bases on what the local Gov 2.0 crowd is doing around the country in an article for the magazine's December/January issue, which appeared online today. Regular readers of this blog ... Read More

Open Government, Central Texas Edition

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, September 20 2010

Today at Manor New Technology High School in that small central Texas town, open government advocates from across the country are gathering to discuss the application of open government principles to local cities and ... Read More

In the Bronx, Text Your Councilman

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 15 2010

After experimenting with the proprietary community issues platform SeeClickFix, New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera is launching another new tool to try — this one using Google Voice to process constituent issues ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

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The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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