Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Meet the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 23 2012

The White House this morning announced the 18 techies and experts who will spend six months working on one of five projects using technology to try and improve government as part of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows program. Read More

Indonesian Website Names and Shames Corrupt Officials

BY Lisa Goldman | Tuesday, July 3 2012

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new website that names and shames Indonesian officials convicted of corruption. Transparency International ranks Indonesia as one of the most corrupt countries. Korupedia was launched by Indonesian activists and journalists. Read More

In House Appropriations, Little Movement to Support Online Transparency

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, June 6 2012

In a statement released Wednesday, Republican leaders in the House of Representatives promised to immediately direct a task force to start work on making it easier to find information about congressional bills online.

Separately, the Sunlight Foundation* reports that another appropriations subcommittee voted Wednesday to defund a Federal Communications Commission program that would provide online access to information about spending on political television ads. The information is already available in hard-copy form by making an in-person request at television stations; the FCC recently passed rules requiring broadcasters in the 50 biggest television markets to make that information available for disclosure online as well.

Read More

Open-Source Software for Governments in Spain

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 30 2012

Two autonomous regions of Spain have recently made strides towards promoting open-source software for governmental use. Read More

White House Rolls Out New Plan for Digital Government

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, May 23 2012

The White House on Wednesday rolled out a new strategy document on digital government that sets out government-wide goals and priorities for dealing with citizens online, creates a new center at the General Services Administration to encourage agencies to get onboard, and calls for new government-wide standards for IT procurement.

White House Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel and Chief Technology Officer Todd Park unveiled the strategy Wednesday at TechCrunch Disrupt, a technology conference held in New York City. In their remarks, they framed the strategy as a sweeping reinvention of the way the government interacts with citizens online designed to make it ever easier for people inside and outside of government to improve service delivery for Americans over the web.Read More

New York City Just Radically Changed Who Manages Its IT Projects

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 24 2012

For the first time, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's New York City now has a single person responsible for overseeing all of its information technology operations.

Rahul N. Merchant, a former executive at financial services and technology firms, starts today as New York City's first chief information and innovation officer, the city announced. Merchant will report directly to the mayor and will be responsible for the city's IT infrastructure, making him in effect the alpha and omega for city IT across all agencies. Previously, one city department — the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications — was responsible for maintaining many core IT projects, such as a city wireless network and an ongoing project to consolidate data servers, but agency IT operations were more independent. Merchant will oversee information technology development and management across all city agencies.

Read More

Watching Where the Plows Go

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 12 2012

The snow is moving in Chicago, and so is the City of Chicago's "Plow Tracker", the first part of its online snow-fighting portal to go live. Read More

In Chicago, The Snow Day as Civic Experiment

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 4 2012

Chicago in Feb. 2011. Photo: Brendan Riley / Flickr

The City of Chicago on Tuesday unveiled Chicago Shovels, a suite of web applications designed to keep Chicagoans in the know when the snow banks start to pile up. Read More

Florida Town Goes From MS Frontpage to Responsive Design Theme

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 4 2012

For the Gov 2.0 people we've been neglecting so terribly as the presidential campaign has heated up: Phase 2's blog has a Q&A with a consultant who built a new site for Lake Clarke Shores, Fla., using the a distribution of the open-source Drupal content management system called OpenPublic. The Q&A documents how the city's website went from something built on Microsoft FrontPage to a brand-new Drupal instance with a responsive design. Read More

All Eyes On Estonia, a Tech-Savvy State With a Balanced Budget

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 24 2011

Both BBC News and Der Spiegel took time last week to run paeans to Estonia, a famously wired post-Soviet democracy that appears to have its fiscal house in order even as large countries, with citizens living higher on ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

Brazilian President Signs Internet Bill of Rights Into Law at NetMundial

Earlier today Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff sanctioned Marco Civil, also called the Internet bill of rights, during the global Internet governance event, NetMundial, in Brazil.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More