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WeGov

New Data.Gov.Ph Site Lowers Barriers to Gov't Data in Philippines

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, January 16 2014

Screenshot of Data.gov.ph

A presidential spokesperson launched the new Open Data Philippines site on Thursday. This is a big step in the direction of transparency for the Philippines, which was chided in a Sunlight Foundation report last October for erecting unnecessary barriers to public data.

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WeGov

Australia Cleans Up Data.Gov.Au, Loses More Than Half of Its 1,200 Datasets

BY Jessica McKenzie | Thursday, November 14 2013

Every dataset deserves a good clean up (Flickr/Chiot's Run)

Since Australia switched their open data website to an open source platform in July, the number of datasets has dropped from 1200 to 500. Did they get lost in the move? No, it just turns out that many of them were pure junk, links to webpages that no longer existed or led to irrelevant pages.

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New Tool Takes You Into the Treasury's Bank Account

BY Sam Roudman | Friday, July 12 2013

A new tool, Treasury IO, is designed to make working with data about federal spending much easier to understand. Read More

San Francisco Pilots Restaurant Inspections in Yelp Reviews

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 17 2013

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee is expected to announce today that his city's restaurant inspection data will begin to appear on Yelp, the business listings service. Also included in the announcement, expected at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., is that Yelp, in conjunction with city technologists in San Francisco and New York, NY, have created what they hope will become a de-facto standard for restaurant inspection data. Called Local Inspector Value-Entry Specification, or LIVES, the hope is that this specification will make restaurant inspection information easy for developers to handle and, as a result, more ubiquitous on the web. Read More

Is 'Government Data' a Growth Industry?

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, April 11 2011

In light of the recent debate over federal funding for Data.gov and other sites, Drew Conway parses CrunchBase for the overlap between firms working in "government" and "data." He finds a drop off in ... Read More

Open Data at the Golden Gate, But Transparency? Maybe Not Yet

BY Nick Judd | Friday, November 19 2010

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom signs open data legislation into law. Photo: Courtesy Gavin Newsom / twitpic San Francisco, Ca., made the news last week when its board of supervisors passed an open-data law, one-upping ... Read More

In the Future, Will 'Big Brother' Watch You, Or Will Your Neighbors?

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 15 2010

A recent report to British Parliament found an increasing trend towards crowdsourced surveillance — in which monitoring of cameras in public spaces is left to the crowd crowd. Photo: Zigazou / Flickr The city of ... Read More

When Privacy and the Well-Being of Children Are Apparently At Odds

BY Nick Judd | Monday, November 15 2010

A story that appeared on the cover of a recent edition of the New York Times asserted that 20th-century notions of how the federal government should handle citizens' private tax information are keeping valuable ... Read More

Meet POIA: "Public Means Online" Becomes a Bill

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 16 2010

If you were at PdF '09 in New York City, you heard the idea floated that "public means online." In other words, if the law or regulation requires some document or other resource to be "public," you ... Read More

WaPo: We're Losing the Brand Wars to Transparency

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, March 15 2010

The Washington Post's ombudsperson Andrew Alexander has an apology to make. He's super sorry that the Post doesn't do a better job exposing its readers to government data: Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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