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In Pivot to General, Romney Campaign Seeking to Build Out Digital Staff

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 10 2012

Mitt Romney. Photo: Austen Hufford

For Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:The Romney campaign is advertising technology-related jobs on Mashable. (via @adamostrow)

Romney digital director Zac Moffatt says a robust internal tech staff is the new normal for presidential campaigns, but those positions weren't a priority during primary season.

"This is what people are doing online in 2012," he told techPresident Thursday morning. "This is the team that we need to build to be successful."

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Nathaniel Parks to Field Works

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 20 2012

Joining yesterday's moves: Nathaniel Parks, a voter-file pro who had previously worked at Catalist and Voter Link, is now a partner at Field Works, a firm that does field management and volunteer/voter identification for Democrats and left-leaning organizations like AFSCME, EMILY'S List and others. Read More

Josh Hendler Goes to Hill+Knowlton

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, January 18 2012

Josh Hendler, once director of technology for the Democratic National Committee, has joined Hill+Knowlton Strategies as Global Chief Technology Officer. Hendler started Jan. 9 and reports to notable Democratic online ad man Andrew Bleeker, the company announced today. Bleeker is global director of the firm's digital practice. Hendler was last at Jumo, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes' social nonprofit that hoped to connect nonprofits with potential donors and volunteers. GOOD Magazine acquired the nascent organization last year. Read More

Want to Do Digital for the Democratic National Convention? You'd Better Know Friendster

BY Nick Judd | Friday, September 30 2011

Here's one line from the requirements listed in a job posting the Democratic National Convention Committee appears to be circulating, as seen on grassroots action website Democratic Gain, for a deputy director of ... Read More

Major Dem Software Firm Gets New Digital Services Head

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, September 22 2011

NGP VAN, the purveyor of fundraising software and get-out-the-vote tech for Democratic campaigns and causes, announced today that former Treasury Department digital staffer Mike Liddell will be joining them as head of ... Read More

Tim Tagaris is Leaving His Post As SEIU's Internet Director

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, September 15 2011

Tim Tagaris during Ned Lamont's 2006 U.S. Senate run. Photo: Matt Stoller / Flickr Tim Tagaris, the former Internet director for onetime presidential hopeful Chris Dodd and for Ned Lamont's 2006 U.S. Senate campaign, ... Read More

Google Picks Former Bush Staffer As Envoy to Republicans

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, September 14 2011

A former spokesman for President George W. Bush will run outreach to Republican campaigns on Google's behalf, Politico and The Hill's Hillicon Valley report today. Rob Saliterman, who served as communications director ... Read More

News Briefs

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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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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

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