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

First POST: In Transit

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, April 11 2014

Today's Polk Awards ceremony in NYC marks Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras's first visit back to the US since Snowden; Healthcare.gov's chief resigns; the DATA Act heads towards Obama's desk; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Collective Hallucination

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, March 25 2014

Is bulk collection of Americans phone metadata about to end?; more of Upworthy's secret sauce; what the change of ICANN's governance actually means; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Openly Closed

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, March 17 2014

It's Sunshine Week, and the US government is less transparent, says AP; secret-sharing apps like Whisper and Secret are dangerous, says Austin Hill; and taking pictures of people in public now requires their permission, says Hungary; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Crisitunity?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 20 2013

Why the Obamacare mess may be far, far worse for the Democratic party than people realize; the latest in voter-targeting TV ads; thinking about "popular data" as a new way to grow civic engagement around open data; and much, much more. Read More

For Internet Freedom Activists, Dubai is a Warning: Finally Live Up to the "Inclusive" Label, Or Else

BY Nick Judd | Friday, December 14 2012

Internet freedom advocates: Internet regulation coming before the ITU signals a failure of current online governance. Photo: ITU

Ongoing in Dubai and expected to end Friday, the World Conference on International Telecommunications has been causing a lot of heartburn for Internet freedom advocates who say that it is the wrong forum to talk about the future of the Internet. WCIT-12 is a treaty-making conference for members of the International Telecommunications Union, an agency of the United Nations, and that, they say, is no replacement for the "inclusive and transparent" "multistakeholder" network that runs the Internet today. There's just one problem. While Internet freedom activists say their "multistakeholder" model is open and inclusive, photograph any meeting of any of the organizations within it and a certain kind of face will appear far more often than any of the others: the white, Western male. Read More

How to Lobby the Internet

BY Nick Judd | Monday, October 31 2011

Beginning in January, anyone with the know-how to run a domain name registry, a $185,000 application fee and the time ride out a lengthy application process will be able to apply to run their own top-level domain, ... Read More

Sex on the Internet

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, March 18 2011

It looks like ICANN, the non-profit group that manages the Internet's naming and number systems meeting this week in San Francisco, will today finally render a verdict on whether to allow a .xxx as a generic top-level ... Read More

Another Clinton Gets on Board with "Internet Freedom"

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, March 17 2011

In a speech last night at ICANN's San Francisco meeting that managed pack in talk of everything from subatomic muon particles to Neanderthal genes to aging to rebuilding Haiti, Bill Clinton found the time to praise his ... Read More

Wikileaks Has More Google Juice than Justin Bieber, but What Will Searchers See?

BY Nick Judd | Friday, December 3 2010

Over the last couple of days, Wikileaks has vaulted into the ranks of the top searched-for terms on Google, both internationally and in the U.S. Take it as proof positive that the best way to get people to look at ... Read More

The ICANN Shift: Towards a Less U.S. Internet

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, October 1 2009

Some big big news from the world of Internet governance. The context is that while we tend to talk about the Internet as if its some sort of organic wonder, the truth is that there is a Dr. Frankenstein in the mix. (Is ... Read More

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More