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In New Ad, Obama Campaign Uses iPads to Spread the Damage from Romney's "47 Percent" Comments

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, September 18 2012

In the latest ad from the Obama campaign — its first response to leaked footage in which Mitt Romney addresses donors and makes David Corn at Mother Jones the happiest man alive — "ordinary Americans" watch Romney's comments on an iPad, then offer their opinions on the man who would be president.

The Obama campaign has used this man-on-the-street style in previous videos, but this is the first one to feature the iPad as a technological twist.

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Quote of The Day: iPads Are Not Presidential

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, October 7 2011

I can carry those iPads with me, dabbing at them with my finger, but this is not worthy of a president. — President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko explained to Russian journalists that touchscreen technology is ... Read More

When an Email Chain Should Have Been a Public Meeting, Laws Could Have Been Broken

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 21 2011

Prosecutors in Burlington County, Penn. are investigating if an email thread among public officials about a development project proposed by "a politically connected insurance firm" violated public records laws, the ... Read More

The iPads For City Halls Craze Catches On in Michigan

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 15 2011

The "magical, revolutionary" device that is cause for controversy in town halls nationwide. Photo: Sean MacEntee / Flickr While some Michigan towns are banning electronic devices in public meetings, Bay City is going ... Read More

For Some Michigan Communities, Public Equals Not Online

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 7 2011

CivSource Online editor Bailey McCann catches this Detroit News item about communites in southeastern Michigan who are barring public officials from electronic communications at public meetings: Supporters say the issue ... Read More

Stephen Colbert's Square-Powered Super PAC

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, July 5 2011

When Stephen Colbert walked out of a Federal Elections Commission meeting where the FEC gave him permission to form a "super PAC" and promote it on his show, he had a credit card swiper on hand, ready to collect ... Read More

North Carolina Town Commission Swaps Paper for iPads

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 30 2011

The town commission of Cornelius, N.C., has gone completely paperless: each commissioner now has a town-owned iPad, with meeting agendas, maps and worksheets served up through proprietary software. The Herald Weekly of ... Read More

The Arguments for and Against the Job-Creating Effects of Shifting from Books to iPads

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 21 2011

Both come to us from Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. Con, from Last Friday: Pro, as we discussed in March: The difference seems to be that, over the course of the last month, Jackson has narrowed in on the fact that iPads, ... Read More

Opening Parliament, Too, to the iPad

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, January 4 2011

Photo credit: UK Parliament 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.

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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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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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