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Google's Eric Schmidt and WikiLeaks' Julian Assange Get One Another's Jokes

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 23 2013

Eric Schmidt. Photo: LeWeb12

As part of research for their new book, Jared Cohen and Eric Schmidt met WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2011. The full conversation, according to a transcript and recording WikiLeaks has published online, ranged from the technical details of WikiLeaks' methods for avoiding censorship in China to Assange's political theories about control of, and access to, information. Their brief conceptual stop in Rwanda — which, Assange suggested, would have gone differently had WikiLeaks been around — was one of many. Read More

What Schieffer Should Ask: The Internet and Foreign Policy

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, October 22 2012

The two presidential candidates aren't likely to get to this at Monday night's final presidential debate, but one revealing question CBS' Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer could ask is what role they think the Internet should play in conducting public diplomacy and in promoting freedom abroad. Read More

Watching the Roll-Out of Google Ideas

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, July 11 2011

If you're curious, as we are, about where Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen are going with their Google Ideas think/do-tank, check out this recent profile from the Financial Times. Pegged to a June 26-29 conference in Ireland ... Read More

Google Ideas, CFR Bring Together Ex-Extremists

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, March 22 2011

Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin reports that Google Ideas, the wing of the company led by former State Department policy planning staffer Jared Cohen, is planning a 3-day conference in Dublin late June that will, in ... Read More

The Internet, Ignored No More: Morozov's Case Against "Freedom.gov"

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, January 3 2011

Thankfully, Foreign Policy's Evgeny Morozov, a frequent critic of the U.S. State Department's push to advocate in favor of "Internet freedom" around the planet, has boiled down his objections into a concise ... Read More

Talkin', and Not, About the New Wired World Order

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, October 25 2010

Ciudad Juarez, where the U.S. State Department is working to build a mobile narco-violence reporting tool; Photo credit: pmoroni. Read More

Meet the New Statecraft, Same as the...

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 8 2010

Some context for the news that the State Department's Jared Cohen is indeed headed to Google: frequent critic Evgeny Morozov homes in on the question of whether the benefits for free expression associated with tech ... Read More

Jared Cohen Exits State, Enters Google

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 8 2010

It's official: the State Department's Jared Cohen, closely identified with the idea of "21st Century Statecraft," is indeed leaving the department's Policy Planning staff to head up a new "think/do ... Read More

State's Jared Cohen Reportedly Bound for Google "Think Tank"

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, August 16 2010

Photo credit: Center for American Progress Fortune seems to confirm, kinda, a rumor that has been floating around technology and politics space for some time now: the State Department's Read More

Three Days in Colombia: What U.S. Digital Diplomacy Looks Like on the Ground

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, July 16 2010

As part of a State Department "technology delegation" to Colombia this week, American technologists and State Department staffers visited Escuela Marina Orth. Read More

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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