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First POST: Secret-Spilling Machine

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, February 24 2014

Some unanswered questions about Ukraine's #EuroMaidan protests; Julian Assange's ghostwriter speaks out on his subject's megalomania; Gawker's Nick Denton on the end of privacy; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Paranoid Liberalism

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, January 21 2014

The New Republic accuses Snowden, Greenwald and Assange of being "paranoid libertarians"; Academics think Facebook can be used to predict election results; Data-mining for marketing purposes goes really, really awry; and much, much more. Read More

First POST: Oversight

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, August 5 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:How congressional "oversight" of the NSA doesn't work; Bruce Sterling and Tom Scott's mordant takes on our times; the growing backlash against Jim Messina going Tory; and more in today's round-up of news about technology in politics from around the web. Read More

Jim Messina and Blue State Digital on Opposite Sides of British Election Campaign

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 2 2013

(Conservative Party/Facebook)

Organizing for America's Jim Messina will be working as a campaign strategy advisor for the 2015 general election campaign of British Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party, BBC News reported today. This puts him in competition with Blue State Digital, the consulting firm known for its work on President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 elections. BSD signed the Labour Party as a client earlier this year. Read More

"Organizer," the Software Company That Wants To Make Campaign Field Offices Obsolete

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, April 16 2013

Organizer Founder Ralph Garvin, Jr. took the drudgery of his 2008 campaign experience and turned it into a startup.

If people-powered, neighbor-to-neighbor campaigns are the future of political persuasion, as President Barack Obama's former campaign manager Jim Messina suggests it is, then the practice is in need of a serious upgrade. That's exactly what Ralph Garvin hopes to bring to the table with Organizer, a new political software suite that just landed two big, early clients, the labor-backed Working Families Party and Howard Dean's grassroots group, Democracy for America. Read More

Organizing for Action Tries To Guilt Members Into Donating

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, April 1 2013

President Obama's advocacy group Organizing for Action stepped up its campaign to raise money online last week by blasting the subscribers of its e-mail list at least seven times over the course of five days asking them ... Read More

ICYMI: Obama Campaign's Tech Tools of Persuasion Working "Incredibly Well," Says Campaign Manager Jim Messina

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, September 5 2012

Just in case you missed it, the Obama campaign's top campaign managers spent Tuesday morning boasting about their tech and field operations, with campaign manager Jim Messina saying that the campaign this time around is ... Read More

Romney Campaign Hijacks Obama Campaign Manager's Fundraising E-Mail Again

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, March 14 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign manager Matt Rhoades sent out a fundraising e-mail Tuesday night, but most of the writing in the note was done by Jim Messina, President Obama's campaign manager. Rhoades had forwarded Messina's ... Read More

Romney's and Obama's Teams Take It To The Tweets

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, February 3 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign says President Obama is too focused on re-election. Picture: Courtesy Romney for President

The business of political fund-raising has taken a new turn this campaign season, with the latest twist seeing Barack Obama's re-election effort and Mitt Romney's pursuit of the Republican nomination each piggyback their ... 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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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

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