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John Kerry's Even Worse Sequel

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 29 2010

Perhaps it's unfair to pick on John Kerry, but the emails his sends to his list are always such mind-expanding demonstrations of the creative use of the English language. This morning's delight: "Karl Rove is back ... Read More

Delawow!

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, September 15 2010

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. If you see thoroughly quirky subject line pop up in your email inbox, there's a very good chance that senior Massachusetts Senator John Kerry sent it. Today's affirmation of ... Read More

Kerry Gins Up Votes for Youk

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, July 6 2010

Continuing our John Kerry email watch, the senior Senator from Massachusetts hits his email list today, invoking a "point of personal privilege" and asking his list to "Vote for Youk." No, that's not ... Read More

The E in John Kerry's E-Mails Stands for "Excellent"

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 29 2010

John Kerry's email musings are, it must be said, sometimes real head scratchers. Just landed in the inbox: a missive with subject "The R in Rand Stands for Radical." Not, as one might have thought, Rand. Read More

Being and Nothing Burgers

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, May 26 2010

The practice of email organizing is something of mystery to me, so perhaps an expert in the admittedly important field can explain the strategy behind John Kerry's latest missive (reposted on HuffPo). The topic is the ... 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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