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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

News Briefs

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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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tuesday >

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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monday >

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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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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