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The Top Tech-Politics Developments of 2013, So Far

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 1 2013

Every six months or so, we add more items to our "Politics and the Internet" Timeline, a living document that now includes more than 160 items stretching back to 1968 and covering a range of domestic, international and online events. Keep in mind, this isn't an official list but just our best subjective judgment on the most important developments at the intersection of technology and politics. If you would like to suggest something that we've left out, or make a correction to the record, please use this form. After the jump--Here's what we've added for the period from January 2013 to the end of July: Read More

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

Why Julian Assange is Wikileaks' Single Point of Failure

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, August 16 2012

Is this Wikileaks' future home? Photo by David Torres Costales / @DavoTC

Julian Assange is back in the news today because, after nearly two months of holding out in Ecuador's London embassy, he has been granted "political asylum" by the Ecuadorian government. The decision has set off a diplomatic stand-off, with the U.K. government threatening to revoke the embassy's diplomatic status, and Ecuador responding with anger. In this article, I argue that the cause of transparency is far, far bigger than the legal troubles of one brilliant, courageous but ultimately flawed individual. Unfortunately, he has turned into Wikileaks' single point of failure. Britain ought to let Assange to Ecuador, because there's little chance he can get a fair trial in either Sweden or the United States, but then let's be done with him. Those of us who want freedom of information to thrive should learn a key lesson from Assange's case. For information to flow freely, there can't be any single point of control. Read More

With "Syria Files," Has WikiLeaks Broken Its Slump?

BY Lisa Goldman | Thursday, July 5 2012

WikiLeaks began today to publish the "Syria Files" — more than two million emails that the document-leaking organization says chronicle exchanges with Syrian officials dating from August 2006 to March 2012. WikiLeaks itself warns that not every document it is publishing can verifiably be said to be authentic, and has not indicated yet where it got the tranche. Read More

As WikiLeaks Struggles, Copycats Die But Online Whistle-Blowing Thrives

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 29 2012

Julian Assange at PDF 2010 (with Daniel Ellsberg and Micah Sifry in foreground). Photo by JD Lasica.

With WikiLeaks in the news today because of the British Supreme Court decision to allow him to be extradited to Sweden, it's a good time ask: what about all those other WikiLeaks-style whistle-blowing websites that were launched back in late 2010 and early 2011? Read More

Split by SouthWest: My SXSW 2012 Diary

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 15 2012

danah boyd and Alex Howard at SXSW 2012 (Photo by Micah L. Sifry)

PDM editorial director Micah L. Sifry spent last Friday through Monday at South by SouthWest Interactive, attending panels, keynotes and hanging out. Here's his report: SXSW is still a place where sessions packed with thousands of attendees cheer for the iconoclasts and the game-changers. It is also much more of a business networking conference than an internet futurists' playpen. In short, it has a split personality. Read More

First POST: Enhancing SOTU

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, January 25 2012

President Barack Obama and his director of speechwriting, Jon Favreau, on Jan. 23. Photo: Pete Souza / White House

Today in technology and politics:

  • Barack Obama's spilled-milk crack during the State of the Union left Twitter crying.
  • A federal ruling by a judge in Colorado may give law enforcement more leeway to force you to decrypt your electronic devices on request.
  • Julian Assange is planning a TV show.
Click through for our comprehensive look at today's most interesting tech/politics news from around the web. Read More

Was Julian Assange Right About Facebook?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, September 26 2011

OK, that headline is probably over the top, but after reading Dave Winer and Nik Cubrilovic's warnings this past weekend about Facebook's new "frictionless sharing" system, I was left wondering if Julian Assange of ... Read More

'Unauthorized' Assange Autobiography to Be Released Today

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, September 22 2011

NPR.org has this story on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whose autobiography, NPR reports, was released on Thursday in Britain — without his say-so: British publisher Canongate decided to go ahead and release ... Read More

The Fall of WikiLeaks: Cablegate2, Assange and Icarus

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, September 2 2011

I'm theoretically on vacation right now and scarcely in a position to do a deep dive into all the news and commentary, but here's one quick comment about WikiLeaks's decision to release the complete and unredacted ... Read More