Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Free the Data: The Debate Over APIs and Open Government

BY Alex Howard | Monday, March 17 2014

Photo: Jonathan Gray

As the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) catches on across government agencies, third-party developers, open government advocates, and government techies are debating whether this should become the gold standard for open data, and if so, whether such services should be free. Read More

Honolulu Mayoral Candidates Commit To Using Tech For Greater Transparency

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, August 10 2012

Hawaii's open government advocates want the city of Honolulu to not only be known for its natural abundance of sunshine, but also for sunshine into its local government processes. Read More

Seven Ideas to Reboot Government Innovation In San Francisco

BY Luke Fretwell | Thursday, January 26 2012

Luke Fretwell writes:

"There’s been a great deal of discussion lately around the topic of government innovation, especially here in San Francisco, with the appointment of a new chief innovation officer, a new “civic accelerator,” a new venture with a consortium of Bay Area technology companies and a new technology and innovation task force led by SF Mayor Ed Lee.

All signs point to a bright gov 2.0 future for SF but, before we get too excited, let’s look back so we can learn how to best overcome the past two years of innovation inertia."

Read More

Technology in Politics, Crazy-Cameos-in-Campaign-Videos Edition

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, October 25 2011

So here's this, the second absurd campaign video of the day, for San Francisco mayoral candidate and current interim mayor Ed Lee. It features cameos by Google's Marissa Meyer, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Giants closer ... Read More

Open Government in the White House: Dead or Alive?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 23 2011

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth since the news broke that White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will be leaving in August. Absent Kundra's drive, goes the thinking — most recently ... Read More

Tonight, a Mayoral Debate on Open Government in San Francisco

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Thursday night in San Francisco, Lotus Development Corporation founder Mitch Kapor will moderate a discussion about open government, civic engagement, technology and innovation between some of the leading candidates for ... Read More

In San Francisco, Open Government Becomes a Campaign Issue

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 24 2011

GovFresh's Luke Fretwell writes that five candidates for mayor of San Francisco have signed an open government pledge modeled after framework language, the Local Open Government Initiative: This is the first step in a ... Read More

SF Mayoral Hopefuls Will Gather to Talk Open Gov

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 14 2011

GovFresh's Luke Fretwell has an announcement: "Eight major San Francisco mayoral candidates will participate in SFOpen 2011, a townhall forum focused specifically on open government, citizen engagement and ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

More