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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

The FBI Says "Sabu," the Influential LulzSec Member, One of Two Arrested, Six Charged

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, March 6 2012

In a press release, the Federal Bureau of Information announced the indictment of six people who are charged with using their hacking skills to sneak onto an FBI call with other law enforcement agencies as well as information raids on HBGary, an information security firm that had been apparently planning a propaganda campaign against Wikileaks, and Stratfor, a global intelligence firm; and attacks on websites belonging to Fox, Sony, and PBS.

The release supports much of a FoxNews.com exclusive published earlier today. Together, they paint a picture of key mistakes compromising the security of the FBI — and of the man Fox News reports is a LulzSec leader turned informant.

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Anonymous And LulzSec Are At It Again, and This Time, It's Legal

BY Becky Kazansky | Wednesday, July 27 2011

Lulz Security and Anonymous, better known for illegal data breaches and acts of 'hacktivism,' today called for supporters to engage in a new protest against their old nemesis PayPal — but participants in this ... Read More

Report: Fear of 'Internet Vigilantes' Holds Back Austrialian Internet Filtering Initiative

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 27 2011

Telstra, one of Australia's biggest Internet service providers, has not yet made a final decision on whether or not to cooperate with the federal government there to block access to websites that purvey material ... Read More

Senate Staffer Says Hackers Knocked, But Didn't Get Far

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 14 2011

Hackers gained access to files on Senate.gov over the weekend, but gained access to no sensitive information, Deputy U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms Martina Bradford said in a statement emailed to reporters last night. ... Read More

Updated: Hackers Say They've Broken Into Senate.gov

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 13 2011

LulzSec, the same people who hacked PBS.org, announced today that they've hacked into Senate.gov, the website of the U.S. Senate. A spokeswoman for the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the office responsible for the senate's ... Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

Another Co-Opted Hashtag: #MustSeeIran

The Twitter hashtag #MustSeeIran was created to showcase Iran's architecture, landscapes, and would-be tourist destinations. It was then co-opted by activists to bring attention to human rights abuses and infringements. Now Twitter is home to two starkly different portraits of a country. GO

What Has the EU Ever Done For Us?: Countering Euroskepticism with Viral Videos and Monty Python

Ahead of the May 25 European Elections, the most intense campaigning may not be by the candidates or the political parties. Instead, some of the most passionate campaigns are more grassroots efforts focused on for a start stirring up the interest of the European electorate. GO

At NETmundial Brazil: Is "Multistakeholderism" Good for the Internet?

Today and tomorrow Brazil is hosting NETmundial, a global multi-stakeholder meeting on the future of Internet governance. GO

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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