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

Report: Federal Authorities Investigating Break-In Into Mitt Romney's Email Account

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 5 2012

Federal authorities were notified Tuesday night about an apparent hack into Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's private email account, according to Gawker, which had been tipped off about the incident. Read More

Democrats Create "Unlikeable" Romney Facebook Timeline for Video

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 30 2012

The Democratic National Committee has released a video that constructs its own version of Mitt Romney's Facebook timeline. Using the motto "Little to Like," it's a "celebration" of Romney officially winning enough delegates for his nomination. Read More

Poetry of the Email Subject Line

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, May 23 2012

Micah Sifry discovers the unintentional poetry of email subject lines from Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns. Read More

In Pivot to General, Romney Campaign Seeking to Build Out Digital Staff

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, May 10 2012

Mitt Romney. Photo: Austen Hufford

For Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:The Romney campaign is advertising technology-related jobs on Mashable. (via @adamostrow)

Romney digital director Zac Moffatt says a robust internal tech staff is the new normal for presidential campaigns, but those positions weren't a priority during primary season.

"This is what people are doing online in 2012," he told techPresident Thursday morning. "This is the team that we need to build to be successful."

Read More

The Hounding of Mitt Romney Continues on Facebook

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, May 2 2012

Mitt Romney's campaign advisers must be howling.

Ever since the story of Mitt Romney's trip to Canada with family dog Seamus strapped to the roof of his car, dog enthusiasts won't leave him alone about it — most recently "bombing" a Facebook request for questions about the presidential campaign posed by ABC's Sunday news program This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Arthur Delaney from the Huffington Post noted this little tidbit.

Facebook users are peppering the page with variations on a theme: "How did Seamus get home from Canada? Or did he?"

Read More

With Romney as Nominee, RNC Ramps Up Digital Operation

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, April 25 2012

The Republican party apparatus is now mobilizing for Mitt Romney. Photo: Austen Hufford

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: The Republican Party will send digital directors to 13 states and launch a new Facebook application as part of a much-enhanced digital operation, officials told techPresident today. Leaning on a mix of in-house and outside talent, party officials say they've developed an infrastructure that includes a revamped approach to voter data, a mobile get-out-the-vote application and a campaign dashboard for promoting events and raising funds. As Romney has been focused on incremental primary wins in each state, the Republican National Committee, it seems — like President Barack Obama's campaign — has been taking advantage of its time to prepare. Read More

The Obama Campaign Online, Easter Edition

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, April 6 2012

President Obama took off the gloves this week and started to attack Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney by name in speeches throughout the week. That freshly confrontational stance manifested itself in the ... Read More

Romney's Effort To Connect With Wisconsin Voters Meets With Derision From Democrats On Twitter

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, March 29 2012

Mitt Romney’s latest effort to make a joke at his own expense provided ample fodder on Wednesday for a Democratic snipefest on Twitter around the hashtag #RomneyAnecdotes. The former governor of Massachusetts on ... Read More

First POST: All Shook Up

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, March 22 2012

Photo: Flickr/DonkeyHotey

Today's news: A round-up of reactions to Romney Adviser Eric Fehrnstrom's comment about campaigns being like Etch-A-Sketch; Nielsen shares its findings about the demographics of the presidential candidates' online audience; a look at Harry Potter activism; more on Kony 2012; and New York City wants to run its own TLD. Read More

On Eve of Illinois Primary, Romney Campaigns On Google+

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, March 20 2012

Mitt Romney, the frontrunner in the race to become the Republicans' 2012 presidential nominee, spent the Tuesday afternoon preceding the Illinois primary hanging out with supporters on Google+. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed today >

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

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.

GO

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.

GO

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.

GO

friday >

In Google Hangout, NYC Mayor de Blasio Talks Tech and Outer Borough Potential

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio followed the lead of President Obama and New York City Council member Ben Kallos Friday by participating in a Google Hangout to help mark his first 100 days in office, in which the conversation focused on expanding access to technology opportunities through education and ensuring that the needs of the so-called "outer boroughs" aren't overlooked. GO

thursday >

In Pakistan, A Hypocritical Gov't Ignores Calls To End YouTube Ban

YouTube has been blocked in Pakistan by executive order since September 2012, after the “blasphemous” video Innocence of Muslims started riots in the Middle East. Since then, civil society organizations and Internet rights advocacy groups like Bolo Bhi and Bytes for All have been working to lift the ban. Last August the return of YouTube seemed imminent—the then-new IT Minister Anusha Rehman spoke optimistically and her party, which had won the majority a few months before, was said to be “seriously contemplating” ending the ban. And yet since then, Rehman and her party, the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N), have done everything in their power to maintain the status quo.

GO

The #NotABugSplat Campaign Aims to Give Drone Operators Pause Before They Strike

In the #NotABugSplat campaign that launched this week, a group of American, French and Pakistani artists sought to raise awareness of the effects of drone strikes by placing a field-sized image of a young girl, orphaned when a drone strike killed her family, in a heavily targeted region of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. Its giant size is visible to those who operate drone strikes as well as in satellite imagery. GO

Boston and Cambridge Move Towards More Open Data

The Boston City Council is now considering an ordinance which would require Boston city agencies and departments to make government data available online using open standards. Boston City Councilor At Large Michelle Wu, who introduced the legislation Wednesday, officially announced her proposal Monday, the same day Boston Mayor Martin Walsh issued an executive order establishing an open data policy under which all city departments are directed to publish appropriate data sets under established accessibility, API and format standards. GO

More