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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."

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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?"

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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

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Civic Hackers Call on de Blasio to Fill Technology Vacancies

New York City technology advocates on Wednesday called on the de Blasio administration to fill vacancies in top technology policy positions, expressing some frustration at the lack of a leadership team to implement a cohesive technology strategy for the city. GO

China's Porn Purge Has Only Just Begun, And Already Sina Is Stripped of Publication License

It seems that China is taking spring cleaning pretty seriously. On April 13 they launched their most recent online purge, “Cleaning the Web 2014,” which will run until November. The goal is to rid China's Internet of pornographic text, pictures, video, and ads in order to “create a healthy cyberspace.” More than 100 websites and thousands of social media accounts have already been closed, after less than a month. Today the official Xinhua news agency reported that the authorities have stripped the Internet giant Sina (of Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging site) of its online publication license. This crackdown on porn comes on the heels of a crackdown on “rumors.” Clearly, this spring cleaning isn't about pornography, it's about censorship and control.

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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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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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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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