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

Jhatkaa: Getting India to 'Shake Up'

BY Rebecca Chao | Friday, July 12 2013

Deepa Gupta, founder of Jhatkaa, discusses her vision for the project in a campaign video. (Jhatkaa.org)

Urinating into an empty dam to fill it, using late-night television as a contraceptive and suggesting Valentine's Day causes rape are a few of the public comments made by Indian politicians, as voiced by frustrated Indian citizens in Jhatkaa’s campaign video. Jhatkaa, which means “to shake up,” is a new civic startup pioneered by Deepa Gupta, a young Indian campaigner. Read More

WeGov

Firefox Targets Developing States with Open Source Affordable Smartphones

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, September 7 2012

Firefox has announced the 2013 launch of an open source operating system for smart phones. Since open source will bring down the price of a smart phone significantly, the initial launch will be in Latin America, with other developing regions to follow. Read More

Chinese College Students Forced Into iPhone Assembly Lines Rather than Attend Class

BY Lisa Goldman | Friday, September 7 2012

In China, thousands of college students are being forced to work on factory assembly lines rather than attend classes so that Apple's Chinese manufacturers can make up a labor shortfall and meet the September 12 launch date of the iPhone 5. Read More

We're All Journalists, Indeed: Obama Campaign Guests Checked Mobile Phones at the Door

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, May 15 2012

Zeke Miller at Buzzfeed, studiously reading pool reports from President Barack Obama's recent campaign fundraisers, catches something: the Obama campaign, per Washington Post pooler David Nakamura, appears to be collecting mobile phones from event attendees at the door, and storing them in plastic bags. At least, that was the case at a Monday event in New York City.

Read More

So You and Your Phone Will Be in Downtown Manhattan Today ...

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, October 5 2011

Today, hundreds, possibly thousands, of people will converge in the lower Manhattan for a march on the financial capital of the world, urging dramatic changes — for now, any changes — to the status quo. And ... Read More

Free-Speech Advocates Push for FCC to Rule On BART Cellphone Service Shutdown

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, August 31 2011

In the wake of a shutdown of cellphone service earlier this month the San Francisco Bay Area's commuter rail provider, BART, in order to stop a political protest, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others have asked ... Read More

A Full Third of American Adults Own Smartphones, Pew Study Finds

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 15 2011

Photo: Cheon Fong Liew / Flickr Here are three reasons why mobile phones could be a crucial battlefield for the 2012 election, courtesy of a Pew Internet & American Life Project study released this morning: ... Read More

In Syria, the Dead Conceal the Living

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 4 2011

From The Guardian's ongoing live blog of events in the Middle East: Protesters say they have been taking the sim cards of those shot dead so that they can talk to each other and media without being tracked, Nour Ali (a ... Read More

Mobile Phones and the Middle East's Many Million Documentarians

BY Nancy Scola | Monday, February 21 2011

Photo by Mahmood Al-Yousif as uploaded to Flickr yesterday; caption: "Just Bahraini, with pride!" Read More

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

More