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First POST: Transitions

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, November 7 2013

Which political technology firms came out on top in this week's elections; Al Gore's outspoken views on Edward Snowden; Google's director of charitable giving explains its "moon shots"; and much, much more. Read More

How Not to Roll Out Electronic Voting In Your State

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, November 6 2012

New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno announced over the weekend that people displaced by Hurricane Sandy and unable to vote in their home districts should be considered "overseas voters" for the purposes of the election, allowing them to email or fax in a ballot application through a procedure based on one laid out by the Federal Voting Assistance Program.

But the procedure New Jersey elections officials were using was not designed to process such a volume of ballots, and the procedure they put in place was, by all accounts, barely designed at all. Halfway through election day, it appears that the state's effort to use technology to help people vote might do more harm than good.

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As Citizens Look for Hurricane Information Online, Governments Scramble to Deliver

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 26 2011

NASA footage of astronauts observing Hurricane Irene on Thursday from the International Space Station. Just one day before a major hurricane is expected to rake the entire U.S. Eastern Seaboard and days after the ... Read More

Tweet, Tweet New Jersey

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 14 2010

Some bipartisan comity taking place on Twitter, via Dave Weigel. Here's recently-elected New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie tweeting a thumbs up to recently re-elected Democratic Newark Mayor Cory Booker: ... Read More

A Look at Cory Booker, the Social Media Mayor

BY Editors | Wednesday, March 24 2010

We're pleased to offer this guest post by Lauren Donia, a graduate student at American University affiliated with that school's Center for Social Media. The original post is here. -- the editors 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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