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NY Health Data Draws Journalists, Researchers and Coders

BY Miranda Neubauer | Tuesday, December 17 2013

New York transparency advocates are praising the state's leadership role in making health data accessible as the New York State Department of Health is organizing a health-data focused Codeathon later this week. Read More

Analysis Examines How Much Illegal Money Airbnb Makes in New York

BY Sam Roudman | Thursday, November 7 2013

Does Airbnb benefit middle class renters, or is it enabling de facto slumlords to buy up apartments and distort rental markets? It turns out not to be an either/or proposition. In New York, a recent analysis from Tom Slee shows that while the majority of New York’s Airbnb hosts appear to operate within the state’s law, not renting out their entire apartments or secondary properties on a short term basis, almost half of Airbnb's revenue comes from hosts operating outside it. Read More

First POST: Counting

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, October 9 2013

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers:The latest details on the health care exchange signups (and problems); a new tech advocacy group launches; Nick Bilton's forthcoming book on Twitter gives the unvarnished version of its founding; and much, much more. Read More

New York Attorney General Demands Airbnb Info

BY Sam Roudman | Monday, October 7 2013

Airbnb is happy to help its users rent spare rooms to strangers, but less happy to share their information with New York's attorney general. The New York Daily News reported today that Eric Schneiderman issued the company a subpoena demanding data on its New York renters, who might be in violation of a 2011 law intended to tamp down on illegal hotels. In response, Airbnb issued a statement saying the following: "We always want to work with governments to make the Airbnb community stronger, but at this point, this demand is unreasonably broad and we will fight it with everything we’ve got." Read More

Cuomo Appoints Nicklin and Hendler as Top Advisors to New York Open Data Initiatives

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, September 20 2013

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that he was appointing three special advisors to help move the state's open data initiatives forward. Read More

New York City Looks to Technology to Grow Voter Turnout

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, August 9 2013

(NYCCFB/Facebook)

Even though New Yorkers will have to vote with old-fashioned lever machines in the September primary elections, New York campaign finance officials and candidates are looking to 21st century technology to try and encourage voter participation and interest, especially among younger voters. Read More

The New York City Mayor's Race: Analog Candidates in a Digital World

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, June 18 2013

On Monday night, several candidates for mayor of New York City gathered in Queens in the hopes of impressing the city's technologists and tech investors. If anyone was listening closely, they failed. Read More

New York State Joins GitHub to Get Feedback on Open Data Policy

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, June 14 2013

New York is the first state to publish an initial draft of its open data guidelines on GitHub to seek feedback from the public, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in a press release Thursday. Read More

Almost 70 Localities Join New York State Open Data Platform

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, March 14 2013

Almost 70 localities have now signed up to share their data on New York state's open data platform three days after its launch, according to a state press release. Read More

New York State Unveils New Open Data Portal

BY Sam Roudman | Tuesday, March 12 2013

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a new open data portal Monday, Open.ny.gov, following through on a promise made in his State of the State speech in January. The site will feature data from every New York State agency, and tie in localities from all over the state. Read More

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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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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.

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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

YouTube Still Blocked In Turkey, Even After Courts Rule It Violates Human Rights, Infringes on Free Speech

Reuters reports that even after a Turkish court ruled to lift the ban on YouTube, Turkey's telecommunications companies continue to block the video sharing site.

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wednesday >

Everything You Need to Know About Social Media and India's General Election

The biggest democratic election in the world to date is taking place in India from April 7 to May 14, and, for the first time in India, the results might hinge on who runs a better social media campaign. The Mumbai research firm Iris Knowledge Foundation has said that Facebook will “wield a tremendous influence” but Indian politicians are not limiting their attentions to India's most popular social media platform. In addition to virtual campaigning are initiatives to inform, educate and encourage Indians to participate in their democracy.

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