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First POST: Wager

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, December 12 2011

  • ABC reported that Mitt Romney's statement at Saturday's debate that he would bet Rick Perry $10,000 about his book's statements on health care saw a lot of response on Twitter. The DCCC was promoting the hashtag #what10kbuys on Twitter. (via @greeterdan). .

  • As an aside: TechPresident is surprised there isn't a Mitt Romney Betting On Things tumblr yet.

  • Rick Perry's ad opposing gay rights continues to make waves as some Internet users suggest he was wearing the same jacket as Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain, while others suggested that the music in the ad was similar to that of Aaron Copland, the gay leftist musician.

  • After around 50,000 people protested in Russia this Saturday against the parliamentary election results, President Dmitry Medvedev posted on Facebook that while he "did not agree with either the slogans or statements heard at the rallies," he would issued instructions for all official reports on the conduct of the polls to be checked, according to the BBC. The BBC then reported that 7,000 comments had appeared under the post by Sunday evening that appeared divided between hostility, support and neutrality.

  • Ahead of the protests, both supporters and opponents of the Putin government had been using the web to promote their point of view, as the New York Times reported. In one example the Times pointed out, pro-Putin supporters appear to have created a video on Youtube in which the protesters seem to be equated to the orcs attacking the heroes of Middle Earth in The Two Towers, the second Lord of the Rings film. Both Reuters and the New York Times also explored the role of Alexei Navalny, the arrested blogger who has inspired many of the protests.

  • Several news organizations are objecting to a ban on the use of online and phone communication at the preliminary court hearing tomorrow regarding Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

  • After an uproar over derogatory comments made on Facebook by New York City police officers, a City Council member plans to introduce a bill that would require officers to live in New York City, arguing that they would be more respectful of diverse members of the community, while the AP reports on the free speech questions raised by the issue.

  • David Carr writes in the New York Times that the "Oregon blogger" did not deserve journalistic protection because she did not conduct herself ethically and was spreading misinformation.

  • As first reported by techdirt, the federal government seems to be acknowledging that it was incorrect when it seized the domain of a hip-hop blog last year.

  • Adweek speaks to Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on his objections to SOPA and Protect IP. At the same time, Republican congressional aides have joined lobbying groups that support the proposals.

  • The House has passed a bill that could allow Internet users to share their Netflix queues on Facebook.

  • The 24-year-old village president of South Orange is using technology to make government more accessible.

  • A British member of parliament apologized on Twitter for attending a party in France with a man dressed up as a Nazi.

  • Last week, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs held a hearing on promoting global Internet freedom, where among others, Rebecca MacKinnon, the co-founder of Global Voices Online, gave testimony.

  • The German minister of consumer protection has written a letter to the U.S. government alleging that Facebook is not following international privacy protection laws. (in German)

  • Michael Bloomberg congratulated @ElBloombito on Twitter for winning an award for Best Parody from Village Voice.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

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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wednesday >

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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tuesday >

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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monday >

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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