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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 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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