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First POST: Not Ron Paul's Ad

BY Miranda Neubauer | Friday, January 27 2012

Ron Paul at a rally Jan. 10. Photo: Gage Skidmore
  • US Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James has ruled that Ron Paul's campaign cannot force Twitter and Youtube to reveal details about "NHLiberty4Paul," a user whom the Paul campaign is accusing of falsely distributing critical videos of Jon Huntsman in his name. PaidContent has more:

    In a two-page order, James stated that the Paul campaign had not met the "good cause" criteria necessary to obtain the order. This means that the campaign can't for now obtain the identities of the defendants who are listed in the lawsuit as "John Doe." Jerrold Abeles, an attorney for the Paul campaign, said in a phone interview that the order is not the end of the road for the Paul campaign. Abeles said the campaign still has the option to file an amended request seeking to unmask the John Does.

  • Conservatives on Twitter and in blogs have been criticizing the Drudge Report for running headlines strongly criticizing Newt Gingrich, the New York Times reports. A Super PAC supporting Gingrich has released a trailer for a new documentary questioning Mitt Romney's background.

  • A photo showing Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer pointing her finger at President Barack Obama seems to have gone viral. While their exact interaction doesn't seem to be known, Brewer has said Obama disagreed with how she publicly described their last meeting. The Washington Post offered a caption contest for the photo, and "jan brewer" has been a top trending Google search.

  • The New York Times has a long look at the poor conditions that Apple's workers in China face in producing Apple products:

    Employees work excessive overtime, in some cases seven days a week, and live in crowded dorms. Some say they stand so long that their legs swell until they can hardly walk. Under-age workers have helped build Apple's products, and the company's suppliers have improperly disposed of hazardous waste and falsified records, according to company reports and advocacy groups that, within China, are often considered reliable, independent monitors. More troubling, the groups say, is some suppliers' disregard for workers' health. Two years ago, 137 workers at an Apple supplier in eastern China were injured after they were ordered to use a poisonous chemical to clean iPhone screens. Within seven months last year, two explosions at iPad factories, including in Chengdu, killed four people and injured 77.

    The Times also sought comments from Chinese readers of a Chinese business magazine on the subject.

  • First there was a video devoted to things girls say. Then the spinoffs began: Things New Yorkers say. Things people in DC say. Things Hill staffers say. Now, Americans Elect has joined an ongoing meme with things politicians say

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  • Spurred by Google's upcoming privacy policy changes, many users are checking out their advertising preferences, and noting that, for example, as young women, they are classified as 65 year old men. Meanwhile, a group of companies that have been critical of Google are launching an ad campaign targeting its search result and privacy practices. Politico reported that members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked Google a number of questions about their new privacy policy. Meanwhile, Google sought to address some criticism in a new blog post. In addition to sending out e-mails, it has also been warning users on its homepage, "We’re changing our privacy policy and terms. Not the usual yada yada."

  • The Secret Service is looking into an online photo showing young men in Arizona posing with a bullet-riddled image of President Barack Obama

    The photo was also posted on the Facebook pages of an Arizona police officer and of one of the men in the photo.

  • The FBI released a request for contractors to build a monitoring system so that the FBI could continuously monitor the “publicly available” information on social media networks. The request notes that information will be used to predict future “trend, pattern, association, and timeline analysis.”

  • The White House Storified Vice President Joe Biden's first Twitter chat. He answered questions about taxes, the DREAM act and his Super Bowl pick, including a question from a "West Wing" character on Twitter. The White House is also letting citizens revisit the "office hours" program it has been holding this week with administration officials.

  • Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land writes that the current search results for "santorum" also illustrate Google's weaknesses.

  • A group in Connecticut used text messaging to get around 500 tacos sent to the mayor of East Haven. Earlier this week, he had been criticized for saying, "I might have tacos when I go home, I'm not quite sure yet," in response to an inquiry about what he planned to do for the Latino community following discrimination allegations and arrests of the city's police officers for abuse of Latino residents.

    "That set off the activist group, a local branch of the Reform Immigration for America organization, which said that anytime someone texts the word "taco" to 69866, it will deliver a taco to the mayor on their behalf," CNN reported. "They've received more than 2,600 texts, the group said in a statement Thursday." The rest of the tacos were rerouted to food-assistance programs.

  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales thinks Motion Picture Association of America chairman Chris Dodd should be fired, while the Free Press Fund calls on members of Congress to return money from the MPAA. Meanwhile, the Hollywood group Creative America has released a new video condemning content theft. A coalition of entertainment groups has also told the British government that Google and Bing are purposefully sending users to illegal files, according to a document obtained through the UK's Freedom Information Act and provided to the Guardian newspaper.

  • The New York Times explores what the Internet coalition from the anti-SOPA protest could do next. Reuters Social Media Editor Anthony De Rosa live-tweeted a panel with Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales and Rep. Darrell Issa on SOPA at the World Economic Forum.

  • Demand Progess is urging its supporters to sign a petition against Twitter's plan, announced yesterday, to geographically block content on Twitter if asked to do so. But Mike Masnick at Techdirt argues that Twitter's response is fairly reasonable given the alternatives and pressure it faces.

  • Library and open-access advocacy groups have sent a letter to Congress emphasizing their opposition to the Research Works Act.

  • The Wall Street Journal has launched its interactive look at Super PAC spending.

  • At Britain's Leveson Inquiry into the practices and ethics of the British press, particularly as they relate to invasions of privacy, Facebook director Lord Richard Allan said that Facebook's community of users was the strongest protection against inappropriate behavior. At a Data Privacy Day event yesterday co-sponsored by Facebook, Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill emphasized that online companies have to enforce their privacy policies.

  • The Washington state attorney general's office is partnering with Facebook to fight scammers, but asked reporters to sign a non-disclosure agreement related to anything that they might accidentally see in Facebook's offices during the news conference.

  • MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and some other liberals are angry at PolitiFact for stating that President Obama's job numbers are correct, but that his statements are only half true.

  • Some activists believe that questions about the NDAA are being deleted from the questions feature for the Google Plus interview with President Obama next week.

  • Supporters of gay rights have hijacked the hashtag #LGBTfacts, which has been used by a Twitter user to spread offensive messages about gays.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new interactive map of planting zones for gardeners, where they can enter their ZIP code and get the exact average temperature.

  • The State Department for the first time streamed the State of the Union on 300 English-language embassy and consulate websites and Facebook pages worldwide. A report in the San Francisco Chronicle notes the pervasiveness of Occupy movement themes in the speech.

  • The editorial page editor of the New York Times argues that the United States' downgrade on Reporters Without Borders' press freedom index over arrests of journalists during Occupy Wall Street protests doesn't make sense, given that Hungary, which has implemented strict media laws, is ranked higher.

  • The NYPD last night caught an iPhone thief when a police officer used his own iPhone to log into Apple's iCloud feature and was able to track down the missing phone using GPS technology. The iPhone began to beep when the NYPD approached the suspect at an intersection.

  • The Cleanweb Hackathon in New York earlier this week focused on the intersection of clean technology and the Internet, with, for example, the creation of an application that compares the energy efficiency of every municipal building in New York.

  • A Chicago violin store owner was able to obtain through the courts the IP address of an anonymous commenter on Yelp who the owner claims has written false comments about the store, but he hasn't yet been able to trace it to an individual.

  • Google profiles how the mayor of Raleigh, N.C, used the web and Google's tools to win her election last fall.

  • The copyright exemption created for smart phone users who “jailbroke” their device will expire soon, leaving larger legal issues for those who choose to jailbreak their device in the future.

  • The U.S. Pirate Party has released a book about its positions by Pirate Party members, and other officials and academics, titled No Safe Harbor.

  • A British juror who has been jailed for researching a defendant online has been refused an appeal.

  • British Labour Member of Parliament Tom Watson has apologized after an intern sent a potentially offensive message on his Twitter account — the intern used the word "tweet-rape," whatever that means — pretending to be him.

  • Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu was unusually effusive in tweets on the Chinese New Year to China, a potential ally against Iran, Tablet reported

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  • Israel hopes to increase its current Internet connection speed by installing a “nationwide, high-speed broadband network.”

  • Poles protested in the streets and wore Guy Fawkes masks in protest of ACTA. In Austria, Anonymous once again targeted governmental websites with distributed denial of service attacks, and there are plans for street protests on the weekend, local media reported. The Austrian Werner Faymann had also addressed the controversy around ACTA on Facebook. Meanwhile, an investigator of ACTA for the European Parliament has quit his role stating that the process behind the agreement has been a charade.

  • The Washington Post notes the emergence of a new Russian web TV station, while traditional outlets feel the pressure of the Kremlin:

    That left an opening for Internet television, and now an afraid-of-nothing Web station called TV Dozhd, which means TV Rain, is making a name for itself. It uses the English slogan “Optimistic Channel,” and in December it became a household television staple for families that, as its editor Mikhail Zygar puts it, are fed up with TV. Mainstream TV people dismiss it as too hip for words, but the station recently landed Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, on a talk show.

  • Corruption Watch, an independent organization out of South Africa, will help fight corruption in the area by providing citizens with information and an outlet to report corruption online and through social networks.

  • Milind Deora, India’s Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, is downplaying claims of web censorship. Deora states that the government simply wants a method of “recourse” available to its citizens who find certain content to be objectionable.

  • President Hugo Chavez’s daughter sparked an Internet meme when she posed for a picture with American money and posted it on Instagram. The photo outraged many Venezuelans, who have a much greater difficulty obtaining American currency.

  • Indian bloggers have been vocal online in their reaction to a joke Jay Leno made that some consider insulting to Sikhs.

  • A Chinese blogger who has so far managed to skirt government intervention in his commentary on corruption and abuse of power, has sparked controversy from other activists because he seems to be skeptical about resistance.

With Raphael Majma