Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

E-Petitioning for Human Rights

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 27 2012

Here's an interesting petition on the White House's "We the People" online petitions platform; it's called "Stop Expanding Trade with Vietnam at the Expense of Human Rights," and reads, in part:

Since 2007, the Vietnamese government has continuously waged brutal crackdown against human rights advocates, arresting and/or detaining notables such as: Rev. Nguyen Van Ly, Nobel Peace Prize nominees Ven.Thich Quang Do and Dr.Nguyen Dan Que, blogger Dieu Cay, and most recently songwriter Viet Khang, who merely expressed love for freedom and patriotism through songs he posted online ... We implore you, Mr. President, to leverage Vietnam’s desire for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Generalized System of Preferences to force the immediate and unconditional release of all detained or imprisoned human rights champions. Show the world America puts freedom first.

The Obama administration has been pushing for increased trade with Asian business partners, including Vietnam.

Though the petition has already garnered 25,000 "signatures" — users create an account on the White House site linked to an email address, then use that account to "sign" a petition — its supporters continue to rack them up in the hopes of student debt and the Stop Online Piracy Act. But so far, noteworthy responses have only emerged when citizen inquiry happens to coincide with an area of interest for the administration.

News Briefs

RSS Feed wednesday >

In Mexico, A Wiki Makes Corporate Secrets Public

Earlier this year the Latin American NGO Poder launched Quién Es Quién Wiki (Who's Who Wiki), a corporate transparency project more than two years in the making. The hope is that the platform will be the foundation for a citizen-led movement demanding transparency and accountability from businesses in Mexico. Data from Quién Es Quién Wiki is already helping community activists mobilize against foreign companies preparing to mine the mountains of the Sierra Norte de Puebla.

GO

thursday >

NY Study Shows How Freedom of Information Can Inform Open Data

On New York State's open data portal, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has around 40 data resources of varying sizes, such as maps of lakes and ponds and rivers, bird conservation areas and hiking trails. But those datasets do not include several data resources that are most sought after by many New York businesses, a new study from advocacy group Reinvent Albany has found. Welcome to a little-discussed corner of so-called "open government"--while agencies often pay lip service to the cause, the data they actually release is sometimes nowhere close to what is most wanted. GO

More