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First POST: Chronology

BY Miranda Neubauer | Wednesday, April 11 2012

Hillary Clinton, Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe. Photo: Texts from Hillary


  • Maureen Dowd has her own take on the Texts from Hillary phenonmenon:

    The Hillary flurry is telling. During the 2008 Democratic primary, Barack Obama had a lock on young people, technology chic and the press. Hillary was regarded by kids as the lady who'd been around a long time, wearing headbands and pantsuits. She had a paranoid relationship with the press and an antiquated take on technology. Now she's quick to laugh at herself and take advantage of the positive buzz, even posting her own captions with trendy argot on the "Texts From Hillary" site ... Her savvy public image gambit on Tuesday sent a signal she may not be leaving the stage forever. She has not only shored up her techie cred and popularity with young people. Hillary, who kept the press at a distance in 2008, is now well-liked by the press corps traveling with her around the world.

  • Iran has denied reports that it would block access to the entire Internet in August, and would replace it with a national intranet. Iranian officials said the reports, which were attributed to a supposed interview given by a ministry official published on April 1, originated from "the propaganda wing of the West and providing its hostile media with a pretext emanating from a baseless claim."

  • Buzzfeed tracked how a "phantom Washington Post" news story seemed to have the scoop on Rick Santorum's announcement yesterday, particularly on Twitter, even as Washington Post reporters were denying that they had published anything. As it turned out, a draft Post story was published mistakenly to a Bloomberg News wire, which then began citing the Washington Post story.

  • Conservative group American Crossroads is encouraging supporters to sign a petition on Facebook calling on President Obama and Warren Buffett to pay more taxes voluntarily.

But there's no Pontiac in the profile picture

  • ICYMI: Joe Biden has spun up a campaign Twitter account, @JoeBiden, as part of the reelection campaign.

Plugging in, turning on

  • The White House announced its Apps for Energy competition using the Green Button standard for sharing energy data:

    Apps for Energy leverages Green Button -- an open standard for sharing electricity usage information. For the competition, developers will mash-up Green Button data with other public data sources to create innovative, energy-focused apps (visit our developer page for a list of resources). Submissions can be any kind of software application broadly available to the public -- including apps for the web, personal computers, and mobile devices.

  • Techdirt outlines why many are critical of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act:

    The bill defines "cybersecurity systems" and "cyber threat information" as anything to do with protecting a network from: (A) efforts to degrade, disrupt, or destroy such system or network; or (B) theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information. It's easy to see how that definition could be interpreted to include things that go way beyond network security-specifically, copyright policing systems at virtually any point along a network could easily qualify. And since one of the recipients of the shared information would be Homeland Security-the department that includes ICE and its ongoing domain seizures-CISPA creates the very real possibility for this information to be used as part of a SOPA-like crusade to lock down the internet. So while the bill itself has nothing to do with domain seizures, it gives the people behind such seizures a potentially powerful new weapon.

Dropping out

  • Rick Santorum may have dropped out of the Republican presidential primary, but Ron Paul released a new video before the suspension criticizing Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Signing up

  • Five New York University students working with adjunct professor Clay Shirky have created the Listserve Project, where each day, a user is randomly selected to send out any message they like (with the exception of porn or viruses) to a listserv, with, eventually, as many as 10,000 subscribers. So far the listserv has about 3,500 subscribers.

  • Maryland legislators have passed a bill banning employers from asking for employees' Facebook passwords.

Around the web

  • The Nieman Journalism Lab profiled the web producer who's behind NPR's Fresh Air program's growing popularity online and on social media.

  • In a survey, almost 40 percent of respondents said that free WiFi was the most requested amenity a hotel could offer.

  • Anonymous and Reddit General Manager Erik Martin were popular choices in the online Time 100 poll.

  • Trust in advertising online and on social media is growing, according to Nielsen.

  • The World Bank announced it would make over 2,000 documents available under Creative Commons licensing, making them free to share and reuse.

Around the world

  • British Prime Minister David Cameron said Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers had sat on committees that had approved controversial proposals on e-mail monitoring and secret courts, but Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he simply looked over the proposals, and warned they could only proceed if civil liberties were protected.

  • The Guido Fawkes blog in Britain is under government criticism after its author published more than 1,000 alleged requests by News International journalists to a private investigator, indicating some breaches of data protection laws. But officials say the publication of the data could also be a breach of data protection laws.

  • The British government says energy consumers should be able to determine how much data from new, "smart" energy meters is shared with suppliers.

  • A Facebook user in Germany has received a legal admonishment with a take-down notice from another user over a photo that was uploaded to the first user's personal page by a third party, according to local reports.

  • A leader of the Israeli Labor Party has responded to an announcement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Facebook page has 200,000 supporters by claiming that most of Netanyahu's supporters are from outside Israel.

    On Monday, a spokeswoman for the Likud sent a message that Netanyahu had passed 200,000 "likes" on his personal Facebook Timeline, while all other Israeli politicians lag far behind. The message pointed out that the social network is "a tool to connect the nation and its leader." Amihai Sargovy, who leads Yacimovich's online volunteer staff, posted an analysis of Netanyahu's Facebook statistics titled "Prime Minister of the US and Indonesia," pointing out that only about 17 percent of Netanyahu's 201,880 fans are Israeli, while more than half are American. Of Yacimovich's 19,536 Facebook fans, 90% are Israeli.

  • A Kuwaiti court has sentenced a Sunni Muslim writer to a seven year jail term and to pay $18,000 in compensation for insulting the country's Shi'ite Muslim minority on Twitter.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


EU Court Rejects Data Retention Law, But Data Retention Won't End Overnight

The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg struck down a data retention law Tuesday that required telecoms to keep customers' communications data for up to two years, declaring it violated privacy rights. However, experts warn that the ruling will have no automatic effect on relevant laws in member states, which could lead to “messy consequences.”