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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 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.


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.


tuesday > Reboots As a Candidate Digital Toolkit That's a Bit Too Like 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 is out from stealth mode, entering a field already being served by competitors like NationBuilder, Salsa Labs and And strangely enough, seems to want its early users to ask 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.


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.


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.