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First POST: Leftovers

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, November 26 2012

  • Thanksgiving leftovers: Cobbler the Turkey was the winner of the first online vote for the traditional White House pardoning of the Turkey. As President Obama said during the ceremony: "Now, I joke, but for the first time in our history, the winners of the White House Turkey Pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote. And once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it. (Laughter.) The guy is amazing. He predicted these guys would win."

From techPresident

Around the web

International

  • Only nine countries own their national Twitter handles, according to a study.

  • British regulator Ofcom warns that action is needed to address a coming "capacity crunch" on British mobile networks.

  • British regulators are investigating the degree to which firms are monitoring online shoppers to show them different prices.

  • The Riyadh Bureau takes a closer look at reports that men in Saudi Arabia were receiving text messages about the whereabouts of women of whom they are legal guardians.

  • An American fighter with Somali militants who has been known for posting messages with hip hop chants and an online diary has been added to the FBI's most wanted list.

  • Facebook is facing a legal threat in Scandinavia over unsolicited advertising.

  • The New York Times looked at how Twitter could now be a target after it played a key role in identifying the subject of what turned to be a false and controversial BBC report accusing a British politician of sex abuse. Earlier the politician's lawyer had told the New York Times, "Let it be a lesson to everyone that trial by Internet is a very nasty way to hurt people, and it will end up costing people a lot of money.”

  • Italian police have blocked access to a white supremacist website and arrested four individuals for allegedly inciting racial hatred and spreading anti-Semitism.

  • A German court ruled that a request for legal assistance from the U.S. regarding the possibility of stripping assets from Megaupload has no basis for legal action.

  • The Australian government is considering a plan against online bullying which could mean financial penalties for Facebook and Twitter, and also allow a commissioner to issue a take-down notice for objectionable material.

  • The New York Times reported on how a Spanish soccer club in financial trouble has sold shares worldwide promoted by social media.

Transparency and Public Shaming: Pakistan Tackles Tax Evasion

In Pakistan, where only one in 200 citizens files their income tax return, authorities published a directory of taxpayers' details for the first time. Officials explained the decision as an attempt to shame defaulters into paying up.

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wednesday >

Facebook Seeks Approval as Financial Service in Ireland. Is the Developing World Next?

On April 13 the Financial Times reported that Facebook is only weeks away from being approved as a financial service in Ireland. Is this foray into e-money motivated by Facebook's desire to conquer the developing world before other corporate Internet giants do? Maybe.

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The Rise and Fall of Iran's “Blogestan”

The robust community of Iranian bloggers—sometimes nicknamed “Blogestan”—has shrunk since its heyday between 2002 – 2010. “Whither Blogestan,” a recent report from the University of Pennsylvania's Iran Media Program sought to find out how and why. The researchers performed a web crawling analysis of Blogestan, survey 165 Persian blog users, and conducted 20 interviews with influential bloggers in the Persian community. They found multiple causes of the decline in blogging, including increased social media use and interference from authorities.

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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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