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First POST: Data Flow

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, January 17 2013

Thursday must-reads

Around the web

  • New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is encouraging supporters to make 20 calls in 20 days to federal lawmakers in memory of the Sandy Hook victims.

  • Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) is proposing a ban on 3D-printed high-capacity magazines.

  • Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan noted that Facebook's new Graph Search can show what people like who like both the NRA and Barack Obama.

  • The Daily Beast created the Twitter account @RepsGunTweets to track how representatives reacted to the gun law proposals.

  • A New York state senator's online petition against New York's new gun law has already gathered 35,000 signatures.

  • A Guardian interactive shows gun laws state-by-state, and lets users look at laws in their friends' states through Facebook. A Washington Post interactive traces the NRA's influence on members of Congress.

  • The Citizen Lab Internet research group says it has found evidence that U.S.-made Internet surveillance and censorship technology has been used by more than a dozen countries, including ones with questionable human rights records such as Syria, China and Saudi Arabia.

  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said he wanted to remain on the Senate Judiciary Committee to help pass legislation requiring a warrant before authorities can access e-mails and other online messages.

  • Businessweek reported on the possibility that the SEC could force more disclosure of publicly traded companies' political contributions.

  • ICYMI: There's a Campaign Finance Disclosure Tumblr.

  • Pandodaily traced how two L.A. entrepreneurs helped bring about the lobbying effort leading to the passage of the JOBS Act.

  • The FBI only released severely redacted memos in response to an ACLU query about its interpretation of a unanimous Supreme Court decision which established that law enforcement does not have the authority to put a warrantless GPS tracker on a suspect’s car, ars technica reported.

  • A recent symposium hosted by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society marked the launch of a global network of interdisciplinary centers focused on Internet and society.

  • A documentary premiering at the Slamdance Film Festive called "Terms and Conditions May Apply" focuses on websites' privacy polices.

  • Ars Technica looked into which routers would actually support new WiFi spectrum that the FCC plans to release.

  • Time Warner Cable says it is in negotiations with Netflix on using the service's content delivery network to offer 3D and other special content to subscribers, but also accused Netflix of unfairly holding back content in order to get preferential treatment, according to Multichannel News.

  • AT&T has partially lifted a restriction on how its customers can use the FaceTime function without any additional cost, following criticism from groups like Public Knowledge.

  • Developers of transit apps in Washington D.C. say the transit agency is limiting the data it provides, and that the data that is accessible is often inaccurate.

  • New York City's MTA is now offering an application for all smartphone operating systems showing subway times for selected subway lines.

  • Daniel X. O'Neil writes about turning civic hacking into civic innovation based on the example of Chicago.

  • Researchers used Google Earth to produce a more accurate study of urban agriculture sites in Chicago.


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.


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.


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.


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.