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First POST: A Republican "Renewal"

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, January 24 2013

Be strong and you will be renewed

  • RNC head Reince Priebus will address his party's rest-of-America-problem in an address Friday, Politico reports in a story that suggests he'll talk technology, a 50-state strategy, and a new and more inclusive coalition:

    Priebus will outline a number of steps the GOP should take to expand the base and get competitive in a broader swath of states. Among his suggestions: train “candidates, volunteers and operatives” on basic subjects like fundraising and campaign strategy — but through a variety of high-tech methods, including Skype sessions and Google hangouts; give the “next generation of organizers access to the brightest experts,” take the initiative on leading in the “digital space” and focus on being “welcoming” and “inclusive” without forgetting GOP “principles.”

    All of this, Priebus is quoted as saying, is in the service of "a Republican renewal."

    And it's all curiously cyclical. Over the past year, techPresident has been tracking how outside groups on the right like the Leadership Institute, American Majority and FreedomWorks (pre-implosion) have been emulating the work of the New Organizing Institute, MoveOn, and ThinkProgress on the left. Priebus calling on Republicans to abandon the concept of "red states" and "blue states" has certain shades of Howard Dean, to be sure, but he's also asking the party to internalize the kinds of outside infrastructure that helped the left defeat them in 2012. This is more than a little entertaining given that Democratic backers started putting that infrastructure in place as a response to their own defeats in the early 2000s.

    So tune in tomorrow to see the Republican Party reborn in the fires of carrousel exactly what Priebus has in mind.

Around the web

  • Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) are resurrecting legislation that would facilitate more information sharing between private companies and government for cybersecurity reasons.

  • Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-La.) argued Wednesday that regulation of Internet companies is an attack on Internet freedom. There's video and audio from the conference right over here.

  • Tech companies have beefed up their lobbying efforts.

  • Susan Crawford, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law professor and author of a book, "Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age," has detractors. Her friends point out those detractors are connected to the telecom industry, the subject of her latest critique.

  • Professional detractor Evgeny Morozov is speaking at Stanford University this afternoon.

  • The New York Times notes an emerging idea: If the U.S. is now on the other side of a bright line from the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union when it comes to how the Internet should work, why should Americans be funding the international agency?

  • Google's semi-annual transparency report is out, detailing requests for information it receives from government. Google is now disclosing how many requests it complied with in whole or in part, the number of user accounts involved in requests, and what type of request was made — for example, whether the government approached the search giant with a warrant.

  • Completely different: What if Glenn Greenwald cared as much about Beyoncé as he did about drones?

International

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New Media Sites in Iran Blur Lines Between Citizen Journo, Professional Journo, & Activist

In 2010, Newsweek declared Iran the “birthplace of citizen journalism.” Iranian bloggers were hailed by Westerners as “brave” for their coverage of the aftermath of the disputed 2009 election. A 40-second video of the death of Neda Agha-Soltan during an anti-government protest won a prestigious George Polk Award, the first anonymously-produced work to be so honored. And then came the 2013 study “Whither Blogestan,” which sought to explain Iran's shrinking blogosphere. Of nearly 25,000 highly active and connected blogs in 2008 and 2009, only 20 percent were still online in September 2013.

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