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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

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.

GO

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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