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First POST: Digital Strife

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 21 2013

Who hacked who?

Around the web

  • "Big companies" in the electronic medical records industry are the "real winners" of a provision of the economic stimulus bill that promoted use of their technologies, The New York Times reports.

  • Meanwhile, the lead item in the mainstream political press today is a Time article that posits the Affordable Care Act changed how we pay for health care but did little to drive down the cost of care for patients — which, Steven Brill writes, is irrationally high.

  • Larry Lessig, now Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, delivered a talk on Thursday called "Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age."

  •, AOL's hyperlocal journalism enterprise, continues to cut staff.

  • Joseph Marks writes at NextGov about the White House's "We the People" online petition site: "Now, just over 30 days after the Obama administration raised the bar to receive an official White House petition response to 100,000 signatures in one month, all three petitions to cross the raised threshold focus on non-American conflicts."

  • Sina Khanifar and Derek Khanna have a petition to make it legal, once again, to unlock your mobile phone without your carrier's consent.

  • Khanifar and Khanna emailed us this morning:

    Our White House petition to reverse this decision has now accumulated over 100,000 signatures -- this is the threshold at which the WH will respond. At this rate, with still three days to gather signatures, this petition will have the second highest amount of signatures of any petition on the WH website.

    Sina Khanifar, who created the petition and I have teamed up on this effort. My back story is that I was the House Republican staffer who wrote the controversial memo on copyright reform in the fall – and I no longer work there as a result ... Sina is the creator of the petition (and is a founder of OpenSignal) and he was personally affected by these laws when his company had to stop selling unlocking tools to customers to avoid further legal liability.

News Briefs

RSS Feed 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.