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First POST: Expansion

BY Nick Judd | Friday, May 24 2013

Around the web

  • Calling for a new digital social contract: In The Nation, Ari Melber and legal scholars Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger suggest that the country needs a new legal framework for software terms of service — treating them like other contracts, they say, ignores how one-sided they really are.

  • Technology and national security: In a major speech on the nation's counterterrorism policy, Barack Obama said of domestic terrorism: "technology and the Internet increase its frequency." The president acknowledge the need for "privacy protections that prevent abuse" of increased digital surveillance by law enforcement, but made no apologies for greater monitoring of online activities or of the government's use of state secrets.

  • Voice of the past — In 2004, then-Congressman Anthony Weiner had observations about online media that could have come in handy for the Weiner of 2011, when scandal pushed him out of the House, and might come in handy for him today, as he begins a mayoral run. TechPresident pulls that moment from our Personal Democracy Forum archives.

  • The State Department explains its available APIs.

  • New York City officials round up what they learned from people in other cities after hosting a recent symposium on digital innovation.

  • Maybe they could finally restore phone service to New Yorkers who say they still don't have landline phone access months after Hurricane Sandy.

  • Gawker, the successful online media website that's asking people to give it money so it can buy a scandalous video of a public official from drug dealers, says the source of the video has gone AWOL.

  • Digital activism shocker: Including pictures or "fun" links in emails can increase click rates. Who knew?

  • Code for America announces partnerships in Mexico City, Germany, and the Caribbean.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.