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First POST: Protestations

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 27 2013

Around the web

  • Wendy Davis begins the media tour: Speaking of the abortion-banning bill the Texas state senator managed to delay but that will return in another special legislative session July 1, she told CBS News, "There was an incredible focus put on what was happening here in Texas. Women and men across Texas are in an uproar about it and I don't expect that their concerns on this issue are going to go away with the passage of this law."

  • "In Texas Filibuster, YouTube Stands Up While "24/7" News Falls" — TIME TV critic James Poniewozik writes how yet again, online media thrived as news broke in the late hours of the night while "24/7" cable news was on autopilot.

  • On Orwell's Birthday: BoingBoing notes that on June 25, revelers celebrating the birthday of visionary political writer George Orwell placed party hats on CCTV cameras.

  • Facebook and Twitter both now claim to be refusing requests for information on protesters from Turkish authorities.

  • MapBox, which hosts custom-made dynamic maps and whose mapping technology powers location-based web apps like FourSquare, has released a transparency report outlining how many requests to provide or delete user information it has received from governments. MapBox's short answer: Zero.

  • Weekend read:Amy Chozick's warts-and-all profile of Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia founder, which she describes as one of the only, or perhaps the only, dot-com pioneer not to become a billionaire.

    Wikipedians and Wales supporters will probably find much to critique in the piece. But she's running headlong at a good question: Editors might work for free, but server time doesn't pay for itself and core Wikipedia staff have to eat. So how does one — especially a libertarian — subsidize a public good in the Internet age?

  • Twitter is tooting its own horn as a digital public square during events like Wendy Davis' filibuster and the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act.

  • Upcoming event: A TechCamp on journalism in conflict zones, July 25-26 at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, sponsored by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the State Department's Office of eDiplomacy, the United States Institute of Peace, and the CUNY J-school.

  • The Internet Hall of Fame announced that it has inducted J.C.R. Licklider, John Perry Barlow, and Marc Andreessen, among many others.

  • As Burma patches up relationships with the West and begins to develop a new role in global business, officials and citizens are also in careful negotiations over the role of the Internet in the country's changing society.

  • Norwegian and Qatari telecommunications firms have won 15-year concessions to develop mobile networks in Burma, the Times reports.

  • A new Facebook app is designed to foster the youth vote in Australia.

  • Back in the U.S., Cambridge, Mass. has lost a battle to block Uber from operating within its borders.

  • The Federal Trade Commission has told search engines to more clearly label advertising in results.

With Miranda Neubauer

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.


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.