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First POST: Seeking Refuge

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, November 8 2013

Seeking Refuge

  • URGENT: The United Nations is seeking volunteers to help tag crisis-related tweets coming from the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda, which is a Category 5 storm and one of the strongest to ever occur, with winds topping 200mph. More details on the storm here.

  • A majority of Germans see Edward Snowden as a hero, but they are evenly divided on whether to offer him political asylum.

  • Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder stating that his office is seeking to meet with journalist Glenn Greenwald, and asking if the Justice Department intends to "detain, question, arrest or prosecute" him if he enters the United States. The letter was sent October 10; no word on any reply.

  • Brazil and Germany have drafted a UN resolution seeking internationally guaranteed digital privacy rights.

  • Technology Review's David Talbot reports on how the Internet Engineering Task Force is figuring out how to secure the Internet from government snooping.

  • David Bollier writes that Mayor-elect Bill De Blasio has an opportunity to stop Mayor Bloomberg's plan to privatize the use of the .nyc top-level-domain before it begins, and turn it into a public resource, "a form of civic infrastructure that belongs to all of us."

  • John Cassidy of the New Yorker weighs President Obama's political standing in the wake of the disaster, and says that much now "depends on the efforts of [Jeffrey] Zients and the team of whizzes he has recruited for his 'tech surge.'"

  • The non-profit Internet Archive is appealing for donations in the wake of a fire that destroyed $600,000 in digitization equipment in its scanning center.

  • Just in time for the weekend, Salon looks at how the Internet is transforming book reviews, from wacky customer reviews of products on Amazon to conflicts between authors and readers on Goodreads, to the use of GIFs and Twitter to review books.

  • Speaking of books and tech surges, First POST is taking a brief hiatus next week so I can go on a "book surge" and get closer to finishing my next book, which is on why the Internet hasn't changed politics as much as many of us imagined it would. See you soon.